ABC Radio Networks

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ABC Radio Networks owns a national network of radio stations and also syndicates its news and current affairs programs to other stations. It produces and distributes programming to about 4,400 affiliate radio stations in the U.S. It syndicates conservative hosts such as Paul Harvey, Sean Hannity, Larry Elder, Mark Levin, and Focus on the Family (hosted by its founder James Dobson). [1] [2]

In February 2006, Disney's ABC announced that it would merge ABC Radio Networks with Citadel Broadcasting. Disney owns about 52 percent of the new company, while Citadel shareholders will own the remaining 48 percent of the merged company.[3]

In December 2007, ABC Radio Networks began syndicating Don Imus' radio show, eight months after he was fired by CBS Radio and MSNBC for making insensitive comments. ABC Radio-owned station WABC in New York is Imus' new flagship station.[4]

Department of Education Review of PR Contracts

In the aftermath of the controversy over the U.S. Education Department (ED) hiring Armstrong Williams as a sub-contractor to promote the No Child Left Behind Act, the department's Inspector General reviewed all PR contacts in the 2002-2004 period. The Inspector-General was particularly investigating whether materials produced under the contract disclosed the Department of Education as its sponsor if they were communicated to the public.

In 2002 the network was awarded a $30,000 contract to promote an Education Department website. "The contract called for the development and placement of PSAs referring listeners to and ABC Websites containing links to the ED site. We reviewed all deliverables associated with this contract. Each deliverable adequately disclosed ED??'s role in its production," the Inspector General reported. [1] (PSAs is the acronym for Public Service Announcements).

In 2004 it was awarded another contract worth $10,000. "The contract called for a PSA informing listeners of the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. We listened to the PSA, which refers listeners to contact ED at 1-800-USA LEARN. This deliverable adequately disclosed ED??'s role in its production," the Inspector General reported. [2]

Ad blackout of Air America Radio

In October 2006, ABC Radio Networks, then under Disney's ABC, told its stations to black out all ads from about 90 companies that did not want to have their ads on radio stations that carried Air America Radio. The internal memo from ABC Radio Networks to its affiliates was headlined "Air America Blackout" and was addressed to the Traffic Director who handles advertising for the affiliates. The memo states, "Please be advised that Hewlett Packard has purchased schedules with ABC Radio Networks between October 30th and December 24th, 2006. Please make sure you blackout this advertiser on your station, as they do not wish it to air on any Air America affiliate."

The memo then goes on to say, "Please see below for a complete list of all advertisers requesting that NONE of their commercials air within Air America programming." The list included large corporations such as Wal-Mart, General Electric, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Bank of America, Fed-Ex, Visa, Allstate, McDonald's, Sony, and Johnson & Johnson. Also on the list of advertisers that did not want their commercials to be on Air America Radio were the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Postal Service. The article Air America Radio has the complete list. [5] [6] [7]

Contact details

Phone: (212) 735-1700


  1. ABC Radio Network, Hoovers, accessed October 2007.
  2. Our Shows, ABC Radio Networks, accessed October 2007.
  3. "It's Official: ABC Radio, Citadel Merge" February 6, 2006.
  4. "Citadel's ABC Radio bets on Imus ratings gold", Reuters, November 3, 2007.
  5. Marc Fisher, "Air America, in the Throes of Victory?", The Washington Post, December 10, 2006.
  6. "Air America on Ad Blacklist?", FAIR, October 31, 2006.
  7. "Air America Blackout", memo, October 25, 2006.

External links