It was no surprise last week when GreenStone Media announced the end of its all women, all whining, all the time radio network. In the year since its inception, GreenStone only had 11 stations that carried its programming. The mainstream media was positively orgasmic when GreenStone launched in late 2006. The network was backed by investors like Gloria Steinem, Rosie O’Donnell, Billie Jean King and Jane Fonda who all ponied up $3.1 million. Carrie Lukas of Independent Women’s Forum wrote, “To thunderous acclaim from the liberal intelligentsia, a team of feminist icons -- including Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda -- last year launched a women-run radio network. The mainstream media dutifully parroted press releases describing the launch as a ‘breakthrough’ for women in the male-dominated world of talk radio.”
The media insisted that GreenStone was finally giving women a voice and the content they’ve been craving. Women already control content on TV, magazines and books, so I suppose it’s only natural that they try to fit talk radio in their overstuffed handbag. The notion that women don’t have a voice in today’s media is totally bizarre. I can’t even watch a NFL game without seeing a feature story about a linebacker that reads Goodnight, Moon to preschoolers in his spare time. Yet, the media went on and on about GreenStone breaking the barrier of talk radio and bringing a new concept to talk radio.
Todd Fisher, who helped launch a small women’s station in Minneapolis, told The Houston Chronicle, “Going in, we knew the girlfriend approach, the communicating in a very real and honest way, was how we were going to gain traction.” Like many women, I’m not looking for a bosom buddy, I’m looking for entertainment to pass the time during a commute. Fisher smartly cautioned GreenStone that they should focus on content, not on advocating an agenda that would fragment their listeners. And they say men are bad listeners. GreenStone quickly fell into the predictable pattern of celebrity over substance, turning to men like Ralph Nader and Alec Baldwin to rescue them. As Air America did before them, GreenStone quickly fell into a caricature of itself.
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