Newsweek article on Air America

Brian Vita
Mon Dec 18 09:38:26 EST 2006

Donna Halper wrote:
> 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...]
Look at the good side.  You are not on the list of unsecured creditors 
in the liquidation who have no chance in hell of getting paid.  Unless 
you enjoy working pro bono, you are likely much better off.

There are idiots in every business.  I've dealt with my share of folks 
whose business plans make a train wreck look safer.  I even had one who 
retained me, ignored my advice completely and then tried to sue me when 
his business failed.claiming it was my fault. 

My take on AAR was that they were not "lost sheep" that needed some 
direction but rather blow hards who knew more than everyone else and 
weren't about to listen (speaking of management, not that my view of the 
talent differs greatly).  The management was dubious from Day 1 with 
shady financing, back door deals and cooked books.  They were so dirty 
that they made Clear Channel look holy.

Brian Vita

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