News and commentary by: Whymrhymer

When the news hit on Friday that Air America, the “Liberal-Talk Radio Network” that was comedian Al Frankin’s brainchild, had filed for bankruptcy, most of the mainstream radio hosts chortled with glee. They all knew that the Air America experiment was destined to fail but not, as some would have you believe, because no one wanted to listen to the Liberal viewpoint. Air America failed (and will probably, eventually, go off the air unless it makes some drastic changes) because it was not really a radio network — it was simply a radio show with a network wrapped around it; a radio show dedicated to one political point of view. You can’t say that about the vast majority of other radio networks or about any of the successful radio networks.

Well, you say, how about Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and so many others who are considered prime examples of Conservative propagandists? These Conservative talk hosts are just relatively small cogs in the greater gear of the radio networks that air their shows. If any one of them lost their audience, as many talk show hosts of all political persuasions do on a regular basis, they would be off the air very quickly. A radio network . . . a real radio network . . . is a business and like any other business it lives on profit and will reorganize its staff, schedule and format if that profit dwindles. Not so Air America!

Air America, as this WashingtonPost.com atticle points out, has been losing money since it went on the air in 2004 but it never changed its format and never did much about it beyond a superficial rearrangement of its shows, because it had only one purpose: get the Liberal message on the air!

Speaking of talk show hosts; don’t forget Alan Colmes! Major radio networks air many Liberal talk hosts and Alan Colmes is not only one of the most successful, he is one of the most sincerely Liberal. Colmes is also, along with Sean Hannity, the co-host of a long running, extremely popular television talk show on the Fox Network where he and the ultra-Conservative Hannity trade jabs and points of view nightly.

This excerpt from the Washington Post article sited above (and linked below) is an example of Liberal talk radio that works:

“Indeed, although conservatives have dominated the talk format for decades, liberals have made some inroads in recent years and are popular in many cities around the country. For example, Washington-based Jones Radio Networks has syndicated talk shows featuring liberal hosts Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and Bill Press, with more than 180 stations carrying the programs.

” ‘The format is healthy and here to stay,’ said Amy Bolton, general manager of news and talk programming for Jones.”

The difference here is that the Jones Radio Network is not in business to deliver a political message — that’s the job of the individual talk hosts and, if they (the talk hosts) do that job successfully, they will stay integrated with Jones’ variety of other programming.

Links:

The WashingtonPost.com article: Air America Files For Bankruptcy

The Huffington Post’s POV: Air America’s Future

A host of other articles on this topic at: Google News

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