Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Does Local Talk Radio Speak For You?

What do you think of local AM radio? Is there a "hometown" host you listen to? Is there a philosophical spin to the type of talk you prefer? How important is it that listeners can call in? Do facts really matter?

According to published program schedules, with few exceptions*, the central coast has four or fewer hours each weekday anchored by informative, local listener call-in talk show programming. Total: little more than 20 afternoon hours a week.

The Central Coast of California has no local, call-in talk shows scheduled before noon. The out-of-town, big name, nationally syndicated programs are the morning rule on central coast AM radio. Does this really serve your public interest on the public (FCC regulated) airwaves?

Today's talk shows consist of a personality relating his/her own conservative or liberal philosophy. They may or may not take calls. You already know which is more often heard on local radio. Our stations in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria cannot seem to find a way to have a local talk show host for more than four afternoon hours a day.

Santa Barbara has even less--one weekday hour a day--on 1490AM KIST, "The Nick and Paul Show." Ventura county has it four times better with a four-hour local morning show on 1520AM, KVTA.

*Ed note: San Luis Obispo has it better than most--but in the afternoon. While Dave Congalton is on 920AM KVEC from 3 to 7pm, Bill Benica is talking on 1340AM KYNS from 3 till 5pm.

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