January 21, 2010

Air America crashes to the ground.

Suddenly, today.
“The fact of the matter was, it was always a very challenging business proposition, and it never had the right management,” said Sam Seder, who hosted programs on Air America until last year.

The headwinds were enormous, he said, adding, “Radio is a dying industry.”
Well, that's got to find its way into Rush Limbaugh's "stack of stuff" for tomorrow.


Eric said...

Radio is a dying industry? Somebody should tell Limbaugh, Levin, Beck, Hannity, etc, etc. Apparently they're too busy making money to notice.

chickelit said...

Radio is a dying industry


chickelit said...

newspapers are a dying industry

That's what Sulzberger (or whoever) will say when the NYT is bought and revitalized.

WerewolfinExile said...

Good riddance. It was destined to fail. It was a venture that existed by the grace of lefty financiers, not the legit response to a consumer driven need. I recall the station always existed in turbulent financial straights due to its heinous programming. No one will miss it.

Radio seems like a fine industry, assuming one responds to what the consumers of radio want? Limbaugh has a great thing going.

Donna B. said...

I thought Air America went under a few years ago.

mariner said...

It won't be needed, as Obama's FCC finds a way to reinstate the "Fairness" Doctrine.

Elliott A said...

Their three listeners were too distraught to find the right station

Diamondhead said...

“Radio is a dying industry.”

"Those grapes are sour anyway..."

bagoh20 said...

I don't quite understand why lefties don't listen to talk radio. In all other media they are at least competitive and usually dominant. Any hypotheses?

bagoh20 said...

I do know some people of the left who do listen to talk radio, but they generally listen to Rush. They hate him, but they listen. That truly is talent on loan from God.

dick said...

Just got this email from a friend:

even after stealing money from poor black children and the elderly - they couldn't make it work. the last owner was perennial political candidate, Mark Green's brother, who lost half his shirt trying to keep this sinking ship upright

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Lefties all listen to npr or pacifica stations. That's where al the ears (and money) on the left goes.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

I tried listening to AAR a few times after it stated up, but it seemed to be a pastiche of what lefties think conservative talk-radio is. There's left-leaning radio out there that's interesting even if you don't agree with it - Pacifica comes to mind - but AAR hosts always acted like they were junior high students hijacking the PA before the principal caught them.

jayne_cobb said...

So the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls club is broke, eh?

the gold digger said...

Exactly. Liberals like NPR because it's taxpayer funded. Money taken from listeners (and non-listeners) by force. That nasty for-profit radio means competition and choice and all those things they don't like about the market. With NPR, they can congratulate themselves that everyone else has been forced to give the exact same amount as they have, whether they wanted to or not. Then can can send in their $20 and get a mug and feel superior.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Will be this be a negative number in Obama's "jobs saved or created" report?

And you gotta love a person like Sam Seder who was employed by and got paychecks from Air America for a few years and now he badmouths it.

bagoh20 said...

Anybody know the breakdown of liberal vs conservative blogs; comparative number of them and clicks?

bagoh20 said...

Liberals like NPR because it's liberal, no great surprise there, but that should translate into enough juice for more left talk to survive than does.

I use to listen to NPR a lot even waking to it every day. The coverage of the first year of the 2nd Iraq war was so slanted that I stopped and never went back. Every morning I would wake to such a negative account of the war that it sounded like Tokyo Rose. I just kept yelling at the radio: "Is that really the only side of the story? That's your whole insight: we're bad, and they're unfortunate?"

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Jason said...

The only on-air talent they had that was even close to being able to hold a listener was Franken and Ed Schultz, on a good day. The morning show had some good moments. I used to tune in regularly.

Other than that, they were just bonkers. Juvenile, vile idiots who were busy jousting at windmills and responding to CARICATURES of conservatives rather than the real thing.

They thought they could do Limbaugh's format, but they thought Limbaugh was an angry gasbag. Limbaugh is not, at all. They had no clue.

Good riddance. Matt Malloy, especially, has a pit in radio hell reserved for him.

Unknown said...

As I noted earlier, get the feeling there more to what's been happening the last couple of weeks than we realize?

Donna B. said...

I thought Air America went under a few years ago.

It did. This is just somebody filling in the hole.

David said...

Radio takes talent.

Politics aside, Rush has talent by the boatload.

Maddow had some talent but she wasn't particularly committed to the medium. On TV she's turning into a bit of a scold. Hard to figure what someone like Rachel Maddow thinks she's achieving.

wv=tansucks (Obama's bad week continues.)

Peter V. Bella said...

If the liberals cannot even run a radio network, how can we expect them to run a country?

Oh, bankruptcy.

Kensington said...

It has nothing to do with radio listeners rejecting liberal screech radio. Rather, they're just saying "no" to incumbents because they're angry. Or something.

Unfortunately, Air America's long-awaited collapse doesn't actually seem to affect all that many shows. Some of the biggest stars (and jerks) of liberal radio like the vile, cretinous Mike Malloy aren't actually on Air America.

Anonymous said...

SOME radio is dying, but not ALL radio. The whole key is finding enough listeners so the advertising revenue will pay the bills.

Simple capitalism, really.

A forgotten point in this age of "Too Big To Fail".

AlphaLiberal said...

Rush Limbaugh, Ann Althouse's hero:

There are a lot of people, when you say banker, people think Jewish. ... People who have a little prejudice about them. ... To some people, banker is a code word for Jewish; and guess who Obama is assaulting? He’s assaulting bankers. He’s assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there’s – if there’s starting to be some buyer’s remorse there. .

Jews and money, ya know.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Why do I suddenly feel like buying Nikes?

But seriously, I've operated an AirAmerica "watch" site since the day before they started. Which means I've been on the air longer then them, outlasting their endless series of talent.

One of the most popular pages is somewhat disreputable: a search for RandiRhodes that actually brings up a picture of a tranny. I didn't really plan it to bring in so many people, but that's the way it works.

Another top page is this, believe it or not. And, I can't believe how many people come to this page.

There are others like me.

Rose said...

KGO AM 810 Newstalk Radio, San Francisco is pretty liberal talk radio - a bit of balance - but it is a very successful model - and they are strong enough to survive in the REAL world, unlike Air America, DemocracyNow! (demockeryNow) and other parasitical leftist programming that requires public financing to spread seditious propaganda.

Peter V. Bella said...

Hey Alpha,
We all know the far left hates the Jews and loves the Moslems. Rush was just pointing out their hypocrisy. Of course, being a hypocrite yourself it went right over your pinhead.

Unknown said...

Air America has been heard in the Washington area on WZAA (1050 AM). Its audience has been so small that Arbitron, which compiles radio ratings, was unable to detect any listeners for WZAA during several weeks in December.


SETI had a better chance of finding aliens than Air America ever had of finding listeners. Its like listening to Primitive Oral Surgery going on in the next room. Lots of groans and the smell of burning teeth being ground down into stumps.

Zombyboy said...

What he meant to say was that bad radio is a dying industry.

Understandable slip and, in all, a favorable result.

Michael said...

Alpha Liberal, are you really so dense that you're calling Limbaugh an anti-semite for a segment in which he called Obama out for hinting at anti-semitic undercurrents?

Matthew said...

No bail out for Air America? There is no TARP money to send their way? How could that be?

Anonymous said...

The reason that AM radio is so popular with conservatives is because conservatives took it as a niche forum. All the others were dominated by the left, until FOX came along.

I personally have never understood why a radio dial is limited to the band it has. I'm sure anyone who knows the answer will think that's a dumb question, but there it is.

Beth said...

I listen to one local guy in my region who's a practical, somewhat libertarian with liberal social leanings, and I started that only after Katrina. I also listen to sports talk (Bobby Hebert, Saints' segments only, I don't care about NBA and I really, really don't care about LSU).

Otherwise, I want to hear music on my radio. I don't find Rush remotely entertaining, so I don't waste minutes I could better spend listening to a lovely breeze through my window, or listening to Drew Brees talk about Sunday's game, for that matter.

If I had to speculate why leftists don't listen to talk radio, if others are anything me, I am nauseated by the whole clubby, ditto, us vs. them mentality required to enjoy it. Of course, that's probably why liberals can't govern efficiently or act as an effective opposition party.

Unknown said...

The "Fairness Doctrine" is coming to radio stations near you.

Diamondhead said...

I think Instapundit quoted me quoting Aesop...

bagoh20 said...

"Jews and money, ya know."

This is the crap that people are fed up with. Somebody said the wrong word combination. I'm not sure what it means, but lets get our panties in a bunch about it.

Bigotry is like God: if it didn't exist people would invent it anyway. Must be a deep seated need of some kind.

jeff said...

"I am nauseated by the whole clubby, ditto, us vs. them mentality required to enjoy it."

Yet another person who has no ides what "ditto" means and clearly has never listened to the show.

Beth said...

I listened in the 90s, when he started. From '94 through maybe '97, or '98 - the Clinton years. That was more than enough. And I'm very familiar with the whole "you don't get it" response from ditto heads. I'm happy not to get it. You can keep it.

Ken Mitchell said...

I'm happy to hear Air America's silence.

You guys who like Rush Limbaugh; Rush Limbaugh started his radio talk show as a local station on KFBK radio, Sacramento, CA. Rush had the afternoon show, When Rush left and went to New Yawk, he moved his west-coast listeners to the new morning show, and Rush's good pal Tom Sullivan picked up Rush's afternoon time slot.

For 20 years on KFBK, it was Rush in the morning, and Tom in the afternoon, and it was a thing of beauty. Rush did the political stuff, and Tom covered the economy with a heavy political slant.

But now Rush is in Palm Beach and Tom Sullivan has gone national on Fox Radio News,and it has grown to an even GREATER thing of beauty to us libertarians and conservatives.

If you like Rush - you'll like Tom Sullivan! He's the nicest, most reasonable guy in radio.

Check your local station for Fox News Talk.

Revenant said...

If you know you don't get it, wouldn't it be a good idea to stop talking about it? It isn't like the Internet is experiencing a shortage of confusion and misunderstanding.

Ben Calvin said...

Ian Faith: The Boston gig has been cancelled... David St. Hubbins: What? Ian Faith: Yeah. I wouldn't worry about it though, it's not a big college town. -Spinal Tap (1984)

Fred4Pres said...

Air America had too much competition, with the networks and CNN. To add insult to their injuries, Senate and MSNBC stole their clown act.

From Inwood said...

Peter V


You gotta realize that many people who don't listen to Rush quote something he's alleged to have said.

Or, operating from a foregone conclusion, skim read a report of what he actually said (something like pressing "Ctrl + F to search a term in an article) &, QED, scream "eureka! here's proof that he's another C4 re Joos".

Once upon a time some MSM smart ass asked Bill Buckley a leading question: “why are you so against the poor?” Buckley replied "I loathe the poor". All my liberal friends quoted this forever as if he meant it &, ironically, as if they gave a damn about the poor themselves.

Wit, Humor, Irony, Satire are all lost on the witless, irony-impaired, the too dumb to understand satire.

A number of serious liberals, as opposed to Alpha types, have written about or mused about the Jewish vote & the Dems. But if a serious Conservative does such musing, why that's proof that he's an anti-Semite.

Unknown said...

Quote "I personally have never understood why a radio dial is limited to the band it has."

AM radio started a long long time ago. The frequency and band was determined by the technology of the day and adopted by the FCC.

Once standards are set a lot of equipment made to those specifications. Expanding or moving the AM band (which has actually occurred) can obsolete a lot of radios which doesn't make people very happy.

Beth said...

If you know you don't get it, wouldn't it be a good idea to stop talking about it?

Someone asked why leftists don't listen to talk radio, Revenant, and I responded to that question. Another comment followed, to which I also responded. Feel free to ignore my part in the conversation. I'll continue, though, to direct the occasional raspberry in the general direction of Rush and Rush references. I enjoy it, and that's reason enough for me.

paul a'barge said...

You know what's a dying industry?

The Democrat Party.

Anonymous said...

As Rush points out, radio is the Theatre Of The Mind. He really is a genius at what he does, because he is so good at it, he makes it look easy. He knows how to assume several different "characters" with his voice so seamlessly, his listeners are not even aware he is playing them.
The Left hates Rush so much, they dismiss his talent and his medium at their own peril.

Beth said...

Oh, the peril!

Now, see, that's funny. I do enjoy humor.

algie said...

It just proves Darwin was right. The survival of the fittest, and the death of the weak.

So maybe we should feel some pity
But all I can say is tough titty
You see their idea''s
Like Tijuana tortillas
Have results that just are not pretty

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Synova said...

I don't listen to radio at all, not even music. I don't listen to music that isn't on the radio either. Not unless I'm *listening* to music.

It's because I'm ADD, I think. In the car I can't take the distraction. At home I just don't get around to putting something on.

Anything with voices is doubly distracting, though, because I have to listen. In an office I can sort of tolerate music.

I'd always assumed that the people who listened to radio either listened in their cars or had jobs working with their hands that could be done while listening. And I always assumed that people who worked with their hands and back were more likely to want to listen to Rush or sports or Corn than to Gerofalo or whoever Air America had on.

Now, are liberals not in these jobs or are liberals in these jobs and Air America just failed to target the radio listening demographic? I know they're out there. I teased our contractor about not listening to Rush. (It didn't go over well. I should have remembered that liberals don't have a sense of humor.)

Revenant said...

Someone asked why leftists don't listen to talk radio, Revenant, and I responded to that question.

I was referring to your "ditto" comment. If you don't get how the term is used, don't use it? Pretty simple.

Gary Rosen said...

Hey, Alph-baby, it's a *fact* that Democrats are far more antisemitic than Republicans:

Jews Blamed for Economic Crisis

Of course Stormfront Alphie, who raves about secret rituals he allegedly saw at a seder, fits right in.

Anonymous said...

I first heard Rush around 1985 while driving with my Dad and he tuned in to Rush on KBFK. "Oh, here's that jerk". BUT he would listen, have arguments with Rush, and occasionally even agree. He ended up making Rush a habit. My Dad, a retired USAF colonel, remained a liberal in his mind but became libertarian in his outlook. I think his drives with Rush did that. My Dad was a brilliant man...he was the one who first recognized a change in the Russian stance during the Cuban Missile Crisis and reported it directly to JFK... and he always pushed us to understand BOTH sides of an issue. He listened to Rush because he could hear the other side and stimulate his own thinking. He lived to think and Rush gave him stuff to think about.
I tried balancing Rush with AAR but it was just shallow and lacking in real substance.
There will always be an audience, small as it may be, for 'echo chamber radio': AlphaLiberal here seems to match up with the AAR demographic from the Left, a significant percentage of Michael Savage's audience fills that role from the Right. That's all that AAR was and it simply wasn't stimulating.
AAR didn't require their audience to think, they required them to have visceral reactions.
Shows which both cause one to think and are entertaining will always draw a mass audience. That's why Rush is on top.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, John!

Anonymous said...

Let me first stipulate that I can't stand callers on the radio and believe that all radio should get rid of them, Rush Limbaugh included.

That said, the reason for the dittos thing is that Rush Limbaugh doesn't want his callers spending precious airtime saying longwindedly how much they agree with him. Thus, he asks people to say, "Dittos" and move on.

If I ever called Limbaugh, I would not say dittos because it would certainly be because I disagreed with him. However, I would never call any radio program.

Anyway, Beth, if you talk the way you often write, you should call someday. It would be a good debate. You, too, Rev.

miller said...

I listened to Rush on the Sacto station back in the 80s. I remember the Sacramento Bee getting all up in a huff about him back then, that he "must be stopped" or similar words.

Nice to see how well he's prospered. He's gone national, and the Sad Bee is still a local rag.

Kensington said...

Seven Machos:
"That said, the reason for the dittos thing is that Rush Limbaugh doesn't want his callers spending precious airtime saying longwindedly how much they agree with him. Thus, he asks people to say, "Dittos" and move on."

That's not it. "Dittos" doesn't mean agreement, necessarily. All it means is "I love your show." Even liberals were taking up too much time telling Rush how much they enjoyed listening even though they didn't agree with him.

Not agreement, just enjoyment.

Peg C. said...

Radio a dying industry? It certainly is for the left. But left-liberalism is a dying ideology; it's just that the death throes are excruciating and may destroy us all before it finally expires.

Deborah M. said...

Nobody was listening to Air America and I'm sure, just like Scott Brown's election, that is a reflection of the anger of the American people over the 8 years George Bush was in office:

"STEPHANOPOULOS: So you saw it coming by then?

OBAMA: By that time, we did. And here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country.

The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.

People are angry, and they're frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years.

wv: ungth: Obama blames Bush for the ungth time.

Peg C. said...

Deborah, I loved that, too! Proof that he is doubling down on the Marxism. Good for our movement.

When I first started listening to Rush, I was a far lefty. Clinton had just wagged his finger in my face and lied to me and I was desperate for anything that wasn't yet another lying, scumbag liberal. Rush absolutely challenges one to THINK. He is (along with Mark) the strongest promoter of conservatism in media period. But, it is no echo chamber. We hear every single important and repugnant thing said by the Democrats, in their own voices. (Interestingly, he rarely plays clips of Republicans because they are so incredibly lame.)

The commercials with the loud phone numbers repeated 3-4 times drive me crazy. Best thing about the podcasts is no ads, but you really miss the immediacy.

A Jacksonian said...

Sour grapes make for poor whines.

Fen said...


Seven: The reason that AM radio is so popular with conservatives is because conservatives took it as a niche forum. All the others were dominated by the left, until FOX came along.

is spot on and explains why AA was destined to fail. And I'm surprised at the number of talking heads who don't get it.

The only reason AM talk radio exists is because conservative thought was not treated fairly in the MSM. We were forced to establish a parallel venue where we could express our ideas and share our beliefs. MSM bias created a market need for conservative talk radio. There was never such a need for Air America, because its listeners already had the likes of CNN and NYTs to represent their political beliefs.

KCFleming said...

Shakespeare on AAR:
"They surfeited with honey and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness.
1 Henry IV

Good Lieutenant said...

>“Radio is a dying industry.”

Well, because you failed miserably at it, it must mean that EVERYONE is failing at it. And that 'action' needs to be taken to right the 'injustices' of the world somehow.


. said...

conservatives rule on the radio and in books. communists rule in the white house

Beth said...

(Interestingly, he rarely plays clips of Republicans because they are so incredibly lame.)

Yeah, that's why. Too lame to bother with. Nothing to see here! But Rush is not an echo chamber - ditto...ditto...ditto...

I get it, thanks for explaining.

KCFleming said...

I thought "ditto" meant Rush was a fan of the movie Ghost.

Opus One Media said...

It was a dollar late and a penny short from the onset.

It deserves a place but on decent stations - no the ones only dogs can hear - and the voice is important if only to remotely couterbalance the idiot radio of the right wing.

Media control is an important thing in society. Witness Germany or Russia's state run media networks. We are there now and with campaign finance out the door, the media advertising airways are ripe for the taking.

Our problem, among many, is that we do things in reaction to events past and we pay no thought to the future course. The idiots of the 20X (2010) generation are consumed with today. They barely understand the past and haven't a clue about the future.

miller said...

Well, yes, now that air america is down, all leftist speech has been squelched.

If only there were other outlets or even other stations, say, like NPR, to spout the leftist line every single waking moment.

That would be paradise.

Anonymous said...

President Obama weighed in.

"Let me be clear in this. The people have rejected Air America for the same reason they voted me and my good friend Scott Brown into office: they are mad a George Bush!"

Anonymous said...

Of course, one must be open to thinking.

Anil Petra said...

MSNBC, cable TV's Air America.

John Cunningham said...

I am very conservative, but I tried listening to Air America in Cincinnati for quite a while. the afternoon hosts were awful, ranting immature guys who were at the level of the drunk guy at the end of the bar. the Lefties already have well-produced talk on NPR, Natl Palestinian Radio...why listen to goofy ranting amateurs when you have pros like Terry Gross and Keillor?

NotClauswitz said...

Lefties don't listen to talk radio because the conflicting voices in their head all start arguing at once.

ken in tx said...

DirtCrashr, that makes me laugh!

Peg C. said...

Beth, your comment was intellectually vacuous and/or incoherent. But that's to be expected.

Beth said...

Mega-dittos, Peg! You're a great American.

Unknown said...

It is not that lefties don't listen to the radio. It is just that there was not much point to Air America.

The Democratic Party is a coalition of Blacks, Hispanics and left wing Anglo Whites.

For obvious reasons, Hispanics tend to listen to radio that broadcasts in Spanish. What political content they carry tends to be on the left. Black radio stations are all on the left as well, to the extent that they have any political content.

That leaves English speaking Whites who already have NPR thanks to your tax dollars.

So what niche was Air America supposed to fit?

mariner said...

Seven Machos:
I personally have never understood why a radio dial is limited to the band it has. I'm sure anyone who knows the answer will think that's a dumb question, but there it is.

Not a dumb question.

The simple answer is to prevent authorized users from interfering with each other.

Here's the FCC radio frequency band allocation. The frequency unit is megahertz.

Johanna Lapp said...

I am SO hoping that EIB or Fox News buys the trademark at the bankruptcy auction.

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