WWRL 1600 AM is a radio station in New York City that was dominated by liberal talking points. Now, it’s turning into a Spanish-language music and talk station.
“Next week, when WWRL 1600 AM flips its format from progressive talk to Spanish-language music and talk, New York will have no left-leaning commercial talk station for the first time in decades — an ironic development just as an unabashedly liberal mayor and City Council are set to take office.”
Political anchor Errol Louis lamented the news in an editorial called “What Killed the Liberal Radio Star?” for Thursday’s NY Daily News:
“Sad to say, the steady elimination of progressive radio from the airwaves is part of a nationwide crisis facing commercial radio.”
Louis cites the deregulation of the airwaves, which allowed conglomerates like Clear Channel (owned in part by Bain Capital) to buy up hundreds of stations and the hard economics of persuading businesses to advertise on local radio as part of the blame for disappearing liberal radio. He also points to a shift from the airwaves to the mainstream. For instance, Rachel Maddow, Ed Shultz and Al Sharpton, all who previously catered to listeners on radio talk shows, now cater to viewers on their own cable TV programs. Those don’t seem to be doing too well either, however, suggesting maybe it’s not just the liberal talk base that’s shrinking.