Newsweek article on Air America

Dan Strassberg
Sun Dec 17 22:30:21 EST 2006

Who is Jones's third progressive talker--Bill Press? I've heard the name,
but I don't think I've ever heard the program or ever heard HIM on any
program. As I said in another post, I've seen the lineup--or what's supposed
to be the lineup--at the progressive talker in Phoenix, the station that
Shelly Drovny (spelling?) purportedly lined up after some right-wing
Christian group bought the 1060 station that had been carrying AAR there.
With the possible exception of Thom Hartmann, who, I've heard, self
syndicates his show, the new Phoenix lineup is AAR free. IIRC, the lineup is
also Bill Press free. Mike Malloy is on in what I believe is Press's time
slot and Malloy is being "syndicated" (I put that in quotes because I
believe that Phoenix is his only affiliate) by Nova-M, the "network" that
Drovny is allegedly bankrolling.

The worst shame of AAR's demise is that it simply gives the righties all the
credence they need when they say that progressive talk doesn't work, never
has, and never will. That was the buzz before AAR started. Now the righties
can wave that banner wherever they choose and nobody will bother to
challenge them. Nobody who could rescue progressive talk gives a damn that
AAR failed because of blatent mismanagement coupled with the refusal--even
AFTER the mid-term election results--of a lot of advertisers--national and
local--to air their messages on progressive-talk stations. In addition, no
group owner (and I am including companies that committed affiliates to the
programming but never tried to provide any of the other resources that are
normally necessary to make a new format succeed) did much more than pay lip
service to the programming. In sum, AAR's contribution to fairness in talk
radio looks to me like a HUGE negative--something that I'm convinved will
cost the Democrats dearly in election cycles to come.

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donna Halper" <>
To: "Bob Nelson" <>;
<>; <>
Sent: Sunday, December 17, 2006 9:44 PM
Subject: Re: Newsweek article on Air America

> At 09:03 PM 12/17/2006, Bob Nelson wrote:
> >Newsweek has an article talking about the tumult at Air America. Not
> >only were they
> >building up huge amounts of debt, but there was no network "program
> >director" to
> >handle clashing producers and hosts; just when they started to make
> >some of their most popular shows were cancelled, angering listeners,
> >and they had
> >no realistic business model.
> These are all things I have said for 2 years.  Notice that the Jones
> Radio hosts are still on the air, still stable, no programming
> changes, and 2 of the 3 they syndicate are turning a profit, while
> the 3rd is too new and on too few stations to make any judgements at
> this point.  Ed Schultz is now being asked to be a pundit on MSNBC,
> Larry King Live, and elsewhere, and so is Stephanie Miller.  Sadly,
> several of AAR's hosts with radio experience were actually gaining
> some traction but the turmoil at the network really hurt them.
> And I don't usually say this, but no kidding, I BEGGED AAR TO LET ME
> CONSULT THEM.  (So did several other experienced
> consultants.)  Consultants are not the magic answer, but hey, you
> know  me-- I could have helped them; I am not about ideology when I
> am working, and I've trained some outstanding conservative talkers
> over the years, as well as working with some liberals.  I don't care
> about the politics as long as the person is interesting and
> entertaining.  Btw, I am not one to beg for business; I can assure
> you, I make a living.  But in the case of AAR, I felt they were
> throwing away a good concept and missing a golden opportunity to
> attract an audience.  I even flew out to their group meetings last
> year at my own expense and made a pitch to work with them, but they
> said they were doing fine, thanks.    I've worked with several
> individual AAR affiliates very quietly, but nobody at AAR would even
> consider bringing in (gasp) radio people to give them some
> direction.  [picture of Donna throwing things at her computer screen
> in utter frustration...]

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