By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Greenstone Media, a radio company whose founders include social activist Gloria Steinem and actress Jane Fonda, has launched an all-women, all-talk network across the United States.
Steinem said the network, which is run by women, aims to provide an alternative to current radio talk, which she describes as "very argumentative, quite hostile, and very much male-dominated."
This network "has a different spirit. It has more community. It's more about information, about humor, about respect for different points of view and not constant arguing," Steinem told Reuters in an interview.
But Greenstone also hopes to attract male listeners.
"We do have male voices on the network. It's much better to have a mixture of voices," said Susan Ness, chief executive officer of Greenstone, which got its name from a children's book by Alice Walker, author of "The Color Purple".
The network's broadcasts have aired since July in selected stations, such as on WIIN in Jackson, Mississippi, WXCT in Hartford, Connecticut, a station in Flint, Michigan, and is launching a broadcast in Albany, New York. It is trying to partner with some satellite radio outfits.
"We expect that people will be able to also get us on mobile phones, cable radio, I-pods and every distribution vehicle," said Ness.
Steinem pointed out that the idea of an all-women network stemmed from a company survey showing an 18 percent decrease in female listeners over the past seven years.
"Women are really fleeing from AM talk radio and now FM music because people get their music in different ways. So there's an enormous window of opportunity, and we're diving in," she said.
Currently, the network does nine hours of programming daily, which should increase shortly to 12.
LINK: Greenstone launches all-women radio talk network
I hope this goes better than Air America.