Air America Dead Pool

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!

3 thoughts on “Air America Dead Pool

  1. I’d guess that Air America, as a network, shuts down about one month after Franken leaves–the first Friday of January?–replaced by something different in every market. If anything survives, it’ll only be in one market. And Franken will not run for the US Senate. In two years, it’ll be “Al who?”

  2. “What date do you think FrankenNet will finally assume room temperature?”

    It already has. They’ve just been dressing up a corpse for some time now.

  3. Brad said:

    “They’ve just been dressing up a corpse for some time now.”

    No kidding. Air America is the real life radio equivalent of Weekend at Bernie’s.

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