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Like a broken record, I have told many of my wealthy progressive and independent thinking friends that print media and television are forever lost to us as an independent source of information. Major corporations in what is now quasi-fascist America control all these media outlets. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 has almost destroyed radio, once the most independent of the broadcast media. Now that corporations can own an unlimited amount of radio stations nationwide, Clear Channel and the other major media companies own most of the quality radio signals.

However, the big corporations are learning that radio is another “kettle of fish” when it comes to standardization of content. Since radio is transmitted mostly with local programming, communities are resisting standardization and the “cookie cutter” approach to programming local stations. The evidence of the failure of large corporations to appeal to local communities is clear. Recently, ABC sold its radio division and CBS is selling 39 stations that are under-performing. Clear Channel is also having problems with under-performing stations. Clear Channel is now the largest affiliate of Air America Radio. Considering their right wing orientation, Clear Channel has shown that there is a strong growing independent minded talk radio market The problem is that liberals have not been convinced that liberal talk radio can be successful or can really make a difference.

If you look back to the growth of right wing talk radio since 1981, you can see a direct correlation of the growth of conservative and neo-conservative principles becoming part of the main stream. Thirty years ago, these kinds of irrational policies would have been considered on the fringes of conservative policy. Today, the growth of conservative talk radio have made these extreme policies main stream and acceptable. Could Ann Coulter ever have been taken seriously 30 years ago?

Radio has always been a very personal medium for communication. Almost everyone uses a car radio on a daily basis and many people formulate their opinions from what they hear on the radio. The print media is declining rapidly in market share and most people today are not getting any meaningful information from TV network news. In many ways radio is a much better form of communication because it forces the individual to use their mind’s eye instead of being spoon fed TV visual images.

In the 1930s, FDR helped save democracy in the United States with his fireside chats and wonderful use of the radio. At the same time, Hitler and Goebbles effectively used the radio in Germany and succeeded in convincing a civilized country, Germany, of the most hateful and genocidal beliefs. And most of that belief system was created by the Nazis’ skillful use of the radio.

That is why it is so important for independent minded people who are concerned about the future of our nation and the world to think about investing in alternative talk radio. The opportunity is now available since the big media companies are being forced to sell their radio stations. And Air America Radio is a well recognized and branded representative of the potential we have to change the destructive trends in this country. That is why my wife Anita and I have formed Nova M Radio that now operates in Phoenix and Little Rock. If we get the proper funding, Nova M Radio can get dozens of new affiliates for Air America and other alternative talk radio. But we need the support of the local communities and wealthy people who have had enough of the neo-cons and cronies that are ruining this country. By supporting this cause, we will establish a symbolic “underground” movement to take back America. For more information about what you can do to help the cause, go to
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Sheldon Drobny was the co-founder of Nova M radio and Air America Radio. He has supported many philanthropic causes. Mr. Drobny specializes in business and tax matters and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court as a non-attorney. Less (more...)
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