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Posted by on Nov 30, 2006 in At TMV | 10 comments

Ed Schultz To Compete Directly With Rush Limbaugh And Air America‘s Al Franken

Progressive talker Ed Schultz will go head to head with Rush Limbaugh…and with Air America‘s Al Franken.

Schultz makes the announcement here.

This is a business move…This is about us…We’re in business. We sell commercials. And there’s no question the noon to 3 pm eastern time slot is the prime real estate…It’s about the format. ..This program is not a part of Air America . We’re not in debt…We don’t have any judgments against us….And I’m damned proud of that…We’re moving foward. And progressive talk will be better because of this move.

Schultz noted that Air America has in some ways hurt progressive talk because of the way it has been run: “It’s not the way to run a railroad, in my opinion.”

And, indeed: Schultz will offer a strong professive alternative (if radio stations opt for his proposed shift) to Limbaugh and will probably not help Air America but in the long run will likely strengthen the progressive format.

The Raw Story scooped
Schultz’s announcement. It noted something we have noted here before in our many posts on Schultz:

The Ed Schultz show is owned by Product First, a company held by former Clear Channel executive Randy Michaels. Product First president Stuart Krane, erstwhile vice president of ABC, was among those who helped pivot Limbaugh onto the national stage.

Schultz’s chief competitor, Air America, has threaded rocky waters since its launch in 2004. Since its inception, the privately owned company has lost more than $40 million, including $13 million this year alone, according to the network’s bankruptcy filing. Schultz’s show, also privately held, has not disclosed profit figures.

Schultz’s program differs a great deal from Air America programs. He tends to have callers with a wider range of viewpoints. The pace is much faster. And he’ll veer off politics completely to talk about sports and will take issue with the Democrats on some key issues, taking more centrist positions on some issues.

UPDATE: Mediaweek puts Schultz’s position in the radio market and his potential in perspective:

Although Schultz airs on 100 stations to Limbaugh’s 600, Schultz has quickly made a name for himself as the leading ratings-getter among the left-leaning Talk personalities.

“With the recent change in the nation’s political climate, Ed Schultz is quickly proving to be the new mainstream,� said Amy Bolton, vp and general manager of News/Talk for Jones Radio Networks, which handles distribution and national sales for Schultz’s shows.

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Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • So what. Schultz is not left enough for some liberals. So what if he doesn’t fit the left’s ideals perfectly.

    What the left should be embracing about this guy is that he’s an effective weapon against the right wing. Period.

  • Pyst

    It’ll be a long time befoe I get to hear him in N. Alabama. Our local talk stations are all GOP all the time, regardless of the politcal makeup of my area. My area spawned Rush jr. (Hannity) who was thrashed daily by local callers into his show for parroting exactly what Rush said during the previous 4 hours without any change. Maybe the tide has turned enough we can have another viewpoint around here rather than Rush….and a little more Rush…and dittoheads….and more dittoheads.

    Btw if Schultz is more centerist than AA good, it ensures if he’s allowed to come across my radio dial I’ll be ALOT more likely to listen.

  • Joe

    I drive a LOT and I judge a talk show by whether I can stay tuned the host. He’s one of the few who I love to listen to throughout their whole show. It’s not the ideology; it’s the pacing of his show. It’s GOOD RADIO and you can tell they’re focused on the show as a radio broadcast product and trying to expand their audience. He makes a point of often saying that he isn’t on the radio to get anyone elected. I probably relate to that because I try to explain to people that this site was not created to elect or unelect anyone, but we do analyze and take stands. I think too many talk radio shows of the right and left have fallen into the trap of being political rallies for one party that say “do not enter” for those who don’t totally agree with them. There’s big difference between that feeling and when you listen to Schultz who makes no secret about where he stands and who he likes but will dump politics to talk about sports or something else and critize the Democrats if he disagrees with them. Two of the other ones who are great: KFI’s John and Ken in Los Angeles. Highly independent…and great radio. And then there’s another star on the Jones team: Stephanie Miller, also a progressive talker, but laugh out loud funny with her string of break-neck paced quips, one-liners, sound effects and satires. It’s more like a progressive comedy show. There are some others too.

  • Joe

    If you haven’t heard Schultz his website — click on the link under his name — always has a generous portion of audios that you can listen to from his show. You’ll note that his style is more informational and less polemical than Limbaugh, Hannity, Rhodes, or Franken although he makes no bones about where he stands whatsoever. He tends to try to extract information during his interviews without turning it into a commercial for a party or a propaganda appeal. Again, that is NOT to say he doesn’t let you know where he stands or who he favors. It again comes down to the role of a radio show. It should also entertain enough so that even if you don’t agree with every idea it’s provocative, informative and to a certain degree unpredictable. That’s why I enjoy listening to someone on the right who many don’t: when I travel Michael Savage ALWAYS keeps me awake if I’m tired driving. I never quite know what he’s going to say next. I agree with little of what he says..but again he’ll toss the politics away and say he feels in the mood to talk about meatballs. There IS more to life than just slamming another political party.

  • Pyst

    Thanks for the heads up about his site containing audio Joe.

    You’re making him sound better by the second Joe since he isn’t a drum banging monkey for a politcal party/canidate. Sounds like a giant fresh breath of talk radio air LOL.

  • ken

    Ed Schultz is way out of his league.

    He has a paltry audience and leans on Democrats in Congress to help him out getting air time. He is rated at “10th” in the market but really he is “tied” with 7 others so he could be 10th or he could be 17th; take your pick.

    Time and again he has ranted about how much money he has given to Democrats; he expects favors back. He would have been gone off the air two years ago had it not been for the Center for American Progress helping him out and getting time in front of Senators.

    Ed was bragging how he got private time with Senator Harry Reid just a couple of weeks ago. Funny how donations and giving Reid and others favorable talk gets him private time on our tax money.

  • charles

    Looks like Ed, as usual, has his staff posting positive comments about him and his show.

  • leftski

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Ed Schultz, but not enough to listen to him everyday. I much prefer Randi Rhodes, Tom Hartmann or The Young Turks. Besides, I have heard he does take money from the democratic party and whenever you’re accepting money from ANY organization, it can’t help but creep into your opinions.

  • Chip


    Ed is a decent guy, not to mention much more honest and credible than a Franken, Malloy, Rhodes, Lionel or the self-serving shills on “Ring of Fire.”

    Conservative callers are treated with far more respect by Ed than any other lefty talkers who have the nads/ovaries to even take calls from those with a differing POV.

    Let’s hope that Ed survives the imminent demise of AAR. Although he is totally unconnected to “Err America” most of the stations which currently carry him are AAR affiliates. Most of the AAR stations will change formats after their miserable excuse for a business plan breaths its last, but a few stations will survive and are positioning themselves for a less dysfunctional life after AAR, e.g. WCPT in Chicago.


  • k888j

    Looks like I won’t be listening to Ed unless Air America is running a repeat on that day.

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