Stephanie Miller fans angry at program change

Fans of the popular liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller tuned into radio station WDTW 1310-AM at 9:06 a.m.  Monday morning expecting to hear Step and the Mooks, but they were, first, confused, disappointed and then angry to discover that she had been replaced by some middle-of-the road guy named Michael Patrick Shiels.

The station’s Facebook page exploded with more than 50 angry comments; the comments ranging from they will no longer listen to the station to questioning how the station can bill itself as “Detroit’s Progressive Talk” with no progressive talk.

Actually, Steph did not go away; she will be heard in the 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. time slot, but considering the signal is so week that it cannot he heard after sundown, it’s as good as kicking her off. This sounds very similar to what happened in January when Steph was replaced with rightwing psycho Glenn Beck on Green 960 in San Francisco. The ratings fell by 90 percent there, and we will see similar results here.

The two situations are very similar. Both are Blue states – Michigan since 1992 – and both Detroit and San Francisco are two of the most liberal cites in the country. But the real similarity is that both stations are owned by Clear Channel; which owns more radio stations than anyone else in the United States. They also own Premiere Radio Networks, the company that syndicates the radio shows of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck and other rightwing nuts.

But here is the conspiracy theory: Bain Capital is one of the primary owners of Clear Channel, acquiring it in 2008, and like all Bain properties, lots of employees got pink slips. GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney started Bain, and although he is no longer involved in the day to day operations of Bain, he still has a huge financial stake in Bain Capital.

Step has been a constant critic of the Mittster, and a big supporter of President Obama. Moving here to the graveyard shift makes no financial sense.

Stephanie Miller has the top selling-comedy album and top-grossing comedy tour; selling out venues all over the country, including places where there are no liberal talk stations.  She has also tripled Current TV ratings in the short time the radio show has been broadcast there. Just last month, Talker’s Magazine – the trade publication for the industry – released its annual “Heavy Hundred” list of influential talk shows hosts, and Steph was No. 11; ahead of people like Howard Stern – the “King of all Media” –  Neil Bortz and Dennis Miller. I didn’t see Mr. Shiels anywhere.

I used the station’s online feedback form to let them know those facts, and I got a response from Marti Martin, a Program Coordinator/Reporter at the station, as well as sports station WDFN.

“Thank you so much for taking the time to send feedback.  We are striving to keep Detroit’s Progressive Talk on the air, which means we must also air revenue generating shows.  This is the case for the new show that is replacing Stephanie.  Fortunately, we were able to keep Stephanie on this station by moving her to a later time slot.  You can still listen to her show at 9a via the internet by going to 1310wdtw.com and going to her on-air page or on IHeart radio.”

I don’t see how you can generate revenue by dropping one of the most popular liberal talk show hosts in the country, and I’m still waiting for that answer.

You can ask her the same question by emailing her at martimartin@wdfn.com or snail mail at

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment

27675 Halsted

Farmington Hills, MI  48331 or calling at (248) 324-5437.

 

 

Communications Guru
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Comments

  1. FDR Dem says:

    I got the same response from Ms. Martin. I told her that I tried to listen to Shiels but he put me to sleep. I also said that I will be listening elsewhere from 9am-noon.

  2. Is it just my imagination, or are the people (if any) who run the mixing board at WDTW trying to mess with our minds? Or is it what they call a “lights-out operation?”

  3. MediaAngel says:

    I no longer listen to WDTW and instead tune to the Chicago Station where Steph and the Mook are on at a time that suits me. I am disappointed, very disappointed.

  4. Karen Bates says:

    Have the same problem in PHX – I prefer to listen on radio.com or you can tune KPHX1480 in Phoenix. They all carry the show live on computer.

    Steph is still on a 9 (LA time) – you can also watch on Current TV.

  5. I would listen to Stephanie for the first 1/2 hour on my car radio on my way to work and was completely disappointed Monday when she wasn’t on. I have Sirius Radio in my car, but, it doesn’t start carrying Steph until 10:00 am and I’m at work by that time, where I listen to Chigago’s WCPT. I will no longer listen to WDTW, so there’s some more revenue lost. The Stephanie Miller show is one of the best on the air!

  6. If you are going to stream Stephanie don’t use iHeart radio. It is owned by Clear Channel. Instead use tunein radio. The app is free for Droids and .99 for iphones.

    You can also stream from the tunein radio website.

  7. Ginnie Todd says:

    At least you guys still have your station, however progressive or moderate. We in Spokane COMPLETELY lost our only progressive radio station, thanks to Clear Channel ownership. After the Ed Schultz show aired a few months ago, KPTQ 1280 AM switched to a “classic country” music channel. I’ve been listening to KPOJ from Portland on iHeartRadio, but I’m glad to hear about tunein radio. I would rather listen to KPTK from Seattle.

  8. F. PRyan says:

    Clear Channel is usually chipping away at or undermining in the background any “left” programming even at successful stations and always uses the excuse of “revenue/profit” for any change or removal in “liberal/progressive” radio programming. Yet, they’re using the PUBLIC airwaves and the ratings don’t support their reasoning/excuses!

  9. nobsartist says:

    Re- elect president Obama in November and then demand that the fairness in broadcasting act be restored along with glass-steagal and any other “reform” forced down our throats by the anti-american republiCONs ove the last 30 years.

    Make the ‘health insurance reform act” of 1982 that the jackass reagun forced on us the first ‘reform” thrown out and replace it with medicare for all putting ALL of the private, “FOR PROFIT” health care insurance cabal out of business.

    I prefer to listen to 580 AM in Detroit anyway.

    No more “clear channel” for me.

  10. I have listened to the Stepcast for the last four or five years, so I will always be able to listen. The WDTW signal is so weak I can only get it when I travel close to Detroit. What bothers me is they do this in an election year when casual listeners are able to hear. I only listened once, and I was hooked after I found her show by accident. The signal is so weak you would have to be right next to the transmitter at 10 p.m. to get the signal, so they have effectively silenced Romney’s biggest critic.
    You can also leave comments on the station’s Facebook page.
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/1310WDTWAM

  11. Great advice posted earlier…….I won’t be using iheartradio anymore! Thank you poster

    -If you are going to stream Stephanie don’t use iHeart radio. It is owned by Clear Channel. Instead use tunein radio. The app is free for Droids and .99 for iphones.

    You can also stream from the tunein radio website.

  12. Rick Nelson says:

    The station signal is “weak” not week dipstick!

  13. Rick Nelson says:

    The progressive talk fails because of the ideology. Only about 20 percent of the population identify with them and they constantly ignore and lie about clear facts. Miller and Schultz fail because of content, not because of unfairness. They simply cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas. They are stuck with the poor stations because they cannot generate a large enough audience to justify contracts with stronger stations. Schultz keeps his MSNBC because his views are consistent with their ideology now because he has a big viewership.

    Following are the latest ratings:

    5 pm The5
    328
    Blitzer
    80
    Matthews
    102
    Special
    51
    6 pm Baier
    351
    King, USA
    86
    Sharpton
    106
    Prime
    31
    7 pm Smith
    397
    Burnett
    76
    Matthews
    131
    Velez-Mitchell
    56
    8 pm O’Reilly
    501
    Cooper
    152
    Schultz
    132
    Grace
    100
    9 pm Hannity
    436
    Morgan
    155
    Maddow
    209
    Velez-Mitchell

    69
    10 pm Van Susteren
    227
    Cooper
    96
    Lockup
    130

    Grace
    62
    11 pm O’Reilly
    239
    Burnett
    71
    Lockup

    239
    Showbiz
    93
    TOTAL DAY 294 87 129 90
    PRIME TIME 390 134 157 75

    As you can see by the hard cold facts, all three progressive-leaning networks are thrashed by FOX News. This speaks directly to to critical financial situations of those entities. Facts can be stubborn.

  14. None of what you said is true, dipshit. Progressive talk is not failing, and when it goes head to head with rightwing psycho talk, it does as well or better. Funny, if only “about 20 percent of the population identify with then” how did President Obama get elected? The fact is most Americans identify with liberal values, and that’s why you need lies and propaganda 24/7. Head to head, liberals will always win in the marketplace of ideas. Really, failed? Then why does Stephanie Miller have the top selling comedy album in the nation and the Sexy Liberal Tour sellout everywhere it goes?

    It’s hard for liberal talk WDTW to compete with WJR’s 50,000 watts. Liberal talk, unlike rightwing psychos, correct their mistakes, so there are no lies.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] victory for the many Southeast Michigan listeners who were outraged at the change three months ago. You will recall that last May, Clear Channel property WDTW, owned by Bain Capital, tried to silence one of  Mitt Romney’s [...]

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