CRN Digital Talk Radio Networks
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (June 2009)|
CRN Digital Talk Radio Networks, sometimes simply referred to as CRN or CRN Digital Talk, is a syndicator and distributor of radio programs and talk radio networks. Its legal name, and former branding, is Cable Radio Networks, Inc.
The content is primarily talk radio programming, produced both in house and from syndicated sources.
CRN broadcasts seven audio feeds. It is distributed, as its former name implies, mostly through various cable television providers, much in the way the more widely available Music Choice is distributed. However, it is also available via Ku band satellite, various terrestrial stations across the nation and on the Internet.
Programming and Channels
- CRN1: This channel is the flagship of the CRN network, and the most widely distributed. CRN1 features all of CRN's in-house programs, such as Robert Conrad, Fred Dryer, Larry Manetti, Barry Farber, Pat Baccili, Chuck Wilder, What's Cookin', What's Cookin' On Wine, What's Cookin' on Wine: The Oregon Report, Les Kincaid's Wines Du Jour, The PM Show, Sports Corner, and several weekend programs, as well as syndicated programs, such as Doug Stephan, Dennis Prager and Steve Sanchez.
- CRN2: The feed used by Sports Byline USA. The Thom Hartmann Show and Andrea Tantaros are also carried on this channel.
- CRN3: The feed used for Salem Radio Network's programming, which includes William Bennett, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved. KCBQ's morning host, Mark Larson, is also carried on this channel.
- CRN4: The feed used by Talk Radio Network. Programming on this feed includes Mancow's Morning Madhouse, Jerry Doyle, Rusty Humphries, and The Phil Hendrie Show. Dennis Miller (not a TRN host) is also on this channel; during the weekend, this channel carries CRN replays.
- CRN5: The feed used primarily by Radio America, featuring Roger Hedgecock, Peter Schiff and Joy Browne. Red Eye Radio is also carried on this channel. Talk Radio Network's weekend programming airs on this channel instead of CRN4.
- CRN6: The feed used by Guadalajara-based XEBBB ("Radio Mujer"), a Spanish language women's lifestyle network.
- CRN7: Currently vacant on weekdays due to the shutdown of America's Radio News Network. CRN replays air on this channel during evenings and weekends.
At one time, CRN announced new channels CRN7 and CRN8, but CRN7's debut was delayed for several years, not debuting until late 2010 and CRN8 never materialized. Air America Media was heard on CRN4 (replacing TRN) from November 2009 until the network's 2010 collapse. CRN6 was previously used by the now-defunct National Radio Network, which primarily consisted of rebroadcasts of CRN shows.
CRN was founded in 1983 by Michael Horn, a veteran programmer and disc jockey in the Los Angeles media market. Originally offering a single satellite-delivered analog programming feed, CRN primarily featured adult contemporary music, providing cable television operators with audio programming suitable for use as a soundtrack to their 24-hour computer-generated information kiosk channels (such as the original, full-screen version of Prevue Guide). Cable operators frequently utilized CRN for secondary purposes as well, including on-hold telephone audio applications, and as background audio for Public-access television cable TV channels during non-programming hours. In addition to adult contemporary music programming, CRN also aired nighttime talk shows, including cable television-related discussion forums such as "Cable Talk." Audio from Prime Ticket's telecasts of Los Angeles Kings hockey games, and occasional remote broadcasts from such events as the Western Cable Show and a Special Olympics fundraiser that starred comedian Rich Hall, were also featured.
CRN was the home of "Talk Back" with George Putnam until Putnam's 2008 death. Up until 2006 or so, Los Angeles-based local programs such as John and Ken and The Loose Cannons were also carried on the network. Until November 2009, programming from Talk Radio Network (most notably The Laura Ingraham Show and The Savage Nation) was heard on CRN (mostly on CRN4, with overflow airing on CRN2 and CRN5), but without explanation, the two parties failed to reach an agreement to continue carrying TRN on CRN. Air America Media replaced TRN on the CRN4 channel. TRN programs eventually returned in 2010 after the foldings of both Air America and the National Radio Network, which ran on CRN6 and consisted mostly of relays of other network programs.
Programming is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on cable systems and on the website.