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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 6, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Seattle radio listeners want progressive talk radio

Petitions are not the solution

Carolyn Tamler and her small group of pals are bummed that progressive talk radio disappeared from the Seattle market [“Broadcasting a plea for progressive talk radio,” NWThursday, April 4]. Since it was dead last in the ratings when put out of its misery, it’s a wonder anyone noticed.

Radio is a business. Format aside and before anything, it must bring advertising dollars in the door by attracting and retaining the highest possible number of listeners. Otherwise, why bother?

Tamler’s rescue efforts show progressive cluelessness about business. That she went to government — City Council member Nick Licata — for help is troubling. Looking for a bailout or government mandate?

Rating service Arbitron lists Seattle-Tacoma as the country’s 13th largest radio market, with 3.5 million potential listeners. Dead-last numbers are head-and-shoulders above the measly 9,600 signatures Tamler ginned up on her online petition.

Seattle’s non-support isn’t unique. I live in the New York market with 15.8 million listeners and local left-leaning outlet WWRL doesn’t register on Arbitron’s grid.

Instead of politicians and petitions, Tamler and her “few like-minded listeners” — are “small” and “few” clues? — should pound the pavement to sell advertising. If a market exists for progressive talk radio, advertisers will respond. If it doesn’t exist, they won’t be interested.

Scott St. Clair, Clifton, N.J.

Progressive talk radio provided unique coverage

I am writing with regard to Carolyn Tamler’s plea to bring back progressive talk radio to Seattle [“Broadcasting a plea for progressive talk radio,” NWThursday, April 4]. I feel exactly the same way and dearly miss AM 1090’s progressive-talk radio. It was the best source for detailed news about politics and related stories, which are often not covered by the mainstream press.

The hosts would explain what is happening in the District of Columbia and other parts of the country and world. They would often present the behind-the-scenes events that were often the real story of what was printed by the mainstream press.

It is unfair to compare the “success” of conservative talk shows with progressive talk shows when so much more funding and promotion is placed behind the conservative stations and when most cities don’t even have a chance to listen to a progressive station.

I sure hope a local station heeds this plea and brings back the AM 1090 line up to Seattle.

Elizabeth Walter, Seattle

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