Progressive talk radio may soon be done in the Seattle-Tacoma market. Various sources are reporting that Seattle's KPTK-AM (1090) will soon switch formats, from political talk to sports.
When reached for comment KPTK program director Carey Curelop said, “There's nothing I can confirm or deny.” But CBS Radio – the conglomerate that owns KPTK – has changed the station call letters to KFNQ on its web site. And local radio insiders expect there to be an announcement that the format will flip on Jan. 2.
Rumors have persisted since Portland's progressive talk station, KPOJ-AM (620) – which is owned by Clear Channel - switched to sports with no warning last week. Earlier this week, political pundit Ed Schulz brought Ring of Fire radio co-host Mike Papantonio onto his show, which airs on KPTK, to speculate on a link between the format changes and last week's election results. The exchange generated the video embedded in this post.
“Why do you split revenue between five sports stations ... when you have something that's a niche and it's unique and it's generating money?” Papantonio said. “Why do you do that unless there is some kind of back story to what you've done?”
Papantonio, also president of the National Trial Lawyers Association, said he and others were looking into possible legal action. “This is part of the public commons,” he said. “We allow these businesses to use our airwaves.”
CBS Radio also owns KJAQ-FM (Jack, 96.5), KMPS-FM (94.1) and KZOK-FM (102.5) in the Seattle-Tacoma market.