[Though] the core conservative community is more of a compatible target [for] commercial talk radio at the moment — [and though] conservatives happen to have some very talented personalities who have been at this now for a long time — it doesn't mean that "liberal" does not work in this genre. It does when done well and there are quite a few broadcasters doing it and gaining recognition.

There are many successful "liberal" (meaning not-specifically "conservative") forms of news/political/issues talk on the radio that are often overlooked when measuring the impact of conservative talk radio — they include shock jocks (a term I dislike), urban talk radio, satellite talk radio, all news radio, Internet talk media and most importantly, public radio (including NPR, PRI, Pacifica and others). Awareness of this is necessary during the seemingly endless discussion about the Fairness Doctrine.

YOU SAY THAT CONSERVATIVES ARE A MORE "DISTINCT" AND "TARGETABLE" NICHE THAN LIBERALS. CAN YOU EXPAND ON THAT? The basic mindset of the people being targeted by talk radio's conservative hosts basically believe that anyone in politics, media or business who doesn't subscribe to the basic tenets of conservatism (which are clearly defined) are in fact "liberals." This gives the impression that "liberals" are as cohesive a group as "conservatives" and that people in America are either liberal or conservative. The truth is people who are non-conservatives cover a much broader spectrum of lifestyles and political/cultural affiliations per their specific interest in politics than do this more easily targeted group that radio calls "conservatives."

IF YOU HAD TO PICK A LIBERAL TALK RADIO HOST WHO COULD ONE DAY RIVAL RUSH LIMBAUGH, WHO WOULD IT BE? There is no such individual out there.

Limbaugh is an entertainment industry phenomenon as well as political. There aren't even conservative hosts who come close let alone a liberal "rival." And talk radio is not an election or football game where the success of one player is a direct defeat for another. Talk radio is an industry. Limbaugh's direct "rivals" are other conservative hosts selling the same product he is. Not the liberals.

WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THE PROVIDENCE TALK RADIO MARKET FROM OTHERS AROUND THE COUNTRY? Providence has over the years — and still has — some of the best local hosts in the business. When all is said and done, they are the ones who people will remember when looking back at Providence's piece of talk radio history.

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