Yesterday over 500 listeners rally in the Clear Channel offices parking lot in Kearny Mesa to show their support for KLSD 1360am and its progressive talk radio format. When rumors began to circulate last week that KLSD was going to change its format to sports talk, grassroots activists went to work. In a short time, they manage to collect over 1100 signatures with an online petition and turnout 500+ supporters early on a Monday morning to make their case to station management not to dump the progressive format.
Speaking to the crowd gathered in the parking lot. Station program director Cliff Albert stated: "that while various options are under consideration, they want the Progressive voice to remain heard loud and clear in San Diego." So what is next for KLSD?
While some people have speculated that Clear Channel's decision to change KLSD format here in San Diego is part of a much larger effort to kill progressive radio across the country. Low ratings have contributed to KLSD's predicament. In the most recent Arbitron ratings for the Spring 07 period, KLSD received a paltry 0.9 share or 25th place in the San Diego market. This was down from a 2.2 share or 19th place the station had garnered in Winter 07 period a drop of over 50% in its listenership.
Unless something dramatically alters the landscape progressive talk on 1360am here in San Diego is going to end soon. Last week it was reported that KLSD had applied to move its transmitter to Santee and increase its signal to 50000 watts. If they are allowed to increase their signal, I suspect that KOGO, currently the highest rated am station in San Diego, will move from 600am position to the newly increased 1360am position, allowing KOGO to be heard as far away as the Temecula/Rancho California area. As for KLSD look for them to move to the low power 800am signal that is currently home ESPN radio.
A friend reminded me that Cliff Albert who is program director for KLSD is also the program director for KOGO and the other Clear Channel owned talk radio stations in San Diego. It seems like there isn't much incentive for him to see KLSD succeed if it is going to come at the expense of KOGO. I'll discuss this more on a later post.