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

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Hate Speech

      Rhodes student pens ‘hate-filled’ opinion piece on alt-right site.
    • Creative Process

      Memphis Brooks Museum of Art leader talks about the decision to consider leaving Overton Park.

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Tigers 44, Southern Illinois 31

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies trade Troy Daniels to Phoenix

Music Blog

Listen Up: Louise Page

News Blog

Suit Targets 'Destructive' Drivers License Policy

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

mother!

News Blog

Supreme Court Steps In on Fayette Church Matter

Intermission Impossible

Muhammad Ali Meets Stepin Fetchit at The Hattiloo Theatre

ADVERTISEMENT

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 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