A Quickie with 

Mike Ginsberg, WTTQ general manager

On Friday, January 28th, Al Franken began his Air America radio program by announcing that the fledgling liberal talk franchise had expanded into Memphis. There were obligatory hat-tips to Elvis and Sun Studio, and the politically motivated comedian even took some time to make fun of Piggly Wiggly. When WJCE-AM 680 became WTTQ, Entercom Memphis -- which includes 104.5 WRVR and 94.1 The Buzz -- brought left-leaning programs into a market dominated by such notable conservative talkers as Rush, Michael Savage, and Memphis' own Mike Fleming.

We asked Mike Ginsberg, the station's general manager, how he expected Air America to play in the Mid-South.

Flyer: Air America is new and still struggling to find a niche. Is this a risk for Entercom?

Ginsberg: It's a calculated risk, but anything new is. FedEx was a calculated risk. Post-It notes were a calculated risk. But we don't see a product like [Air America] as a risk so much as we see it as a good business decision. We've looked deep into the marketplace to make sure we are serving the community, to make sure we are serving the advertisers, and to make sure we're serving the listeners. This format does that in a way that's never been done here before.

What makes you so confident that Air America can deliver?

Sixty-seven percent of Shelby County voted Democratic in the last election. But Tennessee is definitely a Republican state. So we looked at that and decided that there was probably a bigger demand for this product in this market than there is for a conservative talk program.

And there will be a backlash from conservative talkers who are already entrenched. That will boost ratings.

You can never predict what another person or organization will do. But before we were even on the air we got what I guess you would have to call conservative hate mail. We expect controversy. But we believe Memphis has a need to hear a variety of opinions.

Do you plan on offering local programming from a progressive perspective?

Definitely. As fast as we can move with fiscal responsibility.

Do you expect to see conservative advertisers pulling advertising from your other stations?

I expect that the Memphis business community is sharp and astute. I'm convinced that they will do what is good for their business. n


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • Cops, Lottery, & Racism

      The mayor wants more police, council members say race played in Beale Street vote.
    • Open Records, Immigrants, & Arts

      Bills push for (some) open records, ArtsMemphis gets political, money flows to North Memphis.
    • Blacklisted

      Local organizers found themselves on City Hall’s naughty list.


Politics Beat Blog

Surprises Galore at Local GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Sun Records Episode 1: A Positive Note

Exhibit M

Art Stuff To Do this Weekend

Hungry Memphis

The Beer Bracket Challenge heads to the Round of 8

News Blog

Bike, Pedestrian Projects Win $2.2M in Grants

The BruceV Blog

Your Weekly Danziger

Tiger Blue

#15 Cincinnati 87, Tigers 74

Fly On The Wall Blog

Conservatives Have an Identity Problem. It's Called Their Identity

News Blog

Start Seeing Trolleys (But Not Ride Them)


More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation