Steve Carney dissects what went wrong at Air America and what it means for progressive talk in the Los Angeles Times:
Coming only two days after the Republicans’ upset U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts, the sudden demise of the Air America radio network — after a protracted illness — left liberals reeling and conservatives gloating over the failure of their competing ideology’s highest profile outlet.
But the end of Air America is not the end of liberal talk radio, nor should it be, according to observers.
“The only thing they did that was outstanding — boy, did they get a lot of PR,” said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, a trade journal of the talk-radio industry.
“The thing that was so maddening about Air America’s original programming — and they squandered their initial capital and their initial publicity — [was that] all you heard was about how bad Rush Limbaugh was and how bad Sean Hannity was,” Harrison said in an interview Friday. “If that’s the ‘liberal message,’ there is no message.”
Charlie Kireker, the chairman of Air America, announced Thursday that the board was pulling the plug on the 5-year-old venture, which supplied programming to about 100 stations nationwide, including KTLK-AM (1150) in Los Angeles. The network had had financial problems from the outset, and they were exacerbated by the worsening U.S. economy, which has resulted in advertising cutbacks across all media…
[continues in the Los Angeles Times]