April 26, 2005


Air America’s Year of Decline: The liberal network scores its lowest-ever ratings. (Byron York, 4/26/05, National Review)

The latest radio ratings are in, and they show continued bad news for Air America, the liberal talk-radio network featuring Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Janeane Garofolo, and others.

While it is difficult to pinpoint Air America's ratings nationally — it is on the air in about 50 stations across the country, and has been on some of them for just the last few months — it is possible to measure the network's performance in the nation's number-one market, New York City.

The new Arbitron ratings for Winter 2005, which covers January, February, and March, show that WLIB, the station which carries Air America in New York, won a 1.2-percent share of all listeners 12 years and older. That is down one tenth of one point from the station's 1.3 percent share in Winter 2004, the last period when it aired its old format of Caribbean music and talk. [...]

The ratings also show WABC radio, which airs Rush Limbaugh, consistently beating Air America in New York City even though Franken had at one time claimed to be beating the conservative host there. In the 10 a.m. to 3 P.M. period in the Winter of 2005, WABC (and Limbaugh) won 2.7 percent of the audience to Air America's 1.4 percent. In Spring 2004, WABC beat Air America 2.7 percent to 2.2 percent. In Summer 2004, WABC won 2.7 percent to 2.3 percent. In Fall 2004, WABC won 3.6 percent to 1.6 percent.

That last number surprised some observers because it showed Air America faltering in October and November 2004, the period when the presidential election was reaching its finish and political passions were presumably at their highest.

The surest sign that the Left can't compete in the marketplace of ideas has to be Al Gore entering the field.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 26, 2005 4:02 PM

Actually, they adore farmers' markets and such.

Posted by: ghostcat at April 26, 2005 4:48 PM

Farmers' markets - where the prices are so high that a consistent Lefty would compare these rip-off artists to Enron and other evil capitalists.

Posted by: oswald booth czolgosz at April 26, 2005 7:04 PM

If they want to keep the channel on simply as some sort of promotional thing, the way Disney does in New York with its Radio Disney or ESPN channels, or the way the mayor does with his Bloomberg Business Radio channel, that's fine, it's their money. But none of those channels receives one one-hundedth the publicity that Air America does even though their ratings are only marginally smaller.

Let Air America rant on in near-privacy, but the media needs to stop fixating on the channel the same way the New York Times used to offer up an almost-daily report on "Sex in the City," far beyond its significance.

Posted by: John at April 26, 2005 8:35 PM

Al Gore? The man who splains things as you would to a five year old ... the same way they were splained to him.

Posted by: Genecis at April 26, 2005 8:47 PM

Getting doubled up in the capital of American Leftism by a 'big fat idiot' who's clearly on the downslide is pretty weak.

NPR needs to be subsidized by the govt. Nobody seriously thought splitting the market with them would be profitable.

Air America was essentially a campaign contribution by rich Dem donors for the 2004 election cycle. It will come down about the time my neighbors finally get around to scraping the Dean and Kerry stickers off of their Volvo wagons. June-ish.

Posted by: JAB at April 26, 2005 10:20 PM

Which Al Gore? He has so many personAlities to choose from.

Posted by: Noel at April 26, 2005 10:37 PM

All these people with their Kerry stickers still on their cars remind me of 18th century Scotsmen weeping over their secret pictures of Bonnie Prince Charlie. These people are supposed to be in the "reality based community" but they can't even grok to the fact that they lost an election.

Posted by: Governor Breck at April 27, 2005 6:39 AM

I took my giant Bush sign out of my car window about a month after the election. I felt like I was gloating. Five months later, I'm starting to regret that. (Though I still have a Rossi sticker--but that race isn't through yet!)

Posted by: Timothy at April 27, 2005 3:55 PM