Maloney says Franken is bailing on Air America Radio:
We’re hearing that Al Franken is leaving Air America and giving up on talk radio, most likely for good.
His last day on the air will apparently be December 8. Already, a few libtalk stations have begun to leak word of Franken’s impending exit.
In the meantime, stations have been bailing out on Air America; five in the past week, according to Maloney.
It’s probably a fair time to go into the wayback machine and check up on my predictions. On March 11, 2004 – about three weeks before the network aired – I predicted:
My predictions are as follows:
- “Uprising”: Comics are as stable as show poodles. I say the show has burned through both of its co-hosts in the first six months, and is “re-worked” by September 31.
- “Unfiltered”: Lilywhite Winstead is a snide, hip, too-cool-for-school comic. Chuck D is a hard-edged polemicist. Separately, neither invites conversation. Together, I see the show being as much fun as a MacAlester teach-in. I predict Chuck bails within six months.
- “O’Franken” – For starters; basing your show’s identity on a slap against your rival merely plays his game, and shows the…well, stupidity of FrankenNet’s executive suite. Second: I’m trying to figure out Al Franken’s reaction when he realizes his sidekick is Katherine Lanpher, the overrated dim-bulb of MPR fame. I say Lanpher’s out by March 21, 2005, and the show grinds to a halt by September 30, 2006.
- Randi Rhodes: Gone by March 31, 2005.
- “Majority Report”: Garofalo is an acquired taste when you’re watching her do comedy in a room; much of her appeal (and I’ll admit right here – she has appeal) is physical; her face is half of her act. Note to FrankenNet’s brain trust; on radio, nobody can see your face! I give it six months: By 9/30/04, Garofalo will be gone.
- Finally – FrankenNet will get a major re-tooling by September 31, 2004. Most of its original lineup will be gone as noted above. Its first major affiliate will switch formats by 3/31/05, and the network will be officially dead by 3/31/06.
Count on it.
So how’d I do?
- Oops – Marc Maron lasted a tad over two years, although the show went through some re-casting. Can’t win ’em all.
- Lizzzz Winstead indeed lasted a shade under a year.
- I predicted Lanpher’s exit by March of ’05, and that Franken would bail by 9/30/06. Lanpher lasted six months longer than I called. If Maloney’s story is accurate, I’ll have underestimated Franken’s staying power by a shade over two months. Not bad.
- Garofalo? Oops. She lasted just shy of two years longer than I’d figured. Guess standup isn’t doing as well as I’d figured.
- On the other hand, quite a number of major Air America affiliates changed formats within three months of airing.
So I think it’s time to start the dead pool. Everyone sound off in the comments; what date do you think FrankenNet will finally assume room temperature?
Closest guess wins!