On weekdays at noon I usually turn on the radio. MPBN has news and then some informative show or other. Yesterday I listened to Maine Watch as the host and guests spoke intelligently and with humor about the proposed state budget. The host and one of the guests even recused themselves from discussing the proposed MPBN funding cut. Informative, ethical, interesting. Next was the BBC and their live call in show. Yesterday it was about Obama’s Middle East speech and Netanyahu’s response to it. The call in guests were mostly political bloggers, so not your run of the mill “man on the street” type callers, but interesting none the less.
So for contrast I switched to WVOM, the local right-wing talk radio, and listened to Rush for about ½ hour. Or rather I listed to Rush and some airhead caller for about 2 minutes, it was his “Open Lines Friday”. He then played another couple of minutes of sound bites from Netanyahu. And the rest of the time??? Advertisements. For gold, for hearing aids, etc etc. And music. Lots of loud music. As the saying goes “Where’s the beef?” Next was Fox News for five minutes. Another 5 minutes of advertising and then Howie Carr. He spent the next 15 minutes doing promotions for personal appearances he will be making this weekend (and by making I mean $$$ making). Just as I had to turn off the radio and go to work he had started Obama bashing mostly reiterating the lame points Rush had been making.
So what’s my point? If all “talk” radio were commercial (if LePage gets his wish) we would get 2-5 minutes of content for every 15 minutes of advertising. I will admit I didn’t have my stopwatch out and all times elapsed are estimates. Maybe next time I will do a more “scientific” study. But I think you see what I mean. Very little meat to the average talk radio format whose only motive is profit.