Friday, January 21, 2005

Air America Grows

This article explains the growth of Air America from it's premature death last Spring.
After a hype-filled launch in March, stoked by the passion of the presidential-election campaign, the network ran out of money within six weeks and was kicked off the air in Los Angeles and Chicago, leaving it with just a New York station and two smaller markets. Critics predicted the company wouldn't recover, especially after the election ended and interest in politics faded.
But tight funds and a slow start would not be enough to hinder the determination of those committed to getting the truth out onto the airwaves. In fact, we may be able to thank the Right.
In fact, President Bush's victory might be the best thing that could have happened to the network. Just as Rush Limbaugh and other conservative radio voices flourished during eight years of President Clinton, Air America's hosts now have an inviting target for the rest of the term.

"What happened on Nov. 2 may have been bad for America but it sure was good for Air America," says Rob Glaser, chairman of Air America.

Since the election, Air America hosts have had plenty of fodder. The network has called the move to privatize Social Security "risk-based Social Security" and poked fun at the peccadilloes of Bernard Kerik during his ill-fated nomination for homeland-security chief.
Air America is here to stay. A steady influx of cash and the contract extensions of Al Franken and Randi Rhodes solidifies the talent. And the ratings . . . well . . .
Definitive ratings for most of Air America's markets won't be released until later in the month. But local market research and anecdotal evidence indicate that the network is gaining traction. On the Internet, Air America is the fourth most popular radio station, with almost 200,000 weekly Web listeners, according to Webcast Metrics. (The top rated online radio station is Digitally Imported, which offers "electronic dance music.")

In New York, Ms. Rhodes is tied with conservative Sean Hannity for the talk-show host that listeners spent the most time with each week in the fall season, according to Arbitron. Ms. Rhodes points out that she reached that level after just a few months of national exposure, and without the television show and book Mr. Hannity has to boost his public profile.
I had told Mitch the day after the election "The bad news is, your guy won, the good news is, we have four more years of material"

via TalkLeft

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