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The growing silence of 'union radio'

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Union radio silence

The golden age of unions is long gone — and for the radio shows that focus on labor and workers rights, every day is a struggle just to stay on the airwaves.

There are a number of talk radio shows around the country covering — and funded by — organized labor that are still up and running, but like the labor movement as a whole, what remains is a far cry from the time when unions and the concerns of workers were a dominant part of the media landscape.

“It’s literally dying on the vine,” said former radio host-turned-Democratic candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives Tony Trupiano. “The future does not look good for labor radio or progressive radio in any way, shape or form.”

People behind the shows with whom POLITICO spoke recently said their programs were in part sponsored or financially supported by advertising with union money. Individual donors also contribute to keep the shows — which broadcast from Pittsburgh, Madison, Wis., and Washington, among other cities — on air.

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