Please read Thom Hartmann’s article, The Battle Hymn of the New Liberal Media: A Good Business Plan. It talks about how right-wingers came to completely dominate radio. It’s not how you think.
“Christian broadcasters have known this equation for decades. Many radio stations will sell ‘block time’ – entire hours – for a bit less than they’d normally get if they had just sold all the ads on an existing show. The purchaser gets not only all the commercial minutes, but the entire hour to do whatever they want with. Christian broadcasters use that hour to evangelize and beg for money, and if they get more cash from their donors than the hour cost, they keep their show on the air on that station and grow to the next.
One step down are light sponsorships – where advertisers (often Bible publishers) buy one or a few ‘seed’ ads on a local station, so as soon as the program starts on the station, management knows its downside is limited.
Talk radio has a similar past – and present.
Well-funded syndicates get together and buy block time, put a conservative host on the air, and then find sponsors to pay for it. If the income from the sponsors exceeds the cost of buying the block time, they make a healthy profit. If not, the message still gets spread, Republicans get elected, and the interests of the investors are furthered. “
Richard just IM’d me: “Block time on radio, block book purchases, block form letters from soldiers in Iraq — it is ALL astroturf.” (I stole a line from my own guest blogger!)