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Rational Radio Set to Exit Airwaves Jan. 1

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A little more than a year ago, Dave Clifton, president and co-owner of Rational Radio (1360 on Your AM Dial), told Sam that his left-leaning station would be a success, no doubt about it: "More than half of the people who vote are on my side of the political fence, and they have very little to support their views on the radio." But that was before what Clifton now calls "The Great Bank Heist" of 2008 and '09 -- before, as he puts it this morning, "radio stations lost a lot of their value because the advertisers quit advertising."

Clifton, who has been leasing the frequency from New York City-based Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc., says this morning he could no longer afford the lease, which the company has turned over to another broadcaster.

"'m out of money, and I have other investors now," says the Austin-based Clifton. "They haven't invested yet, but are willing to fund it. They made a counteroffer on my behalf, and Multicultural got a better offer from I still don't know who. The bottom line is on January 1 we're losing the stick."

Cliifton says Rational Radio will, for now, continue to broadcast over the Internet with most of its current lineup, which includes Richard Hunter and Pugs & Kelly. Jack E. Jett said last night, via e-mail, that he will not be returning: "It was a labor of love to try and bring an alternative voice to Dallas. I am saddened and bummed yet ready move on." Clifton says he'll try to convince Jett to stay during a conference call scheduled for this morning.

Multicultural does have another frequency in Dallas: La Ponderosa (540 AM), which broadcasts Spanish-language religious programming. Clifton says he's fairly certain 1360 will follow suit: "I suspect we may be hearing Hindustani music in the near future."

While he considers other options, including the hopes of getting free studio space in a downtown Dallas high-rise, Clifton says he's looking forward to the move to the Web.

"Richard Hunter's quite excited about that," Clifton says. "He thinks it's the wave of the future. I do too. I just don't think it's here yet."

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