Counterculture Con HQ

January 22, 2010


If Air America fizzles out and nobody was still listening to it, did it really happen?  Liberal talk radio expressly dedicated to bringing down Bush and Cheney, hosted by such notables as Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Randi Rhodes, and a host of other anti-Bush personalities, never had a chance.  And let’s not forget Mike Malloy, who refers to conservatives in such pejoratives that he even had ME hating me!  Now, apparently, they’ve gone toes up, even though it doesn’t really matter because nobody was listening in the first place.

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.

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. National and local advertising revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection. From large to small, recent bankruptcies like Citadel Broadcasting and closures like that of the industry’s long-time trade publication Radio and Records have signaled that these are very difficult and rapidly changing times.

Those companies that remain are facing audience fragmentation as a result of new media technologies, are often saddled with crushing debt, and have generally found it difficult to obtain operating or investment capital from traditional sources of funding. In this climate, our painstaking search for new investors has come close several times right up into this week, but ultimately fell short of success.

With radio industry ad revenues down for 10 consecutive quarters, and reportedly off 21% in 2009, signs of improvement have consisted of hoping things will be less bad. And though Internet/new media revenues are projected to grow, our expanding online efforts face the same monetization and profitability challenges in the short term confronting the Web operations of most media companies

yada yada.

They claim the economy did them in (Bush’s fault!).  Even though they’ve been losing money since day one, and despite the fact that rightwing radio is doing just fine.  So what happenned?  It’s very simple.  There isn’t a market for progressive radio; at least not a market than can sustain it.  For conservatives and those right of center, a segment which is sizable, and who can’t stand the mainstream media, there are very few places for them to go.  So when one or two alternatives pop up, like Fox News and AM radio, they all flock to them.  And fewer competitors for these rightwing outlets means higher ratings and greater profits.  The opposite is true of the mainstream media, whose outlets with a left of center point of view are vast in number, and already offer liberals, uh, progressives, their perspective.  They don’t need to tune in to radio when they can hear Lib TV reporters on evening newscasts, and read Lib editorials in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.  So, there was no need for something like Air America because television airwaves and internet cables and movie theatres nearby were already ringing with its message.  And all of them were competing with each other for the same listeners and readers–which means a diluted market share and lower ratings.  In a mainstream media environment that is saturated with a left of center point of view, Air America was superfluous.  It failed, not because it’s message wasn’t wanted, but because it wasn’t needed.


1 Comment »

  1. Looks like the start of a landslide. The left is suddenly a dying breed. Fooled me. I gave them until the end of this year.

    Comment by greyrooster — January 23, 2010 @ 00:08

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