Friday morning, the grassroots group SaveKLSD held their biggest rally yet in support of KLSD/AM 1360 progressive talk radio, just before an expected format change decision by owner Clear Channel. San Diego City Council Member Donna Frye and San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre energized the crowd with their championship of KLSD and the need for our community to have diverse viewpoints on the publicly owned airwaves.
The event kicked off at 6:30 a.m., near Clear Channel’s office in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego. Shortly after eight o’clock, bagpiper Chip Hatch led hundreds of people to Clear Channel’s parking lot, where participants rallied as The Stacy Taylor Show aired live from the studio inside. Callers to the show who expressed their support for KLSD included Reverend Madison Shockley of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad; Donald Cohen, director of the Center on Policy Initiatives. After the show, Stacy Taylor thanked supporters and program director Cliff Albert addressed the crowd, but made no definitive announcements about the fate of KLSD’s progressive talk format.
KLSD has been in limbo since August, when news hit of a possible format change. Within days, listeners formed SaveKLSD (http://saveklsd.com/) and held a rally attended by about 500 people. Since then, thousands of people have signed an online petition to save KLSD, and Clear Channel has been inundated with email urging it to keep the progressive talk format. Sources say KLSD’s format may change to sports talk, even though San Diego already has several sports talk stations. In addition, San Diego has plenty of conservative radio programming, but none from a progressive political point-of-view.