No Rush: Cleveland to Get Liberal Talk Radio Station



WABQ: Smoking the Limbaugh crowd.
  • WABQ: Smoking the Limbaugh crowd.

As blather emanating from the statehouse skews ever more conservative, it was only a matter of time before blather on our local airwaves started bending the other way. Frustrated liberal listener, Gary Richards has come to set you free.

The Euclid radio veteran is set to launch WABQ-AM 1460, a progressive talk station due to ramp up next Monday, August 1.

“You can move across your AM dial and hear Rush Limbaugh on 10 different stations,” says Richards. “It’s as if the conservatives have a corner on the market. But it seems there’s a large unserved or underserved progressive niche here. There’s nobody to tell their side of the story, and that’s what we’re here for.”

Kicking off will be a weekday-morning show hosted by Joe Cleveland (quite possibly not his real name), an on-air vet whose roots dig back to WENZ-FM The End, as well as stations in other markets. Following him will be a cavalcade of syndicated liberal talkers: Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Bill Press, and Leslie Marshall, among numerous others cued up through the daylight hours and deep into the night.

Richards made his bones in the Columbus market, where he launched the still-chugging FM alternative CD101 back in 1990. A progressive talk station he started there a few years ago also had a gallant if brief run.

"It worked out quite well,” he says. “Unfortunately, the owners leased it out to a group of Catholics.” And you know what Catholics do to liberalism.

Counting its watts by the dozen, the Painesville station expects to reach much of the East Side, with sporadic coverage on the West for those who point their coat-hanger antennas in just the right direction.

To Richards, it’s the message that matters more than the power.

“The right has managed to demonize the word ‘liberal,’” he says, “and the media is very leery of being accused of being liberal, so they bend the other way to try to avoid any appearance of being biased.

“We are the liberal media you’ve been hearing about.”

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.