Blow me down…

I saw something on TV Barn that just astounded me:

Clear Channel Expands Progressive Talk To Two More Stations from Radio Ink.

Clear Channel Radio has announced that two additional stations are adopting a progressive talk format, converting stations in Ann Arbor, MI and San Diego to the programming.

This is from Clear Channel, the radio giant that most creative types love to hate because of its sheer corporate dominance and love of piping pre-taped shows all over the country at the cost of local quality and musical exploration.

Obviously Clear Channel always looks out for the bottom line, and it’s interesting that they’re branching out. It’ll be fun to see where this goes — it’s good having a more diverse marketplace of ideas on the airwaves.

The cities that CC has introduced the format to are an interesting bunch — Portland and Ann Arbor have reputations as towns welcoming of “progressives”. San Diego, the long-time military city that often sides with Republicans in elections, seems to be more of a challenge. Still, it’s a big market with a lot of diverse opinions and issues.

Perhaps Clear Channel is moving to capitalize on the success of National Public Radio and its growing listening base. NPR’s drive-time newsmagazines are among the top-rated programs in the nation after Rush Limbaugh.