Friday, May 14, 2004

Air America Radio on Life Support

I thought Err America -- uh, Air America -- would at least last through December, but it may be buried by summer's end. The liberal radio network has lost its L.A. and Chicago outlets, two of America's largest markets. Its chairman, vice chairman, programming director, and sales director have all left. It has bounced millions of dollars worth of checks.

As Ann Coulter says, when folks have a choice they prefer conservatives. Looking at talk radio and cable news, Coulter is right. National Public Radio, white liberals' best friend, is partially subsidized by federal and local governments so it's shielded from true market competition like Air America. Liberals were so gung-ho to topple President Bush and take on conservative radio that they forgot to ask: do folks want this product? No surprise as libs regularly flunk Economics 101.

Air America cannibalized some of NPR's listener base. The only liberal talk radio that does well is on "urban radio" (i.e., black radio), with its tie-in to black music and cultural elements. Black folks weren't digging Air America's white-bread liberalism, token Chuck D. be damned. Latinos were missing in action. Given that racial minorities comprise over 1/3 of the Democratic Party's total ballots -- Dem operatives were behind this project -- how did white liberals figure they were gonna be successful? In both L.A. (47% Latino) and Chicago (40% black), black and Spanish-speaking stations are among the Top 2 most-listened stations in the city.

I listened to Air America a few times. I listen to both conservative and liberal radio, but Air America was irritating. Caterwauling posing as commentary, sophomoric pranks, bad technicals, etc. It's not surprising that now Air America is adding stations in places like Portland, Maine because they just can't compete with the much more exciting (and commercially viable) urban stations in the big cities.

Chicago Tribune reports that staffers were never enrolled in a health insurance plan, though Air America promised coverage and deducted health insurance premiums from their paychecks. Yes, all while Air America was promoting socialist health care. Tsk tsk, the personal ain't political. I did a Google search and there's a conspicuous mutedness from the liberal media, even though in March they unveiled Air America like it was the Second Coming...


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