Air America, RIP
Fri Jan 22 11:30:04 EST 2010
The power boost CC had waited for at 1200 didn't happen till last spring, over 2 years after they switched to Rumba, and now they are anticipating their new conservative talk lineup in April. Who knows what kind of ratings or billings "Boston's Progressive talk" could have had, if the power boost had happened earlier. Some think that putting prog talk on stations like WHJJ and the two Boston outlets was to stop any possibility of a Fairness Doctrine return, or did they think it could work out?
In places like Buffalo where Entercom has WWKB, it apparently does...
Agreed about Dial Global vs. AAR, etc. As for the hiring of comics, a few work out--former Sat. Night Live regular Dennis Miller does okay but otherwise not too many comics work out (I guess Michael Graham of WTKK did stand up for awhile, though). Debate about the failure of AAR has centered in the past on things like "we already have liberal radio on NPR" to "they were too strident in politics" (but conservative talk can be that way, too) to "Rush and the rest had a head start on them". There is also the argument that we are basically a center-right nation and a network appealing only to the left merely has a niche audience.
And the failure of Air America/prog talk in Boston of course makes conservatives smile; "if it can't succeed there..." Despite the image of Boston as being liberal, some of the more successful talk shows are right-leaning (Carr, Rea, Severin) and they capture the white, mostly male, middle aged, suburban audience...but one would think the left-to-center audience is pretty sizable, too. As I've said before, do they prefer music, or NPR, or...
Trivia: The original name that was to be given to Air America was Central Air. That conjures up images of a moderate viewpoint...
From: Jim Hall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Fri, Jan 22, 2010 8:41 am
Subject: RE: Air America, RIP
I agree with you. When WXKS/WKOX was running a mixture of Jones Radio (now
Dial Global) and Air America programming, it was the Jones programming that
claimed my attention.
Although humor is a big part of radio, I think Air America erred by hiring
too many stand-up comics as their hosts (Mark Maron, Janeane Garofalo, and
even Al Franken). Some people turned in expecting a 3-hour comedy show
rather than political talk and were disappointed. Others did not take Air
America seriously because of the presence of so many comics. I think you
need to be a radio host who is humorous, rather than a comedian who has a
talk radio show.
[mailto:boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 5:47 PM
Subject: Air America, RIP
I'd like to say I'm shocked by the announcement that Air America
Radio has gone bankrupt, but I'm not. It was poorly run, wasted a
ton of bucks, and did a lot of other things wrong. But this is NOT
the end of progressive talk. Air America's main competitor,
Dial-Global, formerly Jones Radio Network, continues to be
profitable, with hosts like Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and Thom
Hartmann. So, I expect this may actually be good for those talk show
hosts, since they'll pick up some new stations.
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