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How corporate control kills media democracy

Posted by schroeder915 on November 10, 2006

If Entercom management was so concerned about making more room in its schedule to rebroadcast its local content, it could have started by killing that sack of hot air, Rush Limbaugh, who they broadcast in the middle of the day on WWL 870 AM, and simultaneously on 105.3 FM. Instead, Entercom management just dumped the entire progressive Air America Radio format on WSMB 1350 AM.

Now there are three stations broadcasting the same content.

That’s three of the six stations in New Orleans owned by Pennsylvania-based Entercom management. If Entercom were so interested in New Orleans affairs, why not just give a neighborhood organization programming control of one of those stations. Neighborhood activists fighting to rebuild this city sure as hell know more than WWL hosts about what’s going on here.

I still haven’t received a reply from Entercom management why the decision was made to kill Air America Radio, and how that decision really serves the community.

An AAR employee who answered the phone said that Entercom management called Air America just yesterday to say that they were dropping the format. I find that interesting, since Air America content was killed just after it was clear that the Democrats won the Congress.

Is this how our democracy is supposed to work? Silence the critics when they start making sense to the electorate, and start winning elections?

This is a perfect example, right in our own backyard, of how corporate money can kill media democracy.

We need less corporate control of the means of communication. Our democracy suffers when corporate interests decide how citizens should think.

Let’s reclaim our airwaves.

Tell Entercom and WWL that they should either dump Rush Limbaugh, or restore Air America Radio (or do both!). If they want more room for their local content on WWL, they should find the time on WWL, and on the WWL Web site, not on other radio stations.

If Entercom so values local content on its stations in New Orleans, when admittedly, New Orleans residents need more information to rebuild their lives, homes, and neighborhoods, then Entercom should broadcast more original news and interviews on its other stations, not simply re-broadcast the same content over and over again.

WWL: Ask for Todd Manessas, 593-6376 (leave a message if he doesn’t answer)

Entercom: 866-490-3153

The Times-Picayune:


Whoring for WWL


9 Responses to “How corporate control kills media democracy”

  1. f p said

    You guys might need to be tested if Halliburton has done any work here

    Check out the waste here

  2. Something is wrong with the media in general these days. Freedom of the press is more important than ever, but the press is beholden to their advertisers. Since advertisers don’t appreciate bad news or negative reports about their “customers” they don’t report news accurately or in totality. When I lived in New Orleans in the late 90s, I knew that things involving police happened yet were rarely in the news. Same thing happens here in Easton where I now live – there have been at least 5 car break-ins/robberies yet not one has been reported in the paper. People in our well-to-do part of town don’t like to hear about bad news. It’s a NIMBY problem. “Sure, car robberies and break-ins take place on the south side of town, but they don’t happen here. We are law-abiding citizens. And we pay for advertising space. If you do report what is happening, we won’t pay you to advertise for us anymore.” The fact is the news is more important than money, but they are intertwined in today’s society. That is a conflict of interest in my opinion. But I don’t have a solution.
    Also, WWL has not been a community station, really, since 1988. Davit Tyree did a good job keeping conversations going about local issues, but when he died WWL became the mouthpiece of white suburbanites and Saints fans (as long as Buddy D was on). Guess why. White suburbanites in New Orleans have deep enough pockets to buy advertising. The programming is based on money, not local interest. As long as Entercom thinks (based on advertising) that white dixiecrats are listening, then that’s what you are going to hear no matter what you think, want or need.
    However, during Katrina, when I was evacuating and stuck in Jackson, MS, WWL was doing a great job. I remember when I heard about the water rising on Poydras while I was driving around trying to get some kind of cell reception to call my wife. They were leaning out of the broken windows and talking about water levels on cars. But I guess those days are gone. Keep fighting the good fight, my man.

  3. f p said

    that first link was not working:

    here it is:

  4. gothgate said

    well, that’s it for me with wwl radio. i listened nearly all day every day (xcept for limpbawl) since katrina. but lately spud’s not sounded like someone who really is concerned for new orleans, but a conservative mouthpiece, xenophobe, and definitely not for the little guy. and garland’s gone from the voice of the storm to sounding like your dottering old grandfather. he needs to go sit on the recliner and shut up. everytime he says “well i’m just a guy with a high school education who doesn’t know anything” i think, boy howdy are you right!

    so now that they’ve bailed on AAR, which i listened to for franken and whenever it was sports day or spud & garland p’d me off, i have no reason to support wwl again.

  5. f p said

    Check out this Wired magazine article about clear channel,1367,54036,00.html

    “Over the past three years, Clear Channel programmers sacked San Diego disc jockeys and replaced them with voices from out of town, hoodwinked listeners by airing national contests as if they were local, and rolled out cookie-cutter radio formats designed elsewhere. Meanwhile, the company sweet-talked Mexican station owners across the border and tore through legal loopholes in order to build its mini-empire.

    Clear Channel’s stations now reach more than 40 percent of all radio listeners in the San Diego area, and its ratings are strong, suggesting that few people care about its tactics. But critics say there are plenty of chinks in the company’s armor that could allow competitors to take down this Goliath both here and across the country.

    “I don’t think these stations are connecting with listeners like they used to,” said Tracy Johnson, general manager of rock station KFMB-FM. “They’re sterile and lack creativity. There’s a sparkle that’s missing.”

    If that’s true, it may be because Clear Channel’s inner fire has been directed toward buying everything in sight. The company barely existed five years ago, but blazed onto the broadcasting scene by snapping up radio stations after Congress abandoned ownership rules. …”

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  7. F P said

    Kill democracy, we have the conservative owned media and the cato intitute to do that.And It used to be that a grassroots organization was trully grassroots. Because even more nefarious than a documenary docuganda with a perspecive is a wolf is at your door pretending to be a sheepYou should not dismiss someone’s point of view simply as a “bias”; because they have a different perspective, It may be part of the whole truth and a chance to learn something new. It is when there is a greedy agenda involved when things really start gettiing bad. Liberals might have “docugandas”, kids have nursery rhymes and esops fables; but some really bad folks out there have Astroturf. Astroturf techniques have been used to:block the transfer of federal licenses that WorldCom uses for its long distance and Internet services by Issue Dynamics Inc. using non-profit groups like the United Church of Christ defeat the Clinton administration’s proposed health care reform, through a front group called “Rx Partners” created by the Beckel Cowan PR firm, and the Coalition for Health Insurance Choices, created by public relations consultant Blair Childsharass environmentalists through the Wise Use movementloosen automobile fuel efficience standardssupport clear-cutting American forests, through a front group called Citizens to Protect the Pacific Northwest and Northern California Economyoppose restrictions on smoking in public places, through a front group called National Smokers Alliance, which was created by Burson-Marstellergenerate a dossier of newsclips orchestrated by Edelman to assist Microsoft lobbyists persuade U.S. state attorney generals not to join a class action against the company.Encourage people to buy Coke

  8. F P said

    Yes one of the best ways to help Air America and get it more exposure is to subscribe to its free podcasts:

  9. F P said

    here is some more great podcasts, I am going to keep emailing them and linking them to stuff about New Orleans, the gulf coast, and the wetlands too. Check em out:

    The Progressive Podcast Network is a group of independent and non-commercial grassroots podcasters. We are unregulated, forward-thinking, international, visionary and passionate. We support free speech, dissent, human rights, human dignity, eradication of war and poverty, fairness, truth and justice. We hope our podcasts will help positively change the world.

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