Radio GaGa

Radio stations switch format in the middle of the night, with no advanced warning. I flipped on 910 AM at about 8 last night to hear some Phil Hendrie. What I got was, apparently, a casualty to a brand new innovation in corporate consolidated music radio programming, as another station becomes something else, and this station becomes the old station:

Entercom Market Manager, Jack Hutchison, said in a release, “Charlie is a brand new approach to free radio today,” which the station says “will borrow a page from the random music approach so many people enjoy with their iPods and MP3 players today. This format has taken the country by storm and promises to be equally as exciting and fast-hitting in Portland.”

KKSN GM Erin Hubert added, “It’s not predictable and it’s not meant to be predictable.”

KKSN’s oldies programming will return to its original position at 910 on the AM dial, replacing KOTK (Max 910), Talk Radio for Guys.

The soullessness of Radio programming continues unabetted, as we introduce a new format called “Random Voodoo.”

As for Portland radio… Rick Emerson is gone. Clyde Lewis is gone. Phil Hendrie is gone. If you want to stretch a bit, Imus is gone. (Also some material I have no interest in hearing ever, such as, say, Tom Leykis.)

The silver lining being that the annoying “Talk Radio for Guys” promotional positioning — replete with all that comes with such a concept — that came when Entercom bought the corporation that previously owned the stationed (then at 1080 AM) is gone, too. (That having been the first warning sign of disaster looming.)

What you’re left with on the AM dial in terms of talk radio is a handful of Right-wing talk stations and one liberal talk station.

620 AM, KPOJ “Portland’s Progressive Talk Station” I suppose will end up continuing whether Air America ultimately fades away (the author of “South Park Conservatives” had an editorial published in the Oregonian yesterday that it would fail yet, and the network is not quite out of the woods), it being the most successful “Air America affiliate” and hence “liberal talk station” in the nation… picking up what liberal talk stations there are in this nation. (Maybe I could get Lionel back.) The station recently introduced a local show… though, a transplanted local show to be sure, in the name of Thom Hartmann… the transplanting coming across as a little strange. (The commercials for the new timeslot to “The Morning Sedition” coming across as rather odd — ‘Intention Mark and Marc fans! Now you get to hear The Morning Sedition LIVE!” (at 3:00 in the morning, which for a show that does few call-in segments sort of means there’s no advantage to a live show, and a big disadvantage in being on at 3 instead of 6.)

What do I make of Portland radio now? Well, there’s one fewer good one to mix and match from a tiny supply of stations that one mixes and matches with.

From 9 to noon, it’s … Al Franken? If I must. Weekends at 10 pm it’s… Art Bell? If I must.

Thank you, radio Gods. Now go to Hell, Entercom. You may have bettered the alternative rock station in Portland, but that just means you’ve one feather in your cap and two socks full of poopoo. (Three if you count learning about “Charlie”.)

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