Save KPOJ: Over 5000 petition signers, and counting.

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

The campaign to save KPOJ continues to build momentum.  

As of this morning, the petition is up to 5281 signers and the Save KPOJ Facebook page is up to 1781 fans. And that's just in the first 24 hours. That's some of the most aggressive growth I've ever seen on a start-from-scratch advocacy effort.

The Portland Mercury's Denis Theriault covered the Save KPOJ campaign:

But the gaping hole left by the changeover—expected as it might have been—was made all the more painful and glaring this morning when Wolfson's regular time slot came and went and all we had, instead, was another round of macho droning about mindless distractions. Wolfson's former listeners have begun rallying around the host, lamenting not just Wolfson's loss but also the idea that talk radio in this town is now officially the provenance of the likes of Victoria Taft, Lars Larson, and Rush Limbaugh. ...

I'm not sure how I feel about talk radio in general—true believers on the left are sometimes only a little bit better than the "ditto-heads" on the right when it comes to avoiding epistemic failures. But Wolfson's show was always better than that. I had the privilege of spending a slice of my Thursdays with Wolfson, talking about each week's Mercury, and was always impressed not only by how much he cared about national politics but also about what was happening here. That passion deserves a home somewhere.

And NPI's Andrew Villeneuve explains why this should matter to you, even if you were never a listener:

We hope Kari is successful in his efforts to begin a dialogue with Clear Channel. But we wish media conglomerates didn’t have this kind of power. When a group of executives sitting in a boardroom in Texas have the authority to choose what over-the-air programming is available to people in cities like Seattle and Portland, something is wrong. If it wasn’t for National Public Radio (NPR) and its affiliates, practically the entire medium of radio would be controlled by companies like Clear Channel, which care about money and power, not community or sustainability.

So, sign the petition at Save KPOJ, and then share it with your friends.

  • (Show?)

    The only way I see the current demise of progressive talk radio changing is to bring back "the fairness doctrine". The simply fact is that people like Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and sports talk radio bring in more money than progressive talk radio.

  • (Show?)

    For what it's worth, this libertarian regularly listened to Carl's KPOJ morning show. Not because I agreed with him (I usually didn't). But because he was entertaining and I gathered good intelligence about "the other side."

    I don't know what the KPOJ ratings were, but I would wager that Clear Channel wouldn't have changed the format if enough people listened to justify the level of ad revenues they needed.

    Coming just after an election that delighted progressives, I doubt the change had anything to do with a big evil corporation shutting down leftist talk. If anything, the election should have argued for keeping it on the air. It seems clear that the numbers simply didn't justify doing so.

    I can't wait for someone to suggest that we could bring Carl back if only we required everyone to listen to the station closest to their political persuasion. Just like public schools require most of us to send our kids to the nearest public school, this might generate huge ad revenues in Progressive Portland and guarantee Carl a radio home for life.

    This dang free choice thing seems to be working against progressives in this situation. Why didn't they all listen? What were they thinking?

    • (Show?)

      "I don't know what the KPOJ ratings were, but I would wager that Clear Channel wouldn't have changed the format if enough people listened to justify the level of ad revenues they needed." Thank you for helping to reveal the true motive GREED (Fox)! "Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici." By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe. from Faust

      • (Show?)

        "Greed"? Would you call it greedy if you, or any other BlueOregon reader, decided that they would change jobs because they were earning too little in their current position?

        Or is it greedy to ask for a raise you think you deserve?

        Should Clear Channel gladly lose money in order to provide programming that certain listeners prefer?

        • (Show?)

          The info that has come out about the ratings suggests that they were middle of the pack. The question of a political dimension to the motives could only be addressed with better knowledge of the profitability of Clear Channels several local media properties as well as the prospects for the Sports format. It is their ability to own so much that is the problem, in a way. Content is just generic for them.

        • (Show?)

          "Losing money" presupposes what the lawyers would call "facts not in evidence."

          There is an enormous amount of socially destructive corporate behavior against perfectly profitable and sustainable activity that is justified by seeking superprofits at the margins. That is greed.

          • (Show?)

            My sources indicate, quite plainly, that KPOJ was profitable.

            Of course, it's likely a business case could be (or was) made that sports talk would be even more profitable. Just as likely, however, is the possibility that a third sports station - and one without a tie-in to Blazers, Timbers, or Ducks - will simply dilute the sports talk audience further and get dismal ratings.

            • (Show?)

              Kari, I have no idea if KPOJ itself was profitable or not, and your sources likely don't know either.

              Remember, it is (was) part of a group of local stations that likely share overhead. The ad revenue it generated might have come from its programming alone, or more likely much of it came from the fact that advertisers buy package deals to advertise on all the local (or national) Clear Channel stations. Deconstructing how much of that revenue was really generated by the KPOJ political talk programming is hard to do for us outsiders.

              And, the fact that adding one more sports station in the local market might simply divide up the existing sports listener market further is likely not lost on Clear Channel. Perhaps it's a lower cost format and they still get that bundled advertising revenue that their group of stations general.

    • (Show?)

      Borderline trolling if ask me.

    • (Show?)

      I don't think news and information should be based on who is making the most money. Or who is getting the best ratings. It ought to be based on providing information that serves the public good.

      There are some things that shouldn't be based on "the market". This is one of them.

      • (Show?)

        Carla, if you don't decide what news and information is generated on commercial radio through the market, how do you decide? A public vote? If that were the case, every Portland station might only feature progressive talk and information. You might like that, but clearly the marketplace is telling us that even progressives are listening to other formats.

        I am surprised that with all the progressives in Portland KPOJ wasn't one of the top rated stations, but as Bill Post notes below apparently that was clearly not the case. That seems to argue that those who call themselves progressive aren't all that different from everyone one else when it comes to enjoying music, sports or other radio formats.

        • (Show?)


          As I pointed out above, radio is not a true market, since consumers pay nothing for their use.

          I used to occasionally listen to right-wingers like Lars Larson. Had I had to pay money to do so, I wouldn't have done it, because I have no desire to have my hard-earned cash go to someone who makes things up and presents them as fact. But it's good to keep tabs on what "the other side" is talking about.

          Perhaps it's just that liberals are too busy working, and don't have the free time available to sit around and listen to talk radio all of the time.

          • (Show?)

            Well, Michael, if liberals really are too busy working to sit around and listen to talk radio all the time, then Kari's petition to "save KPOJ" is doomed to failure.

            Personally, I hope he succeeds and the old format returns.

            • (Show?)

              Steve, can you comment about the substance of my comment? Radio is not a true market because it's not paid for directly by consumers.

        • (Show?)

          This infers that we don't have a model that curates public information and disseminates it. We do: National Public Radio. You personally might find it "progressive", but in fact many Americans consider NPR to be a balanced and informative way to get their news.

          In addition, the return of the Fairness Doctrine would ensure that when there are two sides, that both will be presented.

          It should be about the public good, not the market. People aren't required to listen--but the information is there and available so that if/when they choose to listen, they can.

          • (Show?)

            I agree that NPR might be a good model for what you're suggesting. And some former KPOJ listeners may now switch to NPR, OPB, etc.

            Bur those options already exist; so are you suggesting there should be more such partially publicly funded stations?

            Personally, I find those stations boring compared to Carl's show. Information is great, but it's helpful if the format is lively like Carl's (and like his conservative, libertarian and other progressive counterparts' shows).

            • (Show?)

              If this is really about talk radio (as opposed to a straight news & information format), then that's where the Fairness Doctrine is an even more important tool. This would require a balance of opinions and ideas, keeping the public good in mind.

              • (Show?)

                In exchange for use of the public airwaves, radio and television stations were required to provide public service programming.

                It's a shame that requirement seems to have fallen by the wayside.

                • (Show?)

                  It didn't "fall by the wayside" -- it was kicked under the bus by Reagan and the deregulation push. I think Clinton dealt the final blow.

    • (Show?)

      The problem, Steve, is that commercial radio is a 100% subsidized medium.

      Those who actually consume the product, the listeners, pay nothing for their consumption. Their continued enjoyment of use of the product is dependent on third parties paying for it.

      Commercial radio stations were given use of the public airwaves in exchange for a certain amount of public service. Most no longer provide much in the way of public service.

      It seems like a true "libertarian" would be demanding that commercial radio stations live up to their end of the bargain.

  • (Show?)

    KBOO has about 5,000 members with less than 10% of those voting in board elections. If the 5,000 people that signed the petition gave KBOO $40, they could take over the board, hire an ED to their liking, and shape KBOO to provide the content desired. Next board election is September 2013, but there generally are some open seats throughout the year, so you probably want to get started soon.

    Of course, right wing folks could do the same thing...

    • (Show?)

      KBOO is great. But we're talking about two entirely different things.

      For starters, KBOO is a nonprofit organization. I'm not overly familiar with the particulars of their structure, but I suspect that there are substantial limitations on what a c3 nonprofit can do in the political space - limitations that don't apply to commercial media.

      • (Show?)

        Kari, You certainly are correct that non-profits have to operate under more restrictions when it comes to politics. Not to say it isn't manageable. This is what happens when corporations are allowed to own near monopolies in a media market.

        KBOO is run by staff, who are hired by the board, which is elected by members. Programming, marketing, etc, etc can be changed at any point, so long as it fulfills the mission "charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes" Last election the top vote getter got 304 votes. There is no reason that if the board changed, its programming could not change. Just something to consider. Yes it really is that easy.

  • (Show?)

    Kari, thanks for doing this. A friend of mine put up a said comment on FaceBook about Thom Hartmann, and I was able to give her the petition link and the FB link & she was grateful to have some ability to try to do something collectively.

  • (Show?)

    When I heard the word Friday afternoon on the way home, I bought a Grace wifi radio. Just arrived and I immediately preset Revolution 800 AM. It's not quite KPOJ, but it fills the void.

  • (Show?)

    Aside from moral suasion, which cannot count for much at Clear Channel, is there any leverage here at all?

  • (Show?)

    Since NOT ONE person posting so far is actually in the radio industry, let me give you some info you don't have. Ratings:

    <h1>23 Portland, OR</h1>

    SUBSCRIBER ONLY-October '12 ARBITRON Monthly PPM 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid Population: 2,120,500 Black: 66,900 (3%) Hispanic: 244,200 (12%) Last updated: Oct 31, 2012 Station Format Owner May 12 Jun 12 Jul 12 Aug 12 Sep 12 Oct 12 KKCW-FM AC Clear Channel 8.2 7.1 7.5 7.7 9.1 8.3 KWJJ-FM Country Entercom 6.8 6.3 6.5 5.9 5.6 5.8 KOPB-FM N/T Oregon Public 4.4 5.0 5.7 5.7 5.4 5.3 KINK-FM AAA Alpha 4.9 5.3 5.1 4.6 5.3 5.2 KUPL-FM Country Alpha 5.0 4.9 5.4 5.5 4.9 5.2 KXL-FM N/T Alpha 3.3 3.8 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.8 KBFF-FM Hot AC Alpha 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.7 4.1 4.7 KKRZ-FM Top 40/M Clear Channel 5.6 6.0 6.3 5.0 4.6 4.7 KLTH-FM Classic Hits Clear Channel 5.3 5.8 4.5 5.7 5.4 4.4 KNRK-FM Alternative Entercom 4.8 4.5 3.7 3.6 4.4 4.1 KYCH-FM Adult Hits Entercom 3.9 3.7 3.7 3.4 3.9 4.1 KRSK-FM Hot AC Entercom 3.8 3.7 4.1 4.6 3.7 3.9 KXJM-FM Top 40/R Clear Channel 4.8 5.1 4.7 4.6 5.1 3.9 KGON-FM Classic Rock Entercom 4.7 5.3 5.0 4.6 3.7 3.7 KFIS-FM Christian Cont. Salem 2.7 2.5 2.8 3.2 3.2 3.6 KFBW-FM Classic Rock Clear Channel 3.9 3.5 3.7 4.2 4.0 3.4 KEX-AM Talk Clear Channel 3.8 3.9 4.0 3.4 2.7 3.3 KRYP-FM Regional Mexican Salem 2.8 2.6 2.9 3.0 2.7 2.5 KXTG-AM Sports Alpha 1.0 1.0 1.2 1.6 2.1 2.5 KQAC-FM Classical All Classical Public Media 2.5 1.9 1.7 1.9 1.8 1.8 KFXX-AM Sports Entercom 1.6 1.7 1.1 1.2 1.6 1.6 KUFO-AM Talk Alpha 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.2 1.3 1.3 KMHD-FM Jazz Mt Hood CC 1.5 1.3 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.1 KPOJ-AM Talk Clear Channel 0.9 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.8 1.0

    That's KPOJ DEAD LAST. So that is why the flip. Period. If you want to sign the petition, be my guest. It's about as stupid as the right winger's "secession" petition.

  • (Show?)

    Carla you know I really like you but that is a ridiculous statement! If NO ONE is listening then are you in fact producing anything worth listening to? Ratings are everything. They not only determine ad rates for revenue but they are the only gauge for a station owner/management to know if they are succeeding. Let me translate the numbers above: K103 the number 1 station in PDX with an 8.3 share, that translates to about 800,000 actual listeners. KPOJ with a 1.0 share translates to about 21,400 listeners. So WHO are they serving out of a population with potential for over 2,000,000 listeners? No one is listening. So get 100,000 signatures for all I care, it still doesn't translate to listeners because that 100k would need to be PDX listeners only and from what I've seen the vast majority of the petitioners are from out of state. Buy a station, there are at least 5 that I know of that are for sale and make a go of it!

BlueOregon Action

connect with blueoregon