Missoula Liberal Talk Radio Goes Conservative

By Beacon Staff

Liberal talk radio has often struggled to find a foothold anywhere but the some of the largest American markets. When Air America Radio launched in 2004 with hopes of competing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, it was forced to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy a little more than two years later.

But in Missoula, the most left-leaning city in the state, one would think that the format would work. It hasn’t. First 105.9 FM, which featured Air America, switched to music. Now 930 AM, that city’s now-former progressive talk station, has switched to conservative. From KPAX:

KMPT’s format change began Tuesday, but market manager Scott Lindahl said they made the decision to switch months ago.

Lindahl said the station under-performed in a progressive format, and they had to either “turn it off,” sell it or change formats. The station considered changing to an all-sports format, but after looking at ratings from independent survey company Eastlan, they found conservative radio to be one of the top performers in ratings and revenue in the Missoula area.

Those on the left (here) and the right (here) have different takes as to why this happened.

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