chapter  14
11 Pages

Radio Talkprop: Using Oldprop for Fuel

If there is a milieu in which our popular culture creates oldprop and uses it for fuel, it is radio tatkprop, a melange of programming that became strident and incessant in the 1990s and was credited in 1994 with helping to elect a conservative Republican Congress. Radio talkprop became a throwback to a mass culture, replete with leader figures and the oldprops of hate and demonization. By 1993, talkprop formats accounted for 10% of the nation's licensed radio broadcasters, double their number over a 5 -year period, and quadrupled by 1995. 1

Market and technological forces coalesced to make talkprop a national force and allow conservative Rush Limbaugh to lead a boom of nationally syndicated radio. Conservative commentator and presidential hopeful Patrick J. Buchanan joined Larry King and Bruce Williams on the Mutual Broadcasting System, giving its syndicate an 18-hour-per-day talk radio format. The controversial former Watergate burglar, G. Gordon Liddy, by mid-1995 was heard on 260 stations nationwide, second only to Limbaugh.2