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Air America Idiot Update

Yeah, I’m late, but screw you, I was on vaycay.
Anyhoo, the numbers are in:

The NYC Arbitron Abbattior 10/17/05:

WABC (Rush, Hannity): 3.6; 8th overall
WOR (O’Reilly, Savage): 2.1; 20th overall
WLIB (Air Idiot): 1.2; 24th overall

All in all, same old same old. WABC improved from the previous trend’s 3.2; considering all the Supreme Court crap and such going on, whoopie-freakie-doo. O’Reilly and the WOR crew swapped a .2 with Air Idiot, which still can’t manage to lock up the solid 1.3 WLIB drew when it was a Caribbean niche station.

But, in news announced today, I think I see Air Idiot about to get their head finally handed to them in NYC, and possibly other markets, within six or so months:

Infinity Broadcasting, one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States, today launched FREE FM, a bold new FM format, on Infinity stations in four of the top five and seven of the top 10 U.S. radio markets, as part of its Howard Stern replacement strategy. Infinity currently broadcasts Stern’s program on 27 of its stations across the country. His last live broadcast will be on Friday, December 16.

At the same time, David Lee Roth, the original frontman for the legendary rock band Van Halen, and comedic radio and television personality Adam Carolla have been named as morning drive hosts in New York (WXRK-FM) (weekdays, 6:00-10:00AM, ET) and Los Angeles (KLSX-FM) (weekdays, 6:00-10:00AM, PT), respectively, beginning on Tuesday, January 3, 2006.


Penn Jillette, one-half of the entertainment duo Penn & Teller, has also been named as host of a unique one-hour live radio program that will be featured on stations in New York (WXRK-FM)….

Read the whole press release here.

I’ve always worked under the conviction that the shabby numbers Air Idiot drew in the NYC market consisted mostly of people who never, ever, would tune into WABC or WOR, period. They had a visceral repulsion to right wing talk and were looking for something, anything, that wasn’t as “put your ass to sleep” boring as WNYC’s NPR programming.

Now, with K-Rock launching this “Free FM” shit–which, except for a two week window during which Diamond Dave and Penn Gillette will be allowed to convince me they’re worth my time–means I will never bother with that station again (because they gave up on rock and roll, so now I’m screwed), Air Idiot has a directly competitive station that I believe is specifically setting up their programming angle to draw listeners from that base Air Idiot’s been sitting on here in NYC.

But they won’t be moonbat about it. They’ll offer an entertainment value that Air Idiot, despite hiring these so-called “comedians” they have filling their airwaves, never acheived, and will find impossible to compete with. So K-Rock, desperate to stanch the loss of Stern listeners, will siphon off a chunk of the roughly 300K tune-ins Air Idiot currently counts on in NYC.

Which, if that scenario plays out, means they are fucking dead. Clear Channel will follow Infinity’s lead and rejigger the stations they turned to “progressive talk” to mimic the format if these assholes cannot keep hold of that NYC base.

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