Dec 27, 2006

Help WJR become the Great Voice of the entire Great Lake State again

As I was driving in my car this morning trying to listen to the Stephanie Miller show on 1290 AM out of Ann Arbor, it quickly became obvious it was going to be one of those days when the atmospheric conditions would not allow me to actually understand what was actually being said. That, of course, got going on one of my biggest pet peeves: why is WJR such a rightwing radio station in a sea of blue?

Didn’t they get the results of the last election, or the results of the past four presidential elections? This is a state that's solidly in the Democratic ledger, but the programming is so far to the right its ridiculous.

Just recently they added another conservative talk show host - some guy named Mark Lewis - to go along with their all-conservative line-up of rush windbag, sean hanity, “Dr” laura. matt drudge and frank beckman. Where is the balance? Detroit is one of the most liberal cities in America, yet there is not one non-conservative show, with the exception of Mitch Albom, and that’s primarily a sports and entertainment show. Michigan has chosen the Democratic presidential candidate for the past four elections, yet there is no progressive voice on the most powerful radio station in the state. Why? Liberals and progressives are the majority in this state, especially southeast Michigan, so why are they catering to the minority? There are some excellent liberal and progressive hosts out there, such as Al Franken, Ed Schultz, Thomm Hartmann, Stephanie Miller or anyone from Air America.

I contacted WJR recently about the lack of balance, and I was told Mitch Albom was the balance. Albom is a journalist; first, then he’s primarily a sports journalist. When Sean Hannity interviews the new Lions coach then I will buy into that. If WJR is not interested in making money, then maybe hearing from all of us progressives in southeast Michigan will help change their minds.

I am urging everyone to contact WJR by any means possible and ask them for just a little balance. Ask them to live up to the title of the “Great Voice of the Great Lakes” instead of the conservative voice of the minority.

You can call them at (313) 875-4440 or toll free at (800) 859-0957; email them via their web site at or even snail mail at
News/Talk 760 WJR
3011 West Grand Blvd.
Suite 800
Detroit, MI 48202
General Information: (313) 875-4440


Lights Out said...

Um... Al Franken. Comedien. Not a terribly funny one, at that. Doing political talk.

Mitch Albom. Sports columnist (actually darn good when he was just doing that). Now doing political stuff as well.

Your analogy regarding Albom as inferior balance sort of falls flat if you suggest that Al Franken is one of several viable alternatives.

For that matter, Rush Limbaugh is just a radio guy. Not some all-wise political brain. He's a college dropout. He's funny and reasonably smart, but not exactly rocket science logic all the time. I suspect Sean Hannity is similar.

You'd think it wouldn't be hard to trump a college dropout making jokes about politics on the radio. Yet... Air America is going broke... again. Even with ALL of that outstanding line-up of talent that you suggest WJR should grab up.

I'd be inclined to call and ask them what the deal is, but I suspect that I can look myself in the mirror and say: "It's a business decision."

Communications guru said...

Here's the bottom line that prefaces your entire post: There is simply no balance on a radio station in a perennial blue state located in one of the most liberal cites in America. I would listen to WJR again if they had any progressive show, and the station would stay on for the rightwing show that would be sure to follow. Now, it’s not even in my presets anymore.

Yes, Al Franken is a comedian, and a very funny one at that. You should listen. I like politics and I like to laugh, and I get both on his show, Unfortunately, if you tune in now you won’t hear him because he’s in Iraq on his annul USO tour.

Mitch Albom doing political stuff? Get real. I never said Albom was inferior. He is simply not a political commentator. He would be a great entertaining break from all the political hosts, both conservative and progressive.

I agree with you that rush Limbaugh is an idiot, but the bushies think enough of him to make him a consultant in their reelection campaign. Rush limbaug funny? Please, you cannot be serious.

Al Franken is beating limbaugh's ratings in many markets, and so is Ed Schultz, who unfortunately, is competing with Franken for progressive listeners.

Air America is a start up company, and most start up companies have problems. Is there a conservative radio network, other than Clear Channel and WJR?

I guarantee if you call WJR they will tell you it’s “a business decision,” but it’s simply not true. You cannot honesty tell me that if more than half of the people in their listening area are Democrats or liberals they will not gain more listeners if they sandwich a progressive host among all of those right-wing shows.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Guru:

Here's a radical idea. Perhaps you should buy a radio with a few knobs so that you can CHANGE THE CHANNEL!


Communications guru said...

Thanks for the great advice, who-ever-you-are. Apparently, you can’t read very well. I don’t listen to WJR. I used to listen to the station ever since I was a kid when it really was the Great Voice of the Great lakes, and I would love to listen again when it had programming for the entire population, not just the wingnuts.

So much for that “liberal media” myth, Who-ever-you-are.

P.S. In case you didn't notice, your caps lock button must be stuck.

Anonymous said...

OK, let me explain how this works. I know that the liberals - excuse me, "progressives" - want the government to run everything, but WJR is a business. Their goal is to make money. Period.

If they feel the Limbaugh, Hannity, Liberal Albom, Beckmann lineup will make them money, that's the lineup they'll use. If they feel they can make more money by putting other people on the air, that's what they'll do.

They're under no obligation to balance their talk-show lineup, no more than Air America - if it's still in business - is obligated to put Rush Limbaugh on the air.

Communications guru said...

Thanks for the “explanation, who-ever-you-are, but you are wrong. OK, let me explain how this works. This is not about business, and there is no way it can be. You’re shutting out the majority, the majority, of the population of the state for some unknown reason. It’s not even local anymore. This is a blue state – thank God – in one of the most liberal cities in America. Explain to me how catering to the small, middle-aged minority is good business. In fact, WJR is not even a local radio station anymore. All but Mitch Albom and frank beckman are syndicated shows. There are some good local liberal hosts, like Nancy Skinner and Tony Trupiano. Let them balance the rightwing local guy Beckman.

You are also wrong about balance. The airwaves do not belong to WJR, they belong to the people. They are paying nothing for them. They should provide programming for everyone, not just the small minority like you, and that’s what the Fairness Doctrine says. Or used to say.

I listen to Air America everyday on my computer, and on occasion in my car on AM 1290. You should listen too if you want to be informed and entertained. They only carry syndicated Air America programs at certain hours of the day, just like WJR can. The difference between WJR and 1290, beside WJR can he heard all over the state, is 1290 caters to its audience WJR does not.

“Liberal” Albom? What makes him a liberal? Is it because he’s not a rightwing hatemonger like the rest of the wingnuts on WJR?

liberals Hate America said...

Guru, Put the Egg Nog down. WJR is on the air for the sole reason to make money, as is any other business. It could care less if we are a blue state. It seems to make money with its current line up and as such will continue to do what is best to help its bottom line. If 1290 has such a stellar line up and we are truly a Blue state then it will not take long for them to surpass WJR and WJR will fall to the likes of Air America.

Perhaps this is why WJR does not want to be a part of Liberal talk radio. The ratings have not been kind to Air America's flagship station, WLIB in New York. In spring 2004, when WLIB broadcast a mixture of Caribbean music and talk, it won a 1.3 percent share of the New York audience. In summer 2004, after the much-advertised switch to Air America, WLIB's share rose to 1.4 percent. Then it fell to 1.2 percent in fall 2004, and stayed at that figure in winter 2005. Spring 2005, which ended on June 30, has seen its rating fall further to 1.0 percent — significantly below spring 2004.
The Caribbean station had more listeners in Blue New York than your much-touted Air America. Now I wonder why WJR passed on Air America.

Then look at the Gloria Wise Air America scandal.

In July 2005, the Bronx News reported Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club of Co-op City loaned $480,000 to Progress Media, then owner of Air America Radio. The Gloria Wise group claims to be a non-profit organization providing services for children and seniors in the Bronx. The amount was later determined to actually be $875,000. As the organization received substantial funding from the City of New York at that time, the legality of the transfer is under criminal investigation by NY State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.[1] The city has suspended further funding of the agency, and Boys and Girls Clubs of America has revoked the group's right to use their name, likeness or logo. At the time the funds were alleged to have been transferred, Evan Cohen, former chairman of the now-defunct Progress Media, was also Director of Development for Gloria Wise. [2]
In response to this report, Air America Radio's current owners, Piquant LLC, issued a press release stating that the alleged "mismanagement and corruption at Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club" was "absolutely disgraceful." In addition, the press release stated that although Piquant had "no obligation to Progress Media's business activities", Piquant had "agreed months ago to fully compensate the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club as a result of this transaction". Furthermore, in an Air America radio monologue on August 8, 2005, Al Franken stated, "...Rob Glaser, the new guy, who is the head of this new company Piquant, said OK, we don't legally have to pay it back, because we're a different company I guess, but we morally do, so they start making arrangements to pay it back." However, Piquant's press release and Franken's paraphrasing of Rob Glaser appear at odds with a settlement agreement between Piquant LLC, Evan Cohen, and Rex Sorensen. [3] This agreement includes details of the transfer of Air America Radio assets and specific liabilities from Progress Media to Piquant including the funds owed by Progress Media to Gloria Wise. No details surrounding the terms of the loan, or the repayment thereof, are included in the settlement agreement.

Al Franken your hero said “ Rob Glaser the new guy, who is the head of this new company Piquant, said OK, we don't legally have to pay it back, because we're a different company I guess, but we morally do, so they start making arrangements to pay it back."
How kind of Franken to repay the money to the kids. This is typical Liberal Hypocrisy.

Communications guru said...

Put the eggnog down? I don’t drink, and it wasn’t me who wrote this long, long incoherent rant, hate America.

I understand WJR is there to make money, but they are doing it using the free airwaves that belong to the people. Newspapers have to pay fore the ink, paper and the delivery system. Why do radio stations get off free? Because they get to use them for free, so they have an obligation to be fair. That means they have a basic responsibility to provide some fairness and balance. The simple fact is they would make more money if they did that. The majority of people in this state and in metro Detroit are Democrats. Granted, they tend to want to get both sides of the story instead of having rush limpbag give them the lies and propaganda the right wants to hear, but liberals and open-minded people are beginning to listen to talk radio. WLBY 1290 only broadcasts on 500 watts and a paltry 26 watts at night. WJR has something like 1,500 watts. They obviously reach a bigger audience and as such have higher ratings.

I don’t know where you got those ratings you throw around, but with your track record you can certainly cast doubt on them. I went to radio records, an industry web site at, and Air America is not even on WLIB. It’s on WWRL, and it got a .08 rating. There are also 39 other radio stations for New Yorkers to choose from, so .08 is quite a few people. The top rated talk station in NY, WABC, got 3.5. However, it doesn’t have an all hatemonger lineup like WJR. Granted, it’s primarily hatemongers like sean haity or rush blowhard, but the morning show – often the most coveted spot – features a liberal and the founder of the Guardian Angels. Air America is on more than 100 stations across the country, and it’s the top in many markets. Computers are also helping them, and Air America Radio's main streams are ranked in the top ten of all web-streaming services, not counting the streams of individual affiliates. Also, Air America is a syndication service. Many stations only buy one or two shows. Talk radio is a medium progressives have for the most part ignored until recently, but since getting into it, they have done OK. It took years for a windbag like rush and other hatemongers to get established, but it’s only taken a few years for liberal talk to take hold. Did you see the results of the last national election, hate America, liberal talk radio did pretty well.

Funny, they call it the Gloria Wise controversy, but you call it the Gloria Wise scandal. So what? Air America was not only a start up company where many such new business ventures fail within a year, but it was an entirely new concept. There were a lot of investors and people involved with no radio background. Air America had nothing to do with the one investor. It has found a new buyer, and it’s going strong. Sorry hate America.

Al Franken, who is in Iraq right now on his fourth USO tour, is my hero. Where’s rush and haitioty? Franken had nothing to do with the investment or the loan. The article that you supplied even said so, yet you’re going off on an attack on Franken? You’re an idiot. If you’re going to make an attack, don’t supply the facts to dispute it. Yea, that’s real hypocrisy: paying something back when they are not obligated to do so. We know a conservative would never do that.

Lights Out said...


A few posts down from this one, you argue it is wrong for an aggrieved group to lobby a public school district and have the classroom assignments changed from that which offends their moral values. In that instance, the people complaining are being FORCED to pay for the alleged offense, yet you take offense at their actions and their success. And in that instance, it was about teaching MINORS.

In this case, the allegedly offending party is a private company, broadcasting mostly to adults, where you are not paying the bills, and you see no problem gearing up a public outrage to get the content changed.

Public airwaves? Uh, yeah. There's quite a few of those to choose from, and that's before we get to the nearly limitless choice of PRIVATE airwaves.

So here's the deal: I wish you well with your crusade. If you can get WJR to decide that your version of marketable radio is the better choice, then more power to you. Unlike you, I won't go blogging about censorship or an end to freedom because a small, narrow-minded group of statists wants WJR to stop broadcasting loudmouth conservatives. And in any case, the people you hate listening to will just pop up on other stations and steal WJR's advertising dollars away.

But right now, by your own standard, you're even more of a goose-stepping censor than the people that you criticize. You're brow-beating a PRIVATE company, and you are LOSING. Your enemies in the public school wars don't have either liability.

Communications guru said...

When did I ever say it “was wrong for an aggrieved group to lobby a public school district and have the classroom assignments changed from that which offends their moral values?” The answer is I never said that, and I don’t appreciate you putting words into my mouth. I have asked you this question about four times now, and you continue to duck it. Why can’t the alleged aggrieved parents choose another book for their child to read, and why is the minority allowed to set policy for the majority? I know the answer to the first question, but I would like to hear your answer. It’s because these are not parents complaining, but it’s a small-minded hate group that sprang up last year to fight the diversity club because they don’t hate gays. No one is being forced into anything. I don’t even need to use all caps to get that point across.

As I have said a 100 times, taxes are an investment for betterment of all, and if you don’t like how it's being spent, get elected to oversee it. That’s called representative government.

Yes, public airwaves. Are you disputing that? If so how are they not public airwaves?

I never said I wanted WJR to stop “broadcasting loudmouth conservatives.” Apparently you can't read very well. I said I want some balance. What small-minded group are you talking about, and what is a “statists?”

How the hell am I a “goose-stepping censor?” How am I browbeating a private company? This particular rant doesn’t make a lot of sense. Maybe you should not post so late, and take a break from caps lock key. What the hell does the statement “Your enemies in the public school wars don't have either liability” mean?

Red Or Dead said...

Al Franken Your Hero is an A--hole. How can you look up to him? Is he not the one that said Karl Rove would be hanged for treason?
Was Sean Hannity not just in Iraq as was Bill O'Riley. You need to get some facts straight.
How are radio stations broadcasting for free, if I am correct it requires a License, a tower and some expensive equipment.

If it is free why aren’t you broadcasting Radio Free Guru 24/7?

If you want balance as you call it on WJR they would have to drop some of it’s current line up to accommodate a very small group of people such as your self, that apparently don’t listen in the rest of the U.S as Air America is bankrupt both Morally and Financially.

”why is the minority allowed to set policy for the majority?”

A quote from Guru, you have got to be kidding,

Why were the Christmas Decorations removed from Seattle’s airport, because a single Rabbi objected to the fact that there was not a Menorah next to it.

Did not one single person make Roe vs Wade become law.

Was Carry Nation not the main person responsible for prohibition.

The problem now is the ACLU, the Democratic Party, and Liberal Judges that interpret laws from the bench to circumvent the Constitution. You are truly our Village Idiot.
Don't post so late, a real good come back.

Communications guru said...

Well, Mr. Communist, welcome to the blog, and thanks for your comments, no matter how contemptible or untrue. You’re not dead, so you must be a Red. You sound familiar; didn't I kick your butt in debates over on wolhiarns’s blog?

I never said Al Franken was my hero, but he has my respect and admiration because he’s away from his family for the holidays and giving up his livelihood to entertain the troops on his fourth USO tour.

I never said sean haity was not in Iraq. In fact, I said he was thee once, but like billo, he was there getting paid as part of their jobs as unofficial mouthpieces for the White House and faux commentators. They sacrificed nothing to do it. My facts are straight, thank you.

Yes, the airwaves are free, and that’s why the FCC requires a license. Anyone can get a cheap transmitter and begin transmitting. There was a trend a few years ago, especially in the mid-90’s when the militia movement was in full swing, for many pirate low power stations to transmit regularly. Crazies like Mark from Michigan and this alleged minister from Adrian, Rick Strawcutter, were some well-known ones. There was a guy here in Howell who had a similar station that played music. The FCC put an end to all of that. The equipment can’t be that expensive. Strawcutter had a 100-foot radio tower next to his church.

Why am I not “broadcasting Radio Free Guru 24/7?” because I have no interest or desire to do so, and I prefer the written word. Plus, I don’t have the FCC persecuting me.

“A very small group of people such as your self” Are you serious? This is a blue state, Mr. Communist. It has gone for a Democratic presidential candidate for the last four presidential elections, and both of our U.S. Senators are Democrats. Detroit is one of the most liberal cities in America. A small group of people? You are referring to yourself, of course. Its funny you should call Air America “morally bankrupt" when your god, rush limpbag, is a drug addict and billo is a sex pervert. Air America filed chapter 11, but it’s coming out of bankruptcy with new ownership. It is not only a start up company where the majority fail in the first year, but it’s also a completely new concept. Is there a conservative talk network? No. Also, talk radio is a new medium for liberals and independents, but they are slowly taking to it.

Yes, “why is the minority allowed to set policy for the majority?” in this case, which you obviously know nothing about, the minority has a remedy to the situation if they don’t like the book.

“Why were the Christmas Decorations removed from Seattle’s airport, because a single Rabbi objected to the fact that there was not a Menorah next to it.” I have no idea, but why not just put up a Menorah? There’s this thing called the 1st Amendment: ever heard of it?
“Did not one single person make Roe vs Wade become law.” Yes. But that’s the Supreme Court’s function in our form of government. What makes you think choice is not the majority position?

“Was Carry Nation not the main person responsible for prohibition.” She was one activist among many. She was probably the most famous, perhaps, but considering she died in 1911 and Prohibition was not approved until 1933 it’s hard to say she was solely responsible for it. I’m also not sure what this has to do with this discussion.

Hey, don’t be a stranger, Communist. Anytime you want me to kick your butt in debate, go ahead and post your lame arguments. I guess in your case you’re an idiot no matter what time of day it is.

BTW, the function of judge is to interpret the law, but no one is circumventing the Constitution. In fact, that’s’ exactly what the ACLU is her for; to ensure the Constitution is followed. I am a proud member, but I’m not happy when they defend people and groups like rush loudmouth or the KKK, but even you guys are entitled to the protections of the Constitution.

Lights Out said...


I use the caps key because there are some concepts that you seem to miss in lowercase. You miss them in the caps as well, so I'll stop.

Yes, parents can leave the public schools with their kids. I've said numerous times now that this does not negate the fact that they are still forced to pay for content that they deem objectionable that is being taught to others. You believe this is excusable, because in your view, it is an "investment."

So be it. The public airwaves used by WJR are an "investment" in content that you find objectionable. Except, you are not being forced to pay for it, the content is beamed to mostly adults, it is mostly paid for with private funds, and there are dozens of other public broadcast options (several of which are even NPR public broadcasting, doing much of what you desire!).

Additionally, there are hundreds of other broadcast options if you leave the public airwaves. And this doesn't even begin to get into the very real issue of why we should even have "public" airwaves and stations like NPR.

You have specific views about what society should hear. You believe the public schools should teach your social perspective, and that those who disagree with this in your community should continue to subsidize it. (And BTW, how did the gay issue get tossed into this debate?).

When it comes to private broadcasters... you still want your views interjected, even though they demonstrably are not surviving in the marketplace of ideas:

1. WJR obviously believes its advertising revenues are improved by carrying the shows that you dislike.

2. Air America, the network that does exactly the opposite, is repeatedly teetering on the brink of bankruptcy (something that Rush Limbaugh's network seems far from, despite repeated recent absences from the airwaves by its principle asset).

And you might want to consider that it is you that is in the minority regarding what the local school is teaching. As I noted, I think the content presented seems mature enough for tenth graders, but I also recognize that many tenth grade parents don't agree with me. Particularly in Livingston County, the notion of putting forth portrayals of teen drug use, sexual conduct and whatnot may be a bit over the top for a slight majority. As such, the school may have done exactly what you want: bent to the will of the majority.

Or maybe just a large minority. Regardless, school boards are elective bodies and they will respond to pressure, particularly when the controversy of sex, drugs, etc... is involved. You think compulsory school taxation is an "investment" in teaching universal values. As such, there's a certain hypocrisy in objecting when the ever evolving definition of those values turns out to be something other than what you expected.

I'll say it again: you're being beaten by your own rules.

Communications guru said...

If your writing ability can’t get your point across then the caps lock button isn’t going to help you.

What are you missing when I say taxes are an investment in our country and community? Not having a child in public schools does not excuse you from the basic obligation of being a member of this country and community. There are numerous avenues and options if you disagree with something being taught, and there are procedures in place for choosing curriculum. What we are talking about is a book. The procedures for deciding to use that book were followed, and the parents who objected had other options to their child reading that book.

Again, WJR uses the public airwaves they do not pay for, and as such they have a basic obligation to perform some public service, be balanced and provide some basic fairness. Now, they may be meeting the public service portion, but clearly they are not meeting the latter two. I exercise these other options to WJR everyday, and I have not listened to WJR in a couple of years. But they are the most powerful radio station in the state. I have no idea what you are implying when you say, “this doesn't even begin to get into the very real issue of why we should even have "public" airwaves and stations like NPR.” Make your case. I think WJR should not be allowed so much power if they refuse to follow the basic guidelines.

No, I don’t “have specific views about what society should hear.” I just think they should hear more than one view. Nor do I think the public schools should teach my social perspective. Those who disagree with what’s being taught have legal alternatives to use when they have a problem with what’s being taught. However, that doesn’t give them the right to twist facts like they have in this case. However, disagreeing with what’s being taught does not relive you of the basic responsibly of being a citizen.

You are wrong with your opinion on “private broadcasters,” and saying they “demonstrably are not surviving in the marketplace of idea” is completely wrong. People like Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller are thriving in metro Detroit on other stations. Air America is a startup company and a startup concept. More startup companies fail than they ever survive. The fact is how can they be failing on WJR when they have never even been given a chance?

WJR is wrong, and its ad revenue will naturally increase because more people will be listing.

Rush limpbag is not a network. His show has been around for almost 20 years, and he has been in radio for 35 years. Air America has been around for not even three years, and Al Franken has been in radio for less than three short years. It takes a little time to build ratings and a following, don’t you think? Maybe 20 years?

If you believe the majority think this book should be banned then you obviously do not live in Livingston County and have not read the blogs, the newspaper and the letters to the editor. The inspirational movie the book is based on is rated PG-13, so your description of the book is obviously over stated.

Yes, school boards are elected, but what’s your point? The school board had nothing to do with this book being pulled, and it was not their decision. Yes, compulsory school taxation is an "investment,” but what do teaching values have to do with it? How can you have compulsory public education withiest compulsory taxation, and all taxation is compulsory.

“You’re being beaten by your own rules.” What the hell does that mean? You can say it a 100 times, and it’s still not true.