At Least We Got Al
Twin Cities listeners can breathe a sigh of relief. A late breaking deal has helped Franken find a slot on WMNN:
The new liberal radio network Air America made a last-minute landing in the Twin Cities Tuesday with the news that WMNN Radio (1330 AM) will carry satirist Al Franken's new show when it makes its national debut today.
The 11th-hour deal will put "The O'Franken Factor" on the air from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., although the rest of Air America's programming will not be carried.
You mean we won't get to hear Chuck D wax philosophically on the legacy of the Founding Fathers?
The arrangement is unusual on several levels. The show wasn't purchased directly by WMNN, but by the Minnesota Production Network (MPN), a corporation formed to provide nonconservative alternatives to talk radio. In the other cities where Air America will launch (Los Angeles, New York City, Portland and Chicago), station time was leased directly by the network to carry all its programming.
MPN had already purchased time on WMNN last year to launch "The High Ground," which will now move to a 2-to-5 p.m. time slot at the station.
"Our long-term goal has always been to have 24 hours of programming," said MPN co-founder Janet Robert. "We wanted a local show, but also other programming that would appeal to Minnesotans. Certainly Al Franken is a natural."
Walter Mondale. Four Super Bowl losses. The sign in the Metrodome that said 'We Like It Here'. The movie Fargo. Jesse Ventura as governor. Walter Mondale (again).
We've put up with a lot of humiliation here in Minnesota over the years, but hearing that Al Franken has a natural appeal to Minnesotans might be the lowest blow of them all.
The good news is that Franken's show, like a painful kidney stone, too shall pass:
His tenure on WMNN won't be long, however. The station was sold earlier this year to Starboard Communications, a national network of Catholic radio stations, which will take over the station in late May or early June.
Bumped from the airwaves by Mother Angelica Live? Couldn't happen to a Minnesota nicer guy.