April 21, 2004


OFF THE AIR (LA City Beat, 4/22/04)

The radio was going to be more interesting this year. Air America Radio was to be a gift and a cause for anyone who has maybe already heard too much Rush Limbaugh in the morning.

Sadly that turns out to be not enough people to fill a phone booth.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2004 11:44 PM

"Sadly that turns out to be not enough people to fill a phone booth."

Sadly? Besides, how were they going to compete with NPR?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at April 22, 2004 12:24 AM

i listened to Franken for a couple of hours recently, via their web site. I thought he was way less professional than the midnight shift guy on the student radio station at Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks. It will be a miracle if he lasts until the day after the election.

Posted by: John Cunningham at April 22, 2004 3:28 AM

From the article: Only in recent years have the most successful talk-radio outlets in Los Angeles been so dominated by conservative and/or libertarian hosts.

How to explain this puzzling phenomena?

Posted by: David Cohen at April 22, 2004 6:36 AM

Way, way back in the late 1990s KABC in Los Angeles tried to counterprogram shows like Rush and Dr. Laura on KFI by "going liberal" with their lineup. All that did was allow Salem-owned KRLA to move past them into the No. 2 slot among L.A. talk stations with shows like Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt.

KABC and its parents at Disney have now wised up and are airing shows like Hannity, which do get ratings (Disney's top people may be liberal, but all its major 50,000 watt AM stations are conservative talkers, except for KGO in San Framcisco. But even in that hotbed of liberalism ABC also has conservative talker KSFO because it draws ratings and makes money for Eisner -- something neither his TV network nor Air America seem like they're going to be doing any time in the near future).

Posted by: John at April 22, 2004 7:55 AM

Isn't one tenet of supply-side economics the notion that supply creates its own demand?

In their own clumsy way, maybe Air America has actually proven there ARE exceptions to that general rule. :)

Posted by: kevin whited at April 22, 2004 10:40 AM

As I understand it, the first big blunder Air America made was refuse to air on any station that also carried Rush Limbaugh.

Think about it. Whatever you think of Rush, the guy is a big draw for listeners and stations carrying him usually have larger audiences. This doomed Air America (by their own snobbishness) to second-rate stations for openers.

Then, when they started tanking (because of their lack of listeners), they bounce a check on one of their broadcasters, and when he pulls them off for it, they start a lawyer fight so the courts can force him to put them back on the air for free! And that was about their first payment after startup, too.

Broadcasters talk to each other. If they bounced a check off their first carrier and used the courts to force him to let them mooch air time, you think any other broadcaster will air them?

This chain of events is too far out for even Parker & Stone...

Posted by: Ken at April 22, 2004 12:28 PM