ClearChannel pulls the plug on Progressive Detroit 1310 WDTW-AM radio.

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On December 31, 2012 ClearChannel will pull the plug on Progressive Detroit 1310 WDTW-AM radio. Tony Trupiano was notified after the Tuesday Lansing Right-to-Work protest show. Detroit and Southeast Michigan will lose the Thom Hartmann show. For audio of this news scroll to the 11:50 audio mark.


Tony Trupiano announces WDTW

Tony Trupiano announces WDTW is shutting down 1310 AM

I saw that bad news in Stephanie Miller's chat room today, and was looking into it when wolfman posted this.

Here is one related item I found from 12/11/12:

Clear Channel Donates WDTW Detroit To MMTC

Clear Channel has agreed to donate Liberal Talk “AM 1310” WDTW Detroit to the Minority Media & Telecom Council.

The MMTC, which acts as a non-profit broker to secure training and ownership for female and minority owners, will turn around and sell or lease the station to such a buyer. Clear Channel previously donated a few other stations to MMTC in 2010 including 690 KFXN Minneapolis.

WDTW currently programs a Liberal Talk format that registered a 0.3 share in the most recent PPM monthly. It operates with a highly directional (and possibly expensive to maintain?) 5kW signal that uses 2 towers during the day and 6 towers at night.

Clear Channel has agreed to donate Liberal Talk “AM 1310” WDTW Detroit to the Minority Media & Telecom Council.


The conversion of 690 KFXN Minneapolis in 2010 was the first time I had heard of Clear Channel doing this to a conservative station; I just read that about a week or so ago.

From the little information I've been able to find so far, this is a case of low ratings, which is what often results when you put a station on a low power signal ... a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy:

"Progressive stations do not get good ratings so we'll put ours on a low power, cheaper to run signal."  

I doubt the current Bain / Clear Channel management really wanted this format to survive in Detroit.  It's their money they are pissing away, it's their business to run into the ground; they have a right to do so. How hard did they try to find a buyer willing to preserve the format?  How hard did they try to find additional investors to boost the signal strength in order to reach a larger area?

This donation of stations by Clear Channel is one of the strategies management has adopted to deal with the heavy debt from the leveraged buyout by Bain Capital and its partner ("Clear Channel quietly pruning scores of staff ... Owner of Toledo’s WSPD owes billions to Bain Capital").

Detroit will be added to the growing list of American cities paying a "knowledge tax" of sorts, paying to get programming they previously were able to reach on free AM / FM radio.

And so it goes ...


12/11/12 -  related items

12/11/12 - 

related items listing other changes Clear Channel is making in it's Detroit area properties:

Newsmakers and links: Dec. 11, 2012

Clear Channel Donates WDTW-A/Detroit To MMTC

12/11/12 -  CLEAR CHANNEL

12/11/12 - 



12/14/12 - 

Clear Channel to take WDTW AM 1310 Detroit dark on December 31


RadioInsight — Breaking Radio News First

Well, not always ... as of now, the conversion of WDTW has not been mentioned here. Could that mean Tony was mistaken, or just that RadioInsight has not yet picked up the story? Wait and see. I would love for this to have been a premature announcement of the ending of progressive radio on the station.

related item from 12/11/12

related item from 12/11/12 - 

5 progressive stations drop; Rush audience down; radio industry suffers BIG revenue, reputation woes

an update this afternoon from

an update this afternoon from Lance Venta of RadioInsight:

Update 12/14: reports that WDTW will end is current format and turn off its transmitter on December 31. The station’s current six tower array will be dismantled afterwards, so whomever acquires the station from the MMTC will need to find a new tower location before returning the station to the air.

Clear Channel Donates WDTW Detroit To MMTC