Air America folds

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

(crossposted from Green Mountain Daily)

As if we needed more bad news about messages, message control, and the effects of corporatocracy.

Air America’s website is now, simply, a wall of black text on a white background.

It reads in part:

It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our Board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the Company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business…..We will strive to assist affiliates and partners in achieving a smooth transition. Starting at 6 pm EST today, we will provide our affiliates, listeners and users a selection of encore programming until 9 pm EST on Monday, January 25, at which time Air America programming will end.

Yet another piece of bad news in what has been a pretty bad week, in my opinion.

More on the jump.

Radio weighs in.

Ed Schultz:

We are sorry to hear about our friends at Air America filing bankruptcy and going out of business immediately. We want our listeners to know that The Ed Schultz Show is and always has been an independently owned company. We have never been Air America. We were on a number of stations that carried Air America programming. The Ed Schultz Show will continue to be heard on the airwaves for a long time to come. Thanks for your continued support of The Ed Schultz Show. We are in year number 7 going stronger than ever!

Alan Colmes: (I know, I know…)

Air America performed a great service to both liberal broadcasters in particular and to the talk radio industry as a whole.  Its demise is, sadly, not a shock, but will certainly be misinterpreted and overstated by conservatives who love to pontificate about how liberals can’t make it in broadcasting and who will dance on Air America’s grave.

I look at radio as a broadcaster, not as a liberal. At its inception, Air America had a mission, and the mission sometimes superseded programming decisions.  Their business model in larger markets was pay-for-play, an expensive proposition often without financial return. Because conservatives were so entrenched on heritage stations, the progressives on Air America were relegated to smaller, less powerful, under-performing signals that could not compete with their more established counterparts; certainly not without lots of promotion and time to develop, both of which were denied in most cases. The company went through a series of management and programming changes and suffered further because of accusations of financial shenanigans.

Bill Press:

So the surprise is not that Air America died. The surprise is what took it so long. For the last few years, Air America has existed in name only. Which is why, in the thriving and expanding world of progressive talk radio, the absence of Air America will hardly be noticed.

Most of today’s nationally-syndicated, progressive talk show hosts – Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Mike Malloy, Randi Rhodes, and yours truly – have never been, or are no longer, Air America hosts. Our programs will carry on, without interruption or change. And, in every market where we are heard on the air, we will continue to match or beat our conservative competition in both ratings and revenue.

Cenk Uygur:

What happened, I thought Air America couldn’t make money? Did you know that Fox News lost $90 million a year for its first five years of operation? Air America has never come close to losing that kind of money. But you see, when it comes to them, they call that an investment. When it comes to liberal networks, they just call it losing money.

Oh, wait. That’s from last year; sorry. Lemme go back to terrestrial radio here.

Hartmann, Maddow, Miller:

No commentary found yet. I’ll get back to you. But I recommend reading all of what Bill Press had to say, in particular, rather than just my minimalist fair-use selection.

One word, in conclusion, that starts with “F” and rhymes with “truck.”

Is the Pony/Pie/Hide rating system too cutsie?

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    • dkmich on January 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    AAR folding will change nothing.  It has been dead for quite awhile, they just forgot to bury it.

    Since I enjoy Thom Hartmann, that was great to hear.  

    • sharon on January 23, 2010 at 6:35 am

    what happened?  i’m not a radio person.  when i am working i need to focus too much to have chatter on in the background, so did not listen much, but it always felt great to know they were out there.  why did people stop listening or should i say why weren’t they able to build their advertising dollars enough to support the operating budget?  was it mismanagement after the change of ownership?

    • TMC on January 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    It was two women I had never heard of and they wowed be with their intelligent and astute commenting. One of those women was Rachel Maddow, the other Kate Winstead. The other liberal voices I heard were Al Frankin, Sam Seder and RFK, jr. I was hooked. It was through Air America that I found MyDD and on and on. Ron Earle on the late nights with music and commentary. Some of those voices are still around and more prominent than ever, thank the Goddess. I’m sorry to hear of it’s passing but what great gifts it has given us.

    • Xanthe on January 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    It was a bad week until I just now opened my Cook County, IL real estate taxes.

    IT IS NOW A DISASTROUS WEEK.  My hope is that Todd Stroger gets handily beaten in primary.  Unlikely – He seems to have a zombie-like fan club.  Apparently, rent is cheap at the cemetary.  

    Air America was one of my co-dependents.  I liked Sam Seder especially.  Bad management?  

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