Okay, I'd actually forgotten about the effort by Gloria Steinem, Rosie O'Donnell, Jane Fonda and their friends to challenge conservatives in the talk radio wars. But GreenStone Media, which counted Steinem, O'Donnell, Fonda and other notable libs as investors, launched its feminist network (with some fanfare) last year.
Now, Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer reports that GreenStone is about to join Air America on the ash heap of failed liberal talk efforts. On Monday, trade publications indicated that GreenStone will soon fold, after failing to attract affiliates (and listeners) for its "lifestyle-oriented" programs. As with Air America, there was an exodus of top executives from GreenStone as it burned through more than $3 million in start-up funding.
As Mr. Maloney observes, the feminist talk network failed for the same reasons as Air America. Not only did GreenStone greatly over-estimate the "demand" for its programming, it also hired hosts with virtually no radio experience, women who had nothing in common with their audience.
Having slaved over a hot microphone for more than a few years, we always like to remind prospective hosts that radio isn't as easy as it looks (or sounds). Forget about political views; simply communicating information clearly, against the demands of timing and format, is very tough work. Relatively few broadcasters can do it with style and flair; only a handful--including El Rushbo, Sean Hannity and Neal Bootz--make it genuinely compelling.
So here's a little advice for other libs who want to take the radio plunge: before you hit the airwaves, try to put real broadcasters in the executive suite, and behind the microphone. A recent runner-up from Last Comic Standing is bound to flop as a host, and that former late-night TV talk show producer is out of his element with a radio show.
But that reality seems lost on liberals who want to re-invent talk radio in their own image. As long as they can round-up some venture capital, hire clueless stand-up comics as hosts, and foist their "product" on a handful desperate stations--the leftist foray into talk radio will continue, and continue to fail, miserably.