The airwaves were burning up yesterday with the news that WJFK in our nation’s capital dropped Bill O’Reilly’s show and replaced it with a sports-talk program. The O’Reilly Fester apparently underwhelmed the Washington radio audience. But he wasn’t the only one:
“With the exception of Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk-radio hosts have struggled for years to find a wide audience on the local dial. While Limbaugh’s afternoon program remains popular on WMAL (630 AM), not many other conservatives’ programs have.”
In addition to Limbaugh, WMAL carries Sean Hannity, Matt Drudge, Larry Elder, and other rightist blowhards. Chris Berry, president and general manager of WMAL, commenting on O’Reilly’s dismissal from the competing station, said that…
“…people in D.C. are smarter” than talk audiences in other towns […] In D.C., people really do know the issues.”
Setting aside the arrogant conceit of that statement, it does explain nicely why conservatives like O’Reilly are failing in the market. I can appreciate how difficult it must be to sell the fact-free Republicanism of right wing squawkers to listeners who actually know something about current affairs. And with the expulsion of O’Reilly from DC there is probably also a measurable increase in the region’s intelligence.