One week in, the momentum behind the Save KPOJ campaign continues unabated.
The organic growth on the petition drive is unlike anything I've ever seen. It's one thing to push a petition with a giant email list; it's entirely another when the growth is almost entirely organic (other than an initial email push from me on the first day.) The petition continues to grow by more than 1000 signers a day - and as of Sunday evening, had cracked 13,000 signers. (Not signed yet? Save KPOJ here.)
Over the weekend, the Save KPOJ campaign was endorsed by Congressman Kurt Schrader, Senator Jeff Merkley, and Senator Ron Wyden -- which means that the entire Democratic congressional delegation has now joined the movement.
So far, the Oregonian's coverage has been relegated to the entertainment ("living") section. In the O, Kristi Turnquist noted that Clear Channel is refusing comment:
The release quoted Robert Dove, president and market manager of Clear Channel Portland: "Welcoming the Fox Sports Network will set the standard of excellence for sports programming in Portland and I know it will resonate well with our listeners."
Repeated calls to Clear Channel Portland for further information behind the change have not been returned. Portland already has two all-sports radio stations, 750 AM The Game, and 1080 AM The Fan.
Of course, there are substantial matters of policy at stake here. The Fairness Doctrine ain't likely to come back (as would likely be struck down by the Supreme Court), but as both Senators Wyden and Merkley noted in their statements, the airwaves are owned by the public - and according to their FCC licenses, radio broadcasters have a substantial requirement to provide public interest programming.
What makes this very interesting, as it relates to Oregon politics, is that former U.S. Senator Gordon Smith is the president of the National Association of Broadcasters - and Congressman Greg Walden is the Chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which has direct oversight of the radio broadcasting industry.