PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Former radio talk show host Carl Wolfson may not have a platinum $1 trillion coin, but fellow progressives are flocking to the crowd funding site Kickstarter to make sure his voice returns to the airwaves.
For six years, Wolfson hosted the morning drive slot on AM 620 KPOJ in Portland, OR, before Clear Channel flipped the station from liberal talk to FoxSports on November 9. The move sparked outrage among listeners in a city that voted 67% for President Obama only days before; within a week, more than 16,000 had signed a SAVE KPOJ petition, including Oregon's entire Democratic congressional delegation.
"An important voice has been silenced," Sen. Ron Wyden said.
Wolfson turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for a net-radio version of "Carl in the Morning," which will debut on January 21, streaming live at www.carlwolfson.com.
"We hit our minimum fundraising goal within five days," Wolfson said. "But progressives keep giving because they are unwilling to cede the airwaves to the political right."
Wolfson noted that AM 1090 in Seattle also flipped from lefty talk to sports this month, and that friend and fellow liberal, David Sirota, parted ways this week with Denver's TalkRadio 630 KHOW.
While Clear Channel Portland GM Robert Dove cited low ratings for the KPOJ flip, a Willamette Week cover story reported that Clear Channel's cost cutting has been accelerated by $16.4 billion in debt racked up since its relationship with Bain Capital began in 2006.
FoxSports is syndicated by Premiere Networks, which is owned by Clear Channel.
"I understand that it's a business decision by Clear Channel," Wolfson said. "I just have a big problem with the result. Since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, in markets of 45+ stations, one entity can own eight radio stations. That means less diversity and fewer points of view; it is a market model that increasingly fails to deliver radio in the public interest."
He sees his online show as the first step back to the radio dial.
"I am confident we will produce a first-class product that is interesting, entertaining and relevant – with plenty of sponsors and great streaming numbers."
Wolfson is a rarity among talk show hosts – an intellectual who holds a Masters Degree in political science and a successful stand-up comic with a 30-year career in clubs and on national television.
SOURCE Halgen Productions