We’re Still Here. They’re All Gone.

Air America is ceasing live broadcast operations today:

In a statement to employees of the New York-based network, Air America’s chairman, Charlie Kireker, wrote: “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.

Air America gets its last ratings book

To be fair, I figured it would have been out of business by 2006 at the latest.  Apparently there were enough liberals with deep pockets and shallow understandings of the broadcast market to flog the corpse for another four years.

“The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America’s business. This past year has seen a “perfect storm” in the media industry generally . . .

Generally?  Sure!

But there’s one specific exception to that very broad generality; one niche within the larger format of political talk radio that was, is, and is slated to remain profitable – indeed, is prospering on an epic scale. 

That’d be the conservative talk radio that Air America set out to try to knock off, way back in March of 2004 – indeed, the very month that the Northern Alliance Radio Network got started.

Victors

Victors

Air America launched in March, 2004, and styled itself as a liberal alternative to conservative talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage. Although at one point its programming was heard on as many as 100 stations nationwide, it ran into financial trouble early. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, 2006, and was sold to new investors for $4.25 million in early 2007.

It was never as close as even those numbers make it look.  Most of Air America’s “as many as” 100 stations were small, low-power operations on the fringes of their markets; when the network launched, it paid for its air time on its three most important affiliates (New York, LA and Chicago), and quickly ran out of money to do even that.  Indeed, the vast majority of its distribution came from Clear Channel, which also distributes Air America’s putative enemies Limbaugh, Hannity and Glenn Beck.  Air America programming was only really competitive in one market on one station (KFI in Portland Oregon) and then only for about a year.  Indeed, the only liberal talk that is remotely successful is Fast Eddie Schultz (who really is as dumb as liberals think conservative talk is), and Stephanie Miller, who basically does Laura Ingraham’s show with a lefty slant.

So goodbye, Air America.  You were good for a few laughs, back when we even cared about your existence (and that ended pretty much back in ’05). 

Stop by and say hi.  We’re the ones that are still on the air.

16 thoughts on “We’re Still Here. They’re All Gone.

  1. Rarely do I gloat at the closure of businesses but I’ll make an exception on this one. Haha, Air America was for those lefties that thought NPR was too conservative. It’s good to know that they aren’t much of a force at all. I remember when they co-sponsered the Medved-Schultz debate a few years ago and you had to pay to “become a member” of their stupid little inner circle. Whereas the Patriot was just put down your email and you get a free keychain and membership. I wonder what AM950 will become? Wouldn’t it be grand if AM1280 bought it and used it for more conservative “hate talk” radio? That would be grand.

  2. Also, “The Obama Generation” billboards will have to come down that were just put up. Seems kinda fitting that this happens the same week that dems lose in the bluest of blue states. I’d go up and vandalize some of those billboards but won’t because someone will surely beat me to it.

  3. Ben,

    I remember it well! KTNF is not linked with Air America, and near as I can tell most of their programming doesn’t come from them anymore (not sure if Ron Reagan or Bill Press are AA productions or not), so Air America’s closure shouldn’t directly affect them.

    Of course, the complete failure of liberal talk DOES directly affect them. I haven’t listened to AM950 in years – why bother? – but the last I checked, their sponsors were pretty much small potatoes; there can’t have been any revenue in it.

  4. Pingback: It is about damned time! -Air America is done, gone, history | Political Byline

  5. Shhhh; listen….d’ya hear that?

    It’s the sound of thousands of kid’s charities, large and small, breathing a collective sigh of relief.

  6. Air America is off the air, but sadly not soon enough.

    Radio waves reportedly continue out into space for millions of years and some grouchy aliens ten galaxies away are still going to hear Janeane Garofalo years from now.

    They’ll beam themselves here and vaporize us.

  7. Read something yesterday about the Coakley campaign that may apply here……Its’s not the Hindenberg. It’s not the Titantic. It’s the Hindenberg crashing into the Titantic.

    Hmmm, now I will have to find another station to not listen to.

  8. I checked in on 950 AM last week…..the advertisers were things like sustainable wind energy to power your organic garden. But the show was Ron Reagan Jr talking non-politics. Really pretty mellow.

  9. The air around Air America was merely an audible fart during the campaign. After that it was only the dissipating smell that lingered, of interest only to those who like to smell their own.

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