> KNEW is a marginal operation: Clear Channel owns the
> station and they own Rush and they put Rush on ABC's KSFO.
> Since ABC dominates talk radio in the Bay Area with KGO
> (including liberal hosts) and KSFO (mainstream conservative
> talk, including Rush and Hannity), KNEW's apparent strategy
> is to go for the right-wing fringe (even farther to the
> right). What is ironic is Clear Channel also operates local
> progressive talk station KQKE out of the same building (with
> comparable audience numbers).
KNEW's talk format was started as an afterthought. CNET programmed the station in the late '90's up until a few years ago, when they went to a web-only broadcast as the content became more tech-intensive (previously they had some personality touches with Alex Bennett's midday show). With the programming of KNEW now CC's responsibility, CC needed something to put on, so they brought back Bennett (albeit briefly) for AM drive and used KNEW to clear some Premiere syndicated shows like Glenn Beck and Phil Hendrie in the San Francisco market. It evolved when they landed Michael Savage. With the addition of KQKE's talk format, this gives CC a one-two punch for talk, to better compete with KGO-KSFO (though they are trailing far behind).
With Rush's situation, I have no idea of contract issues involved. Rush was moved off the more left-leaning KGO onto their RW sister, KSFO a few years back.
As for pairing KNEW up with KQKE, this is a CC strategy used in other markets, and they do this in a number of markets. They seem to like having progressive talkers in markets where they own other talk stations. This gives them a full package to sell advertisers. CC's liberal talkers, for the most part, are in markets where they own conservative-leaning talkers.
This has nothing to do with ideology. This is smart business.
The Liberal Talk Radio Update