For just over a year, Local Edge Radio has established itself as a regional progressive talk show on the AM dial at 880 The Revolution. Now the show is moving into a new chapter, expanding from its once-a-week Friday-afternoon slot to every weekday afternoon.
Blake Butler, who co-hosts the show with Lesley Groetsch, says the two won't have any problem filling the show on a Monday through Friday schedule. "So far, we haven't gotten to the point where we've run out of things to talk about," he says.
The switch comes partly as a result of the January announcement from radio network Air America that is was declaring bankruptcy. Most of the syndicated shows on 880 The Revolution are produced by the Dial Global network, but one, the Ron Reagan Show that airs at 6 p.m., was produced by Air America and was cut as a result of the bankruptcy. A bit of shuffling of other programming made room for Local Edge to move into the weekday-afternoon slot.
"There's a lot of reasons this is a huge positive for local progressive radio," Groetsch says. Those include the chance to bring in more guests and live-music acts, and to provide more continuity to news and conversations on the radio that previously were limited by a seven-day gap between broadcasts. And, Groetsch continues, it will be easier to highlight events that land earlier in the week.
"Local Edge Radio has an incredible community here, and they're very receptive to what we're doing on Friday," Butler says. "Now, more folks can be part of the show."
The switch takes place on Monday, Feb. 15, with the show airing from 3 to 6 p.m., putting it directly across from another local talk program: AM 570's Take a Stand! with Matt Mittan, which draws a large conservative and libertarian listenership. And that means literally directly across from it — 880 and 570 are both Clear Channel Asheville stations, and the two shows will air simultaneously in studios separated only by a wall and soundproof window.
With the show's hosts able to see one another during the broadcast, Clear Channel Asheville program director Brian Hall says the two shows will likely be swapping some guests as well as stepping up their competition. "Being able to see each other and say 'What are they doing?' — it's going to make you step up your game," he says.