Air America Radio To Declare Bankruptcy

Think Progress reports that Air America will be restructuring, including declaring bankruptcy. They note that, regardless of the fate of Air America, progressive radio remains strong:

That format is now established and strong and will continue with or without Air America. Indeed, many of the country’s most successful and widely-syndicated progressive talk hosts — Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller, for instance — aren’t even associated with Air America.

Radio giant Clear Channel is so committed to progressive talk radio that, this week, it will announce a partnership with the Center for American Progress and MSS Inc. to conduct a nationwide search for the next Progressive Talk Radio Star.

I’m not terribly surprised that Air America is having financial problems. Liberals don’t have the people with deep pockets willing to subsidize them as conservatives do. Liberals are also much less likely to listen to one-sided talk radio, while conservatives appear to thrive on having their thoughts fed to them.

While I wish Air America well, I rarely listen to them. I’m far more likely to spend the time reading a variety of news sources, including both liberal and conservative. When I am listening to the radio I more typically listen to NPR which provides a balance of liberal and conservative views, while definitely more liberal-friendly than the corporate-run media. Of course if I could pick up Air America in my car, as opposed to being limited to streaming over the internet, I’d probably spend more time listening to it.

Update: Air America is denying reports that it will declare bankruptcy, while the reports of financial problems do appear to be correct.

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  1. 1
    janet says:

    After CNN seemed to go more to the right, my new media best friend is now AM 1090 in Seattle. It is not completely Air America but it is entirely progressive talk. I have it on in my house and in my car until Keith Olbermann comes on TV.

    So I guess I am thriving on left wing thoughts being fed to me. LOL!

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Environmental Republican makes multiple errors in their comments. Air America has been a low priority for people like George Soros. While there are affluent liberals contributing, this is nothing to the degree to which conservatives subsidize the right wing noise machine. They also had a considerable head start.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:


    Even some of the stations listed as being Air America stations are really local progressive stations which air a small amount of Air America’s programing. Rather than having one dominant network, I think it is more likely we will wind up with local stations such as yours all over the country, partially with local content and partially with syndicated content, including Air America.

  4. 4
    Scott says:

    I was not wrong. How is Rush Limbaugh subsidized? Sean Hannity? The are profit bearing operations.

    Soros did indeed subsidize the failing AAR.

    The people who ran the operation stole money from inner city kids for personal profit.


    There once was a time that the left would see that stealing money from kids was indeed not excatly within liberal principles. I guess that time is well passed.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Soros gives money to Air America, but this is far from his major priority.

    Limbaugh and Hannity are benefiting from years of building up of the right wing noise machine, and years of financial backing to build it up.

    I don’t know anything about Air America stealing money from inner city kids. A single opinion article is hardly convincing. If true that is wrong, but I also must keep in mind that a huge number of claims from those who criticize Air America and liberal causes turn out to be untrue when the facts are reviewed. Many conservatives have a strange belief that they are right and any tactic to spread their beliefs, including lying, is justified.

    I do note how you are quite loose with the truth over at your blog.

  6. 6
    Eric says:

    “Liberals don’t have the people with deep pockets to subsidize them as conservatives do.”

    That’s an ignorant statement if I’ve ever seen one. Conservative radio is listener supported. Listeners is something AAR does not have. Well, there are a few of you, but I guess you don’t feel it’s worth supporting financially.

  7. 7
    Scott says:

    There’s an ongoing criminal case against the founder of AAR. Google it and you’ll find plenty, just not in your main source of news the NY Times, they’ve buried it.

    As for me being loose with the facts, I have backup on everything. Name one fact that is “loose”. I love the way libs just throw sentences like that out with zero examples. Typical.

    Why is it such a hard concept to explain that advertising revenue supports right-wing radio? t does not have to be subsidized because people listen of their own free will and spend money on the products advertised. Simple free market principles are so hard to explain to libs.

    AAR is horrible radio, not just because it’s left-wing (which it’s been shown Americans hate) but because the hosts are not funny, derogatory, boring, misinformed and have nothing of import to say.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:


    Have you even read what I wrote before saying soemthing is an ignorant argument? Whether or not conservative radio is currently listner suppored is irrelevant. The conservative media is where it is now due to years of support from people with deep pockets. As for the rest of your comment, my post indicates that I don’t listen to Air America very often.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:


    Ongoing criminal case means that there has been no judgement against Air America. Of course you will just declare their guilt because they are liberals, while if the same situation occured with a conservative you’d likely be screaming about their innocence.

    As for being loose on the facts, just start with the manner in which you distorted what I said in your account at your blog. Besides the financial issues (which are likely a case of you not underatanding as opposed to being intentionally loose with the facts) there’s your comments claiming that I only folllow liberal media. This is clearly contradicted in my post where I say I rarely listen to them as “I’m far more likely to spend the time reading a variety of news sources, including both liberal and conservative.” If you bothered to fact check before making such an accusation, you might have also noted the number of conservative sources referred to here. When you come to a blog after showing such dishonesty, you can hardly expect to be taken as a credible source.

    “Why is it such a hard concept to explain that advertising revenue supports right-wing radio?” You still miss the point. The right wing media received support for years to get to where it is today. Air America has a much tougher job starting an entire network without such support to build on.

    As for the quality of Air America, I already noted that I hardly listen to it. On the one hand that could be interpreted as agreement to some degree, while I won’t actually call them by derogatory terms since it would be required to actually listen to them to reach such an assessment.

  10. 10
    Scott says:


    You’re entire point that deep pockets started right-wing radio are ludicrous at best. Rush started on a few stations and built himself up where he’s now on 400. It wasn’t anyone subsidizing, it was by his hard work and high ratings.

    You took a potshot at Republicans in the original post which I rebutted.

    As for libs getting their news from different sources, that’s wrong. I read at least four lib blogs daily so I can see what’s buzzing and get a feel for what they are thinking. How mant conservative blogs do you read? Glenn Reynolds and Matt Drudge don’t count either.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:


    You need to look back at the start of the current conservative movement. I’m not speaking of what Rush did. Even considering Rush, he became successful largely because of the efforts of conservatives before him to create the market for shows such as his. Rush is a good entertainer and might have still made it entirely on his own, but he is just one person. Building an entire network up is even more difficult.

    Reading liberal blogs so you misquote what is said and pretend you have come up with some brilliant observation on your blog is hardly a matter of looking at what others are thinking.

  12. 12
    American Soldier says:

    Air America is nothing more than the bull horn of the extream left and nobody wants to listen to that crap. By reading the above you might think that I lean way to the right, I just try to do what is right.

  13. 13
    kj says:

    Air America pretended to be “fair and balanced?”
    I thought that was Faux News.

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:


    Of course neither Fox News nor Air America is Fair and Balanced. Both are set up to promote a particular viewpoint and political party. The only difference is that Air America is honest about their purpose.

    Interesting that the right wingers are so thrilled about the thought that Air American might go under. Nothing like keeping people from hearing dissenting views.

  15. 15
    kj says:


    Thank you for clearing that up.
    I get so confused when rightwingers come here and say things like “fair and balanced.”

  16. 16
    kj says:

    Ummm, wait, what are dissenting views?
    In America?
    Views that dissent from BushInc?

    Tell me it isn’t so!

  17. 17
    Ron Chusid says:


    What’s the problem? Did you lose your English-Bushbot Dictionary?

    Fair and balanced means promoting the propaganda of the government as truth. Periodically they swap meanings (such as when Republicans are out of power). In those situations Fair and Balanced means to report any possible attack on the government.

    Other key words as used by right wingers: Freedom means free to do what the right wingers want. Freedome of religion means free to follow their religious rules. Capitalism means using government to transfer money to the ultra-wealthy and assist big corporations (especially those which contribute heavily to Republicans). Those of us who support a competitive economy and lean towards small business are socialists. Those who defend civil liberties are Communists (check thier writings on the ACLU to verify that).

  18. 18
    patricko says:

    Yes, like the writer indicates at the beginning of the article, I’ve often found that when a company declares bankruptcy it usually indicates an undrelying strength in the industry. I also had unicorn for dinner last night.

  19. 19
    kj says:


    I lost the English-Bushbot Dictionary in the move. I hope I can count on you, as well as my antonym finder, to keep the confusing down about what the ‘wingers are actually saying.

    Like patricko mentioning he had unicorn for dinner last night. Does that mean patricko ate a meal that was lacking in meat? Or just an imaginary meal altogether? How much detail such I read into the comment? I mean, he mentioned the writer at the beginning of the article, who said something along the lines of the fact that “widely-syndicated progressive talk hosts — Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller, for instance — aren’t even associated with Air America” as an example of strength of the (progressive radio) industry, despite Air America declaring bankruptcy. Does the unicorn dinner/comment include that sort of detail, or should I just read patrico has having an imaginary meal or, maybe, that patrico really thought he had a unicorn for dinner.

    Again, any attempt to clear up this confusion would be most helpful.

  20. 20
    kj says:

    (And please forgive the grammer and spelling mistakes. It’s high time for lunch. We’re having pasta with olive oil, bacon, tomatoes and scallions. No unicorn.)

  21. 21
    Ron Chusid says:


    “Again, any attempt to clear up this confusion would be most helpful.”

    Any confusion is on patricko’s part with regards to what the article says, as you point out. Perhaps this background will help clear it up for you. For many conservatives, the strategy is to avoid responding to what is actually said. Instead you change what is said to what you want to refute, and then refute this instead of the actual opposing argument. Conservatives who follow this strategy typiclally follow up by congratulating themselves on how brilliant their argument is.

    As for the unicorn, I am a bit concerned about someone having imaginary food. Imaginary food has absolutely no nutritional value. Failing to have a real breakfast might account for patricko posting such a ridiculous comment.

    With regards to lunch, it is beng brought into the office today. I’m actually not sure what specifically is coming but the restaurant catering lunch makes great sandwhiches, soups, and pasta. Often when we get lunch from them we wind up with a combination of two or three of these items. Plus chocolate, of course.

  22. 22
    kj says:


    I worried about patricko’s imaginary food also, I know what low-blood sugar can do to the brain. That might explain his post.

    JBK has a little bit of dark chocolate every day. Due to chocolate-onslaught-migraines, I wait for the one time of year my friend bakes chocolate raspberry truffles… eat them all, won’t even share… then pay the price. It’s worth it.

  23. 23
    Ron Chusid says:


    Patriko’s hypoglycemic-induced delusions turned out to be nothing. Our visitor from yesterday who labeled Kerry a misformed muppet returned with a bunch of totally incoherent rants and insults. I decided to let those electrons roam freely thru the universe rather than to be tied down to our comments section. I figure that if those electrons don’t return to this page, they never belonged to us anyways.

    Funny you should mention dark chocolate. I just got back to the office and found that an employee had dumped a bunch of Dove dark chocloates on my desk. If I didn’t have appointments all afternoon, I’d try running out again to see if more appear.

    I found more information on unicorns. No information with regards to nutritional value, but it does reveal the signs that your unicorn is cheating on you.

  24. 24
    kj says:


    I’m glad to know our muppet friend has been reduced to electrons, which fire randomly, I think. Whether or not they have to be observed to exist is something I’ll leave to Schroeder (or his cat, I forget which one is in charge). If the muppet electrons return here for our observation, it will be kismet, fer sure.

    I used to leave dark chocolate and almonds for the chiropractor. 😉

  25. 25
    Ron Chusid says:


    Would it be in bad taste to offer our potentially malnourished guests a healthy meal of pre-packaged spinach?

    Come to think of it, has the news hit your area? I was just reading thru the CDC’s Health Alert Network’s alert on outbreaks of E. coli in pre-packaged spinich (and it has also been on the news here). No cases reported in your area but three cases reported so far around here with 50 cases verified nation-wide.

    It reminds me of Woody Allen’s movie Sleeper in which it turns out that everything we thought was good for us is bad, and everything we thought was bad (like cigarettes) are good. Now spinach is bad. Instead of asking patients if they smoke, I’ll have to start asking if they had any spinach lately!

  26. 26
    kj says:


    Yes, the news has hit and I’ve already received an email warning from a family member. And yes, it would probably be in bad taste to offer spinach to our unicorn eating guests, in more ways than one. (I’m not a spinach fan.) (Well, except with black-eyed peas and corn bread, once a year. And crisp spinach leaves do make a nice greek salad. No wait, that’s kale.)

  27. 27
    kj says:

    Hey, a thought, maybe we should offer food to the guests that drop by! Just in case they haven’t eaten, or think they have eaten and haven’t, and all the things in between those two things.

    I say dark chocoate and almonds every day about this time for all who want, and I’ll stick with the green or white jasmine tea.

  28. 28
    Ron Chusid says:


    I shouldn’t be surprised that word of the killer spinach is every where. That type of news spreads quickly. Now if we can only figure out why a significant number of people never got the news that there was no meaningful WMD in Iraq or that Saddam wasn’t working with al Qaeda.

    I guess it would also be in bad taste for me to drive to South Bend this afternoon and offer the Notre Dame football players some spinach to strengthen them up before the Michigan game tomorrow.

    I haven’t thought about offering food here. First priority remains getting that Tassimo interface working so guests can get a cup of coffee or tea. I hear that Tassimo is coming out with green tea, with many other new products scheduled for release this fall. Actually a latte sounds good right now. I’ve only had one since I got back from the Grand Hotel as by the time I get home most nights lately its too late to have espresso and still expect to get to sleep.

  29. 29
    kj says:



    I don’t quite know what to say. Despite my family’s record of Purdue grads, even when Purdue played Notre Dame, we were duty-bound to root for ND. My uncle taught there and my one and only nephew is a recent grad. I mean, not rooting for ND is tantamount to giving up my pew seat in heaven. And whether or not I’m a practicing Roman Catholic or not, or whether I care a bit about sports, I can not and will not give up that pew. (Just in case.)

    I just can’t get over the idea that you entertained driving to South Bend with a car-load full of spinach. I’m emailing my nephew. He may, or he may not, care, but I’m telling him anyway.

    You tempt the fates with your ideas, my friend.

  30. 30
    kj says:

    (But try some green jasmine when Tassimo converts. White is better for you, but the green buds are out-of-this world.)

  31. 31
    kj says:

    I have to go out now. I’ll try to erase the nefarious spinach plan from my mind.

    But you make a good point about the news re: WMD’s. I guess I should have started a chain email to spread the news.

  32. 32
    Ron Chusid says:


    Your comments on Notre Dame football make for an interesting variation on Pascal’s wager.

    (Is Pascal’s wager a legal form of sports betting? With all these cultural references thrown in here, do you think my writing style has become overly-influenced by Amy Sherman-Palladino? Perhaps if we read this dialogue real fast?)

  33. 33
    kj says:

    LOL! In a word, yes.
    I gotta give on the Pascal. Emily and Richard would be abashed, but certainly pleased, I shut up.

  34. 34
    Ron Chusid says:

    Did you notice I included your advice on Notre Dame in Sci Fi Friday?

  35. 35
    kj says:

    Okay, now in all seriousness, I’ve thought about this Notre Dame thing, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my attachment to ND and my belief that I have a special, assigned pew in heaven because of the ND connections is irrational.


    It is irrational as the belief that viable WDM’s were recently found in Iraq, that Saddam was in league with al Qaeda, that GWB could read and digest a memo titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack In US” (and of course that explains his intent and focused “stay the course” reading of “My Pet Goat” while the country was under flaming, murderous attack), that yellowcake was more than a Becky Crocker recipe, that the aluminum tubes were going to be modified, and that one and only one religious doctrine explains the origin of the species.

    But, I can’t give ND up. I must stand firm, despite any and all evidence that Michigan’s team might beat Notre Dame and all would still be right with the world. I must root for ND. Even when I don’t give a fig about sports.

  36. 36
    kj says:

    No, I’ll have to go check. I had to get the above post off my chest first.

  37. 37
    Ron Chusid says:


    I haven’t seen the point spread, but if it makes you feel better I would be very surprised if Notre Dame isn’t favored. This early in the season it is very hard to predict the outcome of two top ten teams. Michigan has played two teams which aren’t in their league, which makes it very hard to say how good Michigan is this year.

  38. 38
    kj says:

    Full disclosure, several of my cousins (I have 38 first cousins on one side alone) went to Michigan State. We have a severe strain of sports mania in the family, but the gene skipped me completely. I’ll root for anyone. Unless they’re playing ND.

  39. 39
    Ron Chusid says:

    For whatever it means, I am on faculty at Michigan State. I believe my title is Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine. That doesn’t change the fact that I root for Michigan (although I will sometimes root for Michigan State secondarily as long as they aren’t playing Michigan.)

  40. 40
    kj says:

    I imagine you might have met one of cousins. Although most of the Michigan clan relocated to Memphis, TN. And now that I think about it, I’m not sure if they went to Michigan or Michigan State, whatever school is in Ann Arbor.

    Faculty, eh? That explains the index cards. 😉

  41. 41
    Ron Chusid says:

    Michigan is in Ann Arbor.

    Notre Dame frequently plays both Michigan and Michigan State.

    Incidentally, Michigan and Notre Dame are number one and number two respectively all time in terms of victories.

    As for relating this to our discussion of index cards and grading papers, I’m not involved with class room work or grading papers. Purely clinical.

  42. 42
    kj says:

    Clinical or not, it’s interesting to know you’re affiliated with a university. Just a personal opinion of course, but it’s good to know doctors are (still) connected with centers of learning and not so much centers of religious teachings. (Notre Dame excepted, of course.)

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