Brian Maloney reported last week on the failure of Jane Fonda’s femtalk radio network. Apparently, the women who promised to empower their sisters on the airwaves are now set to stiff their own employees. Wimmin oppressing wimmin. How…liberating!
Carrie Lukas has more in today’s NYPost on what women do and don’t want to hear:
Plenty of media outlets target women – from sappy dramas on Lifetime and Oxygen to family-centered morning shows and magazines – and draw large audiences and big advertising dollars. GreenStone Media sought to imitate those successes. Its Web site explained, “Talk That Women REALLY Want . . . Only Green- stone Media gives you a lineup of personality talk that best appeals to the demo advertisers want most – women 25-54.” It seemed a good sales pitch; certainly advertisers welcome the chance to reach this coveted female audience on the radio.
GreenStone’s problem was it couldn’t attract an audience of either gender. The programming was picked up by only eight affiliates in small to mid-sized markets. Apparently, GreenStone’s programming wasn’t the talk that women really want.
GreenStone’s president and CEO Susan Ness laments the end of its programming as a loss for women, opining that “women need a voice on commercial radio,” and “radio needs women’s voices.” Perhaps Ness should use her time off to tune in to other stations. She’ll find there are many prominent women on the airwaves; they’re just not saying what she thinks they should.
Laura Ingraham, an outspoken conservative and former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thomas, has been on the air since 2001 and is now heard on 340 stations. Ingraham draws an audience in excess of 5 million, and regularly ranks among the top-10 most influential radio hosts.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger draws an even larger audience with very different programming. It can be best described as an advice show, but is anything but touchy feely. “Dr. Laura” serves as a hard-hitting host, unabashedly lecturing her callers about their morals and values. Other women, such as Martha Zoeller, Janet Parshall and Tammy Bruce, join these two powerhouse hosts.
Of course, most significantly, women don’t just listen to women radio hosts. Women tune in to men on a wide variety of topics. Rush Limbaugh’s 20 million listeners include millions of women. Millions more tune in to hear Sean Hannity and the other conservative, male talk-show hosts around the country. Although Ness may not want to hear it, Limbaugh and conservative talk radio apparently is programming for women.