As you may have noticed, I pulled my poll this morning. We had a lot of voters and it definitely generated buzz but I became concerned about the potential for mischief I decided it was not necessary to continue it. Here’s what the results told me. Randi and Stephanie are the most popular hosts on KRXA in that order. The fact that Randi got the most votes did not surprise me. I would not necessarily have predicted that Stephanie would finish second but it’s not a shock. The eye-opener was that Mike Malloy came in fourth – well ahead of both Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz. I am now leaning towards swapping Mike’s spot with Thom’s so that all three hours of Mike will air live 6-9p Tuesday and Wednesday with the first two hours live on Thursday and Friday. What do you think?
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Favorite KRXA Host Poll Wrap-up
Posted on October 4, 2011 by hal
This entry was posted in Hal's Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.
I voted for Karel and he was at the top of the list, and now you don’t even mention his name? What do you mean “concerned about the potential for mischief”? Sounds like a really valid poll.
TY Hal for making me eat my words.
In spite of your apparent embarrassment about garnering (only) some 60 to 100 legitimate listener votes before the vote padding got out of control, I was actually quite impressed with the response. Your voting audience was also proud. You should have been proud too instead of attempting to hide the count.
On the other hand, it is easy to understand why Karel might been be offended by your poll since I suspect you gave him no official notice of it. It is also understandable why he might have chosen to make a few contacts with his fan club to keep you from disrespecting his show. It wasn’t really fair to pit Karel and the National hosts against your show on your home turf. Your primary competition is KGO’s Ron Owens. Ron is a supposedly left of center host but over the years success has turned him towards being an obnoxious conservative. That and your show being more local makes you the clear winner of this contest even though Ron has a better ability to draw big names (Bill Press often fills-in when Ron is on vacation).
In my estimation, your poll (flawed that it was) ended in a virtual tie between you, Randi Rhodes, and Stephanie Miller. Karel’s audience is more difficult to measure on your site being that he is a drive-time host and because he draws your cyber audience away with a video-cast and interactive chat of his own that is only available on his website. Unlike you, Karel also has a terrestrial signal to much of the densely populated S.F. Bay Area on KKGN. In addition, each weekend for six hours KGO allows Karel to repeatedly mention his weekday show. I therefore suspect Karel’s numbers do in fact kick your tail (even if the last minute counts that soared him to the lead and that caused you to retroactively end the poll were padded). I don’t know who padded Bill Press’ counts. I suspect PD might have in jest once he saw Karel’s counts soar.
I voted for Mike Malloy. I did so in part because I feel you tend to underestimate Mike’s ability to tap into the anger and frustration of the working-class (much in the same way the Koch brothers have with their “AstroTurf” Tea Party). Republicans understand that emotion gets votes. Democratic leaders tend to be too academic (and too ignorant when it comes to the sciences that must be understood to actually successfully protect the environment). I wish more of our elected Democratic leaders would feel and express emotion like Mike does (and I wish more were scientists and engineers instead of liberal arts majors and lawyers).
I like Mike, but then I also like most of your national hosts. Unfortunately, Mike is prone to go too far past the line of good taste. While in my opinion he does not cross that line any more than a host like Stephanie Miller, it does make his show unsuitable to air when young children are likely in earshot. Nine or Ten P.M. is a good time to like Mike.
If I really had my druthers, I’d have you syndicate locally produced shows by hosts like Stacy Taylor and/or Christine Craft (both fill-in KGO hosts). Let them sell airtime on their own shows in lieu of payment for their services.
Hal asked that I indicate which host I like better between Hartmann & Malloy. Problem is I don’t really know myself. Both have strengths & weaknesses. I frequently listen to parts of both shows. Fortunately I don’t need to sign a monogamy contract. (LOL)
Hartmann and his academic leaning can be very interesting. I especially like his “Lunch with Bernie Sanders” hour. On the other hand, some of his interviews of conservative guests are extremely boring. Hartmann’s good shows are probably better than Malloy’s but his dud shows are worse. I will say that when listening to Hartmann, I am often easily distracted or fall asleep. Malloy with his strong language and emotion keeps me listening longer, which is a good thing for a commercial radio station.
I think the discussion of moving of Malloy to a 6 PM time slot is a moot point. Malloy airs his show live at 9 PM Eastern for a reason; he uses language that is too rough for an earlier hour. Although I like the emotion behind the strong language (and often feel the same), Malloy carries his shtick too far. Several times when I have tried to listen to Malloy in front of my wife or mother, they were offended and I was forced to turn his show off. If I want to listen, I now have to wear wireless headphones. It would be worse if I had young children.
What KRXA really needs in the evening is more professional quality local programming, not a re-juggling of its national syndicated hosts. KRXA should try to emulate the commercial success of KGO, which uses very little syndicated content.
A decent quality host that might fit KRXA well in the early evenings is Stacy Taylor. Stacy lost his job in San Diego and now seems hungry to continue to show work on his resume (much in the same way Karel was when he first joined KRXA).
Stacy, like Mike Malloy & Karel, has unpolished edges that make it easy for him to connect with the working class. Stacy may not be up to the quality of a Thom Hartmann but he generally takes Left Progressive positions and he does a solid, entertaining show. The Thom Hartmanns of this world appeal to more educated and affluent listeners who are more typically dialed into NPR.
Stacy and I have something else in common; we are the only two Liberals on the west coast that understand the need for the U.S. to continue to use nuclear electric power. I see from the links below that I do not agree with all of Stacy’s positions and that perhaps like me, he sometimes just enjoys being provocative. The most disappointing aspect of Stacy’s act is his website, which is filled with profanity and not well maintained. (Stacy’s radio show is cleaner than Malloy’s.) I have no idea if Stacy would be interested in doing a show on KRXA, but I hope Hal makes the effort to sell him on the idea (even if the show is done remotely like Karel’s until Stacy can find a better paying gig).