In the wake of NPR’s controversial firing of commentator Juan Williams, the need for syndicated balanced, non-biased news programming in three hour blocks or full around the clock live formats is growing. Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters’ says their new news-only network, announced last month at the NAB-RAB Radio Show in DC, will be 15 hours per day of live co-anchored long-form news by the end of 2011.
“Our teams will fill the void on both ends of the spoken word spectrum, with ‘Best in Breed’ opinion talk through the TRN companies and long-form news only programming specifically designed for radio, through the new all news radio network. The public deserves a competitive alternative to NPR, and we plan to provide it” says Masters. “This new news network will not be beholden to anyone, nor will it be influenced by those who censor in the name of agenda-driven advocacy journalism.”
Williams’ firing came on the heels of statements he made on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor regarding Muslims. In an unusually acerbic statement, NPR’s CEO, Vivian Schiller, said that Williams’ comments should have remained “between him and his psychiatrist or his publicist.” NPR, a publicly-funded radio network with total revenue of some $153 million, reaches approximately 33 million audience members weekly. NPR is also beholden to politically active individual contributors such as George Soros, who just donated approximately $1.8 million to NPR member stations.
TRN’s new long-form all news radio network will offer multiple live, Monday through Friday, three-hour syndicated news programs, back to back in most every day part throughout 2011. These shows will launch in sequence beginning early next year, with 4 more three-hour day parts to follow throughout next year.