From The Voice of the Arts To MAGA Radio

Steve Bannon-allied radio host John Fredericks announced on his program this morning that he is purchasing Atlanta station AM1690 WMLB.

He said his takeover begins March 1st.

Ironically, WMLB AM1690 was an Air America affiliate from Sept. 2004 until its purchase by eccentric radio owner and host Joe Weber in 2006.

During its Air America era, the station carried progressive hosts and personalities including Al Franken, Rachel Maddow, Marc Maron, Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder.

Fredericks’ network of stations in Virginia currently airs his own morning program, Steve Bannon’s War Room, and hosts Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and Dan Bongino.

Weber had owned AM1160 in Atlanta in the 1990s and called it “The Voice of the Arts.”

A kind of precursor to podcasting, “The Voice of the Arts” was an attempt at a more personal, less formulaic form of radio in an era of increasing consolidation and rigid music playlists.

After Weber purchased AM1690, he kept Al Franken’s show but dropped the rest of Air America for a new version of his Voice of the Arts format. After Franken left radio to run for Senate, all Air America programming was dropped.

The Voice of the Arts included an eclectic mix of music, spoken word, interviews, comedy pieces (often read from the New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs section), and bird calls.

The morning host was veteran Atlanta actor and playwright Larry Larson.

Fredericks began hosting his radio show from Georgia after the close Nov. election and subsequent lawsuits, state hearings, and runoff campaigns when the state was a center of national attention.

Like Steve Bannon (still no relation), he urged listeners to pressure state lawmakers to hold hearings, call a special session, challenge the certifications of Georgia’s electoral college results, and otherwise “take action.”

Guests included Lin Powell and numerous members of the state legislature.

Fredericks also launched a Georgia version of the Star News, a network of partisan news sites that masquerade as local newspapers.

He’s called for a pro-Trump takeover of the Republican Party and has encouraged primary challenges to Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan.

Earlier this week he announced former Congressman Doug Collins, whom President Trump publicly encouraged to challenge Brian Kemp) would be a weekly guest.

Atlanta writer and comedian. Occasional citizen journalist. Diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 40. No relation to Steve.