Thursday, July 08, 2004

Twin Cities Talk Radio

Mitch, at Shot In The Dark, has a good review of the Twin Cities talk radio scene at the moment: State of Twin Cities Radio, 2004

Though Mitch's review is excellent, and I largely agree, I thought I'd toss in a few notes of my own on the topic.

Let's start with the negative. That's always more fun anyway:

1. Why is Michael Savage so freakin' popular? The man screams and rants nonsensically on a regular basis. He's like an unflattering caricature of a conservative talk-show host. If so many conservatives didn't insist they love his show, I'd think it was a clever PR ploy funded by anti-conservatives to discredit the genre. I truly would.

2. Why is Joe Soucheray so freakin' popular? No, he's not as bad as Savage. He's really not bad at all. Just rather dull on a rather regular basis. Like Mitch, I think the Rookie frequently carries the show. The show does have some good moments. But they're rarely all THAT good. And too often they're few and far between. Unlike Savage, I don't wish Joe off the air. I just can't figure out the HUGE draw that he undeniably has in this market.

Now onto the positive. A note about Hugh Hewitt:

Is Hugh the very best radio host? No. But I'm increasingly believing that he has the best radio show. He has an excellent guest list, including amazing talents like James Lileks and Mark Steyn who ought to be sought out by every radio producer in the market, but generally aren't. He also dips into the blogosphere to find generally untapped but excellent political commentators. Like Mitch notes, he "gets" the new media, in a way almost none of his colleagues do. He also seems to be one of the only ones who understands the restrictions of the format. It seems more and more like the commercials take up more time than the shows. Hugh gets that, and loads up every segment with a pace and content that other hosts ought to take notes on.


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