UPDATE: KPOJ fires Carl Wolfson, drops political talk radio, and goes all-sports

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

It's unclear what exactly is happening at KPOJ, but local morning host Carl Wolfson just announced - via Facebook - that he's leaving the station.

To my friends -- Clear Channel informed me this morning that they are moving in a new direction with KPOJ, beginning on Monday. I appreciate the opportunity they gave me for six years to be a voice for progressive causes in our state and nation. I will miss all of my fun friends at work (my excellent producer Paul, remains employed!). I love all of you, my loyal listeners. It has been my honor to give a platform to all of the outstanding groups, volunteers, elected officials and good people who make Oregon so special.

Whether this means the cancellation of a local program, a new host (or hosts) for the local show, or if KPOJ is shifting away from progressive talk altogether, I don't know.

I do know that Carl's voice is one that will be missed. He had just the right mix of news and humor for a morning show.

UPDATE: Willamette Week reports that KPOJ is going all-sports.

UPDATE: It's confirmed. 620 KPOJ is now FOX Sports 620

More details to follow when I have 'em.

Comments

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    That link goes to Carl's FB page, K.

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    Clear Channel owns it. So it begins.

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    What a bummer, but not surprised. It was the same thing when Air America closed shop. Liberals/Progressives don't do talk radio http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-harden/the-death-of-air-america_b_433208.html

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        [email protected]

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      Just from a business standpoint it seems odd to have a 3rd (I think it's a 3rd and not a 4th or 5th) sports station in town.

      It seems like lazy thinking and will probably fail. Of course I'm probably not the best judge of such things. Before KPOJ was liberal radio it was 1950s style rock n roll, with lots of Little Richard. I thought it was great but I believe it did horribly in the ratings. Maybe these radio people know what they're doing, but I doubt it.

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    I was worried about this. You could tell that they weren't picking up new ads and running a lot of PSAs.

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    The funny thing is that most people who listen to sports on the radio already have their presets. In the back of their minds, they're not thinking of KPOJ as a sports station. CC must really have felt good about their experiment with OSU sports...though I'm pretty certain most of those listeners were talk listeners who just left the radio on.

    Internet radio/podcasting is the way to go, anyway. FCC is far less aggressive with whatever creative direction the hosts want to go with. Most of the Air America folks went on to do their own subscription based podcasts and such...if they didn't land on TV.

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      I love athleticism and sports, but KPOJ is dead to me. I remember listening to the same 3 Patsy Cline songs and national guard adds, for about 2 years. Then came progressive talk, and now this. Definitely a step down, from Patsy Cline as well.

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      Streaming is fine, but more of a work-around for someone who tuned to KPOJ on the shower radio! And no ethernet tap in the head! ;-)

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    The airwaves are already loaded down and overflowing with monotonous right wing garbage if the format is indeed changing those of us who are left of center are indeed poorer because of it

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    You will definitely be missed Carl...and so will the others I listened to daily.

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    For all of the folks who have enjoyed KPOJ, I count myself among them what is next? Now, will the freequent contributors of opinion on this site please acknowledge that Social Security is not safe. In addition, this country is not safe because its enemies are multi-national corporations and folks that more than one hundred years ago planned for the EU and the Fed.

    Please, Bill Ryan, shake off your stupor and get all of your friends to protect social security. Because Schrader and Obama will gut it. Mark my words.

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      Left wing paranoia is no more credible than right wing paranoia. Harry Reid just stated "we're not messing with Soc. Sec."

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        Didn't say a word about Medicare or Medicaid. Did you see the released memo from last summer? Obama was contemplating substantial current benefit cuts to both programs.

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    KBOO is the only progressive station in Portland. It has been there for over thiry-five years. It and Amy Goodman put BO to shame. Wake up blue folks. Give them some money.

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        I agree. High-minded, but boring.

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        Totally. Has anyone ever spit Mt. Dew out their nose while listening to Amy Goodman?

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        Have the preset button on NPR until there is a replacement for KPOJ.

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        I like a lot of what's on KBOO and usually found KPOJ kind of boring. De gustibus non disputandam. Of course on KBOO you get the conspiracy theorists too, and for every interesting Latin or African music show there's the Dutch music show. But really, KBOO is organically connected to a lot of progressive groups and brings the left side of progressives together in a particularly important way. The two forms of broadcast are different, just as KBOO's community radio public radio approach is different from OPB's. All have value. It's the reduction in variety that is most bothersome here, in a way.

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    Welp, from the looks of things, KPOJ's listenership will drop further. Ah, well. I've been doing the Podcasting thing for a while now, so I guess I'll go dig up a few more subscriptions.

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      Today I ordered a satellite radio and plan to listen to Sirius with most of the talk show hosts I like with the exception of Randi Rhodes and I can get her live on the computer.

      I am so sad. Feel like I lost my best friend.

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        Do they offer a shower radio? ;-) And do you have to hunt for the individual programs or are they all in one place so you can just listen and not have to fiddle?

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      Edit: (This was an awesome)... AM legend in San Francisco- went down early this year.

      Edit2: Anyone interested in setting up a micro FM station like this: http://www.libertyandjustice1640.com/schedule.html Let me know. I would like to look into it.

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    I listened (note the past tense) all day long. Every show was worth listening to. Now I listen via tunein to KPTK out of Seattle.

    If we can fight to save KPOJ then we should start organizing NOW. I have little doubt that Carl Wolfson will reappear on the air elsewhere, since he had listeners calling in daily from all over the world. Still, we cannot take this obvious rightist retaliation lying down. How do we fight back? Boycotting their sponsors isn't enough.

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      We might not be able to save KPOJ, but maybe we can convince the owners of AM 910 to pick up a progressive format. Right now they're just HD2 streaming KNRK. It's a long shot, but what do we have to lose?

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    Owning and running a radio station is an expensive proposition. Is it viable for someone like Carl Wolfson could do an online progressive talk radio and have possibly a subscription business model, focusing on the Portland, Willamette Valley audience? Daily Kos is doing an experiment in progressive talk radio online.

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    If sports talk is replacing political talk, then maybe it's time to look at new media to focus public attention on progressive issues and values.

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    I used to love listening to Thom Hartman (sp?). If you want progressive talk on the radio, the way to do it is the good old American way - raise the funds, buy time on a station, staff it with good hosts and sell ad time to pay for the programming.

    Given that they're switching to sports, I suspicion that the progressive talk wasn't making enough to pay the bills, or the management thinks that sports broadcasts will make more money than progressive talk.

    And as far as this being voter suppression, come on people. Not even close.

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      So why is it you think that there is so much conservative talk on the radio and so little liberal programming. There has to be a little industry bias don't you think? Given that the market seems to be pretty liberal in it's make up. Limbaugh and Beck are very talented and it makes sense for them to be on but guys like Levine and Savage can't be more lucrative than Rhodes or Schultz. In the end though someone I'm sure will see the value in serving this market right?

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        Businesses think they have to be republican... not all, but a LOT of them and that makes them more likely to advertise on conservative radio. However, remember that in the beginning of right wing radio (and Faux News TV, for that matter) they lost MOUNTAINS of money, but they had a lot of wealthy backers who saw the value of propaganda and wanted to control the message. Even now, do you seriously think it's actually profitable for conservative talk stations when some markets have 3 or 4 stations that ALL carry Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and all those creeps? Hell NO... but esp. in rural America many stations get their programming for almost nothing. Who do you think is paying for that?

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    Will the Progressive majority in Oregon organize an effort for Carl Wolfson and other Progressive voices to continue on a different radio channel?!

    It's my position that the big money of the far right and corporate interests obviously influenced the already conservative clear channel owners to take down a voice of reason and the modest counterweight to "fox noise," Lars Larson, etc. Does anyone else agree?

    I wonder if individuals & groups might be working on an appeal to wealthy and Progressive donors to encourage a consortium that will purchase a radio station? A radio station that will be the alternative in Oregon to the many right wing media entities?

    It seems that we need several fundraisers to make this happen as one way to begin a movement for Oregon Progressive Radio.

    Can we get this together, please?

    Sincerely,

    James Jacobson, Eugene (a labor union active member) I have been listening regularly in the Eugene-Springfield region up until Friday, Nov. 9.

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    I find it amazing that in a city the size of Portland, Oregon, that we have so many sports radio programs and now NO Progression talk radio. So sad. I don't know anyone listening to sports radio. This was a very uneducated move on the part of KPOJ. Boycott sponsors?

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    Can we all show-up at the new Clear Channel Diggs in Tigard and each of us formally request to view the station license and whatever files that an FCC license holder is required to make public?

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    Kari -- I've always enjoyed listening to you on KPOJ and sure think that the loss of Carl and progressive talk is a terrible thing! I tell people often that if they listened to KPOJ and progressive radio in general, the Dems would win every time! I look forward to having the progressive voice once again on the radio here in Portland! Yours, Caleb

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