Air America (formerly Air America Radio and Air America Media) was an
American radio network specializing in liberal talk radio. It was on
the air from March 2004 to January 2010.
The network featured progressive talk programs and with monologues by
on-air personalities, guest interviews, call-ins from listeners, and
news reports. Several shows had million plus audiences, and multiple
weekday presenters continued on in radio, television, or politics
after their time on Air America. For example, in 2008, The Thom
Hartmann Program had 1.5–2 million unique listeners a week and The
Lionel Show had 1.5–1.75 million unique listeners a week.
Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and
Mike Malloy later had shows on other radio
Marc Maron started his" WTF podcast" by trespassing in Air
America's studios after the network's demise, before moving to Los
Al Franken went from his show to the United States Senate,
Rachel Maddow moved her show to television on the
The network was financially troubled, however. A scandal involving
nearly a million dollars in loans from a Boys and Girls Club in New
York secretly transacted by Evan Cohen came out in 2005 and was a
source of negative publicity. The loans were repaid, but in October
2006, mounting debts forced Air America Radio to file Chapter 11
bankruptcy. The company was bought by New York real estate investor
Stephen L. Green and his brother Mark J. Green, who purchased the
network in March 2007 for US$4.25 million.
The company eventually changed its name from Air America Radio to Air
America Media and lastly to just Air America, an effort to establish
itself as a broadcaster on multiple media sources including television
and the Internet, and one not merely relegated to radio. Always
primarily a radio network, on January 21, 2010, Air America went off
the air citing difficulties with the current economic environment. It
filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidated itself. Bennett Zier was
the company's last CEO including through the bankruptcy and
1 Programming overview
1.3 Public affairs and editorials
1.5 Weekday programs
1.6 Weekend programs
1.7 Former programs
2.2 Launch and rapid growth
2.3 Difficulties and turnover
2.4 Gloria Wise controversy
2.5 Air America, The Playbook
2.6 Reorganizational bankruptcy and sale to Green Family Media
2.7 Franken moves on to the U.S. Senate
2.8 Air America 2.0
5 See also
Ron Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan, and Thom Hartmann
(background, right) hosted progressive talk shows at Air America.
Air America Media's progressive talk radio programming consisted of
news, talk, comedy, interviews, guest editorials, and listeners'
telephone calls. The talk portions featured some extended host
monologues in the classic talk radio format. Live and pre-recorded
comedy routines, featuring various comedians, were also aired. As with
most syndicated broadcast networks, local affiliate stations were able
to air select programs or the entire schedule, subject to contractual
The shows followed a half-hour format from six minutes past the hour
to 28 minutes after the hour followed by a hard break for six minutes
until 34 minutes past the hour. The final hard break occurs at 58
minutes past the hour, leading into the news at the top of the hour.
There was also a floating break in both the first and second
half-hours. Local stations could run their own commercials, local news
and weather or other features during the breaks.
Air America featured its own news summary breaks at the top of each
hour, with content from wire services such as the Associated Press
United Press International
United Press International (UPI). Some affiliates used other
news services or would run their own newscasts during the six-minute
"news hole" at the top of the hour. AAR later switched to AP Radio
Network News, and finally Free Speech Radio News. These newscasts
ended on June 29, 2007, with local stations signing up with other
radio news networks.
Public affairs and editorials
The public affairs programs tended to closely follow current
happenings in the news, with monologues and reflections offered by the
hosts and their guests. Listener comments by phone or the Internet
were worked into these segments along with the interviews.
Although better known for its political shows, Air America also
featured a couple of music oriented shows on weekends. On The Real
Chuck D had a strong music focus. The
Steve Earle Show
(which ended in 2007 with Earle moving to Sirius Satellite Radio)
mixed music with political commentary.
Dr. Demento was a guest host on
the network at least once. Also, most of the talk shows had their own
theme songs, used bumper music to segue between commercials and
segments, and played political novelty songs. Theme songs and bumper
music were generally commercially released rock music.
Air America produced sixteen hours of weekday network programming. The
entire schedule was carried on the network's internet stream, and
affiliates may have carried some, most or all shows.
The network's schedule as of Mid-2009:
5–6 a.m. ET
Rachel Maddow Show
audio rebroadcast of the
MSNBC program of the same name.
6–9 a.m. ET
The Lionel Show
redebuts in new time slot May 26, 2009. Original debut: May 14, 2007.
9 a.m. – noon ET
Montel Across America
debut: April 20, 2009; took The Lionel Show's old time slot.
12–3 p.m. ET
Live in Washington with Jack Rice
3–6 p.m. ET
Montel Across America
debut: May 18, 2009; took Doing Time with Ron Kuby's old time slot.
6–9 p.m. ET
Ron Reagan Show
debut: September 8, 2008. Expanded from 1 to 3 hours on February 3,
9–11 p.m. ET
with Richard Greene, moved from weekends September 4, 2007.
11 p.m. – 1 a.m. ET
This Is America with Jon Elliott
debut: September, 2006 ran through May 15, 2009.
11 p.m. – 1 a.m. ET
The Nicole Sandler Show
debut: June 15, 2009; took
Jon Elliott time slot.
1–3 a.m. ET
Montel Across America rebroadcast
3–5 a.m. ET
David Bender Show rebroadcast
A one-hour webcast, Breakroom Live with
Marc Maron & Sam Seder,
aired weekdays from 3-4PM Eastern.
Marc Maron and
Sam Seder hosted the
show from the actual break room at Air America Media in New York.
Breakroom Live aired its last show on July 15, 2009.
On many Air America affiliates, weekends featured repeats and
highlights from the network's weekday shows, combined with new
original programming and some syndicated shows produced independently.
Original network programming for weekends included:
Marc Sussman’s Money Message (one hour 9–10 a.m ET Saturday)
State of Belief with Rev. Dr. C.
Welton Gaddy (one hour 10–11 a.m.
Saturday; rebroadcast 7–8 p.m. ET Sunday)
Go Vegan with
Bob Linden (one hour 2–3 p.m. ET Saturday)
Freethought Radio with
Dan Barker and
Annie Laurie Gaylor
Annie Laurie Gaylor (one hour
1–2 p.m. ET Saturday)
Ring of Fire with
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and
Mike Papantonio (three
hours 3–6 p.m ET Saturday)
7 Days in America with Carlos Watson and
Arianna Huffington (6–7
p.m. ET Saturday; rebroadcast 9–10 a.m. ET Sunday)
Radio Nation with
Laura Flanders (one hour 1–2 p.m. ET Sunday)
Politically Direct with
David Bender (three hours 4–7 p.m. ET
The Steve Earle Show with
Steve Earle (one hour 10–11 p.m. ET
On The Real with
Chuck D and
Gia'na Garel (two hours 11 p.m ET Sunday
– 1 a.m ET Monday)
Al Franken Show (noon–3 PM ET) Aired March 31, 2004 – February
14, 2007. Originally called The O'Franken Factor. Franken left the
show in order to run for the
U.S. Senate from Minnesota.
The Majority Report (7–10 PM ET) Aired March 31, 2004 – September
15, 2006. Co-hosted by
Sam Seder and Janeane Garofalo
Randi Rhodes Show (3–7 p.m. ET, later shortened to 3–6 p.m.
ET) Aired March 31, 2004 – April 3, 2008. Moved to
Nova M Radio on
April 10, 2008.
Morning Sedition with Marc Maron, Sue Ellicott, and Mark Riley (6–9
AM ET) Aired April 1, 2004 – December 16, 2005.
Unfiltered with Chuck D, Lizz Winstead, and
Rachel Maddow (9 AM–noon
ET) Aired April 1, 2004 – April 1, 2005.
Mike Malloy Show (10 PM–1 AM ET), Aired August 2, 2004 –
August 30, 2006. Moved to
Nova M Radio on October 30, 2006.
Springer on the Radio with
Jerry Springer (9 PM- midnight ET), Aired
April 1, 2005 – September 18, 2006. Broadcast via Air America
Syndication until December 8, 2006.
Politically Direct with
David Bender (8–9 p.m. ET) Aired 2005 –
May 2007, then combined with
The Mark Riley Show into The Air
Air America Mornings (5-9AM ET) umbrella name for Air America's
morning drive-time shows:
The Mark Riley Show and The Rachel Maddow
The Mark Riley Show (5–6 AM ET) Aired January 2006 – May 2007,
then combined with
Politically Direct into The Air Americans.
This Is America with
Jon Elliott with Jon Elliott, (11pm – 1 AM ET)
Aired September 2006 – May 15, 2009.
The Young Turks
The Young Turks with
Cenk Uygur (6–9 a.m. ET), Aired September 18,
2006 – January 15, 2008.
Thom Hartmann Show (noon–3 PM ET) Aired March 2007 – February
28, 2009. Replaced the
Al Franken Show. Moved to the Dial Global
The Air Americans, hosted by Mark Riley with contributors David
Bender, Laura Flanders, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Mike Papantonio. (8
PM-midnight ET) Aired May 21, 2007 – August 2007.
American Afternoon, featuring revolving celebrity guest hosts such as
Richard Belzer, Joy Behar, Ron Reagan, and Roseanne Barr. (3–6 p.m.
ET) Aired April–June, 2008. Aired as a replacement for Randi Rhodes,
later replaced by Doin' Time with Ron Kuby.*
Betsy Rosenberg (9–10 p.m. ET), the show moved from the
weekends to weeknights effective September 18, 2006. Show removed from
weekday schedule May 18, 2007, and may resurface eventually on Sunday
Kyle Jason Show (two hours)
Liberal Arts with
Katherine Lanpher (one hour)
Mother Jones Radio with
Angie Coiro (one hour)
So What Else Is News? with
Marty Kaplan (first daily for one hour;
later weekends for two hours)
The Time Is Now with Rev. Dr. James Forbes
On September 8, 2005 Air America Radio formed a separate syndication
division, designed to offer additional programming and services to
both progressive talk and other talk/music formats. Air America
Syndication was used to syndicate Thom Hartmann, and later Springer on
the Radio which aired at the same time as The
Al Franken Show and The
Sam Seder Show respectively on the regular network lineup. Springer
ended his show on December 5, 2006 and Franken's ended on February 14,
2007. On January 29, 2007, Air America announced that Hartmann would
replace Franken on the regular network lineup. When Air America
entered bankruptcy, there were no programs syndicated as a part of Air
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In late 2002 Chicago entrepreneurs
Sheldon Drobny and Anita Drobny,
angered at the firing of their favorite radio host, Mike Malloy,
decided to try to get Malloy syndicated nationally. At Mike's behest
they called Atlanta-based radio executive Jon Sinton and requested a
national berth for Malloy. The Drobnys hired Sinton as CEO of AnShell
Media, and the three went about raising money. The first official
fundraiser was in October, 2002 at the home of Arianna Huffington. The
gathering was enthusiastically attended by many Hollywood notables.
Sinton's brother, broadcaster Carey Bruce Sinton, suggested calling
the venture Central Air, a name that stuck until just before launch.
Around this same time, Democratic political operative
Tom Athans and
radio industry veteran Paul Fiddick launched
Democracy Radio in
Democracy Radio was an organization founded in
September 2002 dedicated to creating political balance on America's
commercial radio airwaves. Its concept was to develop, fund and
incubate progressive oriented talk programming and retain well
established radio networks to market the programs to stations around
Democracy Radio developed and produced talk shows that
launched the national careers of
Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller.
AnShell announced its intentions publicly in a
New York Times
New York Times article
in February 2003 in which writer Jim Rutenburg interviewed Jon Sinton
about the need for a balanced national discussion. Sinton, the Drobnys
and their associate, Javier Saade, a
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School grad and
venture capitalist, continued to raise awareness but little money
throughout 2003 by spending time in New York, Washington D.C., and Los
Angeles. Sinton met repeatedly with
Al Franken to convince him to
become the network's anchor talent. Franken did not commit to the
enterprise, as he was worried about its sustainability.
After mentioning actress and activist
Janeane Garofalo during an
appearance on Judy Woodruff's Politics Today show on CNN, Sinton
received a call from Garofalo stating her interest in hosting a show.
On a fundraising trip to Los Angeles, Sinton, at the suggestion of Al
Franken, met with Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead, and she would
later co-host one of the original shows and be the first program
In November 2003, Sinton's brother Steve Sinton left Clear Channel's
talk radio division to join AAR as Vice President of Programming and
Meanwhile, none of these talent agreements were finalized,[citation
needed] as fundraising was difficult. The reputation of the effort was
coming under duress and scrutiny, as it was announced
but not taking shape. A further complication was that AnShell found
itself competing against
Democracy Radio for investors. During a trip
to Washington D.C., former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta
suggested a young lawyer, David Goodfriend, who introduced the Drobnys
and Sinton to his former college roommate, Evan Montvel Cohen, who had
profited from advertising and research companies in the Pacific Rim.
Having taken the idea as far as they could, the principals sold
AnShell Media to Cohen and his partner, Rex Sorensen, a broadcaster
from Guam, USA, who formed Progress Media, with Cohen as chairman, and
Mark Walsh as CEO; Sinton's title remained as president, but his
impact on day-to-day operations was reduced after the sale to Cohen
Launch and rapid growth
From the hiring of Goodfriend and Walsh in the fall of 2003, the
network began to take shape.
Al Franken and Garafalo finally agreed to
contracts, and in short order the company was able reach agreement and
hire Winstead, Chuck D, comedian Marc Maron, media attorney Carl
Ginsberg, and many more people. In early 2004, talent, engineers and
producers were hired, a lease was signed with New York's
a New York home and affiliate, and, at noon Eastern time on March
31, the newly renamed Air America Radio Network was launched.
Air America Radio was then the only all-progressive talk radio
network. A predecessor, the UAW's I.E. America Radio Network, which
was home to hosts such as Thom Hartmann, Peter Werbe, and Mike Malloy,
never gained national attention. Its last day on the air was February
27, 2004, only weeks before Air America took to the airwaves. Although
not a network,
Democracy Radio launched The
Ed Schultz Show three
months prior to the launch of Air America in January 2004. The
Stephanie Miller Show followed September 2004.
Franken's show was the centerpiece of Air America, and would remain so
for a little less than 3 years. The show featured Franken's low-key
humor, political commentary, and guest and audience participation.
Randi Rhodes was also in the initial lineup.
AAR became the fastest growing network in modern radio history,
increasing its listeners from 120,000 to 400,000 within three months,
and reaching 2.137 million listeners per week in 2005.
Difficulties and turnover
At the time it started Air America Radio, Progress Media, (an entity
created and completely controlled by Evan Cohen and his former
business partner, Rex Sorenson) stated it had secured
US$30 million in venture capital before its debut. The amount was
later estimated by the Wall Street Journal to be closer to
US$6 million; Sorensen said that an investor had backed out at
the last minute.
Sorensen never identified who the supposed investor was. Sorensen
served as the Chief Financial Officer of both Progress Media, and Air
America Radio. He had complete control over all funds and banking
relationships for the company, and reported directly to the Chairman,
Evan Cohen. No one else at the company, from Walsh on down, had any
control of or input to Sorensen's activities.
On April 2, 2004, the day after launching the network, CEO Mark Walsh
departed the offices for good. He had been having a number of
disagreements with Evan Cohen about the direction of the company, and
in particular about the complete lack of financial transparency in
Cohen's business dealings and fundraising efforts. Walsh was a
resident of Washington D.C. and told Cohen that he could not be part
of an enterprise run in such an opaque and disruptive fashion. Walsh
never returned to the offices while Cohen was chairman, and resigned
from the company several weeks later.
Two weeks after the on-air debut of Air America Radio, programming was
withdrawn in two key markets due to contract disputes. Multicultural
Radio owned two stations contracted to carry Air America programming,
in Chicago and Santa Monica, California. Air America alleged that
Multicultural Radio had sold time on its Los Angeles station to both
Air America and another party, and said that that was why it stopped
payment on checks due to Multicultural while Air America investigated.
Multicultural Radio argued that Air America had bounced a check and
claimed it was owed in excess of US$1 million. Air America Radio filed
a complaint in New York Supreme Court, charging breach of contract and
was briefly granted an injunction to restore the network on WNTD-AM in
Chicago. On April 20, 2004, the network announced the dispute had been
settled, and Air America's last day of broadcast on
WNTD was April 30,
New York Supreme Court
New York Supreme Court ultimately concluded that the
injunction was improvidently entered and that Air America Radio's
court action was without merit, dismissing Air America's complaint and
awarding over US$250,000 in damages and attorneys' fees to
Multicultural. According to a subsequent lawsuit filed by
Multicultural, Air America Radio never paid the sums ordered by the
Four weeks after Air America's debut, its executive vice president for
programming, Dave Logan, left the network. One week after those
departures, its chairman and vice chairman, Evan Cohen and his
investment partner Rex Sorensen, were forced out by the remaining
investors. In a tense late night meeting, which included Franken,
Saade, the Drobnys, Mark Walsh and other investors, the company found
out that it had virtually no assets. It asked David Goodfriend to
operate the company while a reorganization was planned and new funds
were raised. Subsequently, the company had a number of acting CEO's,
including outside investor Doug Kreeger and Jon Sinton for a short
As part of a reorganization, the
Progress Media board of directors
bought the assets of that company, creating a new company, Piquant
LLC; at around the same time, the company decided to stop trying to
buy radio stations and lease air time, and to allow affiliates to
carry programming outside of the network's offerings.
On February 28, 2005, a new CEO, Danny Goldberg, was named, and in
April 2005, Gary Krantz was named president of the network. Ginsburg
and Sinton were named co-COOs with Ginsburg in charge of operations
and Sinton running programming and affiliate relations.
In December 2005, over Sinton's objections, CEO Danny Goldberg broke
up the network's morning drive-time show Morning Sedition, and let
comedian and co-host Marc Maron's contract lapse. While the increased
overhead for the show's heavily produced format may have been a factor
in the show's demise, Maron claimed that Goldberg did not "get" or
agree with the comedy on the show. Maron exacerbated
the conflict by calling attention to his situation during the show for
several weeks, prompting a petition drive that garnered over 5,000
signatures. This was to no avail, as Maron announced on November 28
that his last show would be December 16, 2005. Maron was offered an
evening show, which ran briefly on affiliate KTLK in Los Angeles, but
Air America never followed through with promised national syndication
and the show was cancelled in July 2006. Goldberg announced his
resignation on April 6, 2006, after a little more than a year on the
job. Maron guest hosted a few times in 2007, and now cohosts a webcast
program for Air America called "Breakroom Live".
Janeane Garofalo's last day as co-host of
The Majority Report was on
July 14, 2006. Several reasons for her departure were cited (including
her outside acting responsibilities). The show ended a few months
By the late summer of 2006 Sinton and Ginsburg's influence was
marginalized (both would leave in short order).
On August 30, 2006, nighttime host
Mike Malloy was fired from the
network. Malloy had hosted a nighttime show from the inception of the
network. The show was vitriolic in its criticism of the right wing.
Comments included referring to the Bushes as the "Bush crime family";
right-wingers commonly were referred to as "rat bastards" and "pigs".
In the two weeks before the firing, Malloy had announced an impending
multi-year deal for him to stay with Air America (and to return on the
air in New York City). The firing was explained as for financial
reasons. Rumours persist that Malloy's criticism of Israel during its
bombardment of Lebanon in the summer of 2006 may have played a role.
News of his termination was conveyed via a short statement on the
homepage of Malloy's website, posted by his wife/producer Kathy Bay
Malloy. His final show was on August 29, 2006, filling in for
Randi Rhodes. No mention of his firing was made during the broadcast.
Malloy's firing drew criticism from Air America on-air talent,
including Rhodes and Sam Seder. It also began a large online campaign,
including a petition that had over 17,000 signatures as of October
2006. At the end of October, Malloy resumed his show on a newly
created progressive radio network, Nova M Radio.
Gloria Wise controversy
Further information: Air America-Gloria Wise loan controversy
In July 2005, the
Bronx News reported that the Gloria Wise Boys and
Girls Club of Co-op City, a non-profit organization providing services
for children and seniors in the Bronx, loaned US$480,000 to Progress
Media, then owner of Air America Radio. It later turned out that there
had been four separate transfers from Gloria Wise between October 2,
2003, and March 14, 2004, totalling $875,000, and that no interest was
to be paid on these loans.
Since then, the city has suspended further funding of the agency, and
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
Boys and Girls Clubs of America has revoked the group's right to use
their name, likeness or logo. At the time the funds were to have been
transferred, Evan Cohen, the founder and first chairman of Air America
and the former chairman of the now-defunct Progress Media, was also
Director of Development for Gloria Wise.
In response to this report, Air America Radio's owners at the time,
Piquant LLC, issued a press release stating Piquant had "no obligation
to Progress Media's business activities", and Piquant, as previously
agreed, would "fully compensate" the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls
Club. While Gloria Wise remains under investigation, Air America
has since repaid the loan. On May 28, 2008, Cohen was arrested at
Guam International Airport on a warrant from the State of Hawaii. He
was indicted in that state for money laundering and stealing over
$60,000 from a Honolulu-based landscaping company.
Air America, The Playbook
Air America, the Playbook, a 300 plus page collection of essays,
transcripts, and interviews by mostly Air America personalities was
published shortly before the 2006 Congressional elections. It was on
New York Times
New York Times Best Seller list for October 8, 2006.
Reorganizational bankruptcy and sale to Green Family Media
A week later, on October 13, 2006, Air America filed for bankruptcy
protection under Chapter 11, at the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York. Air America continued broadcasting
while the finances were worked out with the creditors. The company had
US$4,331,265.30 in assets and US$20,266,056.23 in liabilities. Al
Franken alone was owed US$360,749.98 and Rob Glaser, founder of
RealNetworks, was owed the most at US$9.8 million. The filing had
over 25 pages of creditors and showed that the company lost
US$9.1 million in 2004, US$19.6 million in 2005 and an
additional US$13.1 million by mid-October in 2006.
On January 29, 2007, Air America "signed a letter of intent to sell
its business to SLG Radio LLC, an entity controlled by Stephen L.
Green, the founder and chairman of SL Green Realty Corp, a company
that controls 27 million ft2 (2.5 million m2) of real estate with a
market capitalization of US$12 billion". Air America CEO Scott Elberg
said of Air America's sale, "We are extremely pleased to have reached
this agreement with Mr. Green, which will solidify Air America’s
future." The sale was completed on March 6, 2007 to Green Family
Media, a new company created by Stephen Green and his brother Mark J.
Franken moves on to the U.S. Senate
Al Franken, host of Air America Radio's former flagship program, The
Al Franken Show.
During the bankruptcy, key on-air personality
Al Franken decided that
he was going to give up his show of three years in order to run for
U.S. Senate. He made his official announcement during the last show.
Thom Hartmann replaced him in March 2007. Franken won a close and
highly contested election to become the 60th Senator in the Democratic
Caucus for the 111th United States Congress.
Air America 2.0
After the sale, major changes were quickly put into place. Stephen
Green became the network's chairman, and Mark Green became president
of Air America, with a hands-on role. Former chief executive Scott
Elberg remained as chief operating officer. Mark Green announced on
Thursday, April 25, 2007, that
Westwood One would take over the
handling of Air America's ad sales from Jones Radio Networks.
In addition, a new lineup was unveiled for the radio network. The top
four weekday shows were kept, but extensive changes were made to the
rest of the lineup. Green also announced a redesign for the network's
website, in addition to a new logo.
On March 14, 2007, the new owners of Air America announced the
hiring of longtime radio veteran David Bernstein to be the new Vice
President of Programming. Prior to joining Air America, he was best
known as the program director at New York radio station WOR from 1995
to 2002. In an interview with the New York Daily News,
Bernstein explained his vision of Air America's future as "I don't see
our purpose as 'answering' conservative radio or Rush Limbaugh.
There's no clear majority in this country today. We want to talk to
everyone and help everyone make the right choice." On November 15,
2007, industry news site Radio Online reported that Bernstein was
exiting Air America.
After being suspended by Air America management for derogatory remarks
Geraldine Ferraro and
Hillary Clinton while off the air, Randi
Rhodes quit the network on April 9, 2008, citing a contract
dispute. She was one of Air America's more popular hosts, with a
listener base of 1.5 million unique listeners per week built up over 4
years. Rhodes moved to
Nova M Radio the next week, but is now
Premiere Radio Networks
Premiere Radio Networks after Nova M went bankrupt. The
Randi Rhodes show is aired in its former time slot on the America Left
channel on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Maddow hosting KPTK's "Changing the Media, Changing America" event in
Seattle (June 2006)
Meanwhile, longtime host
Rachel Maddow was finding her way into
television. As a guest host and as a panelist, she appeared on MSNBC.
She started her own show on the network in September 2008, in prime
Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews. Her radio show became
more of a replay of her television show, and ultimately her radio
program became a one-hour show in the mornings.
Maddow didn't want to completely depart from radio. She commented "My
relationship with the radio audience is valuable and important. I also
believe in what Air America is doing."
Thom Hartmann moved his show to the
Dial Global radio network on March
1, 2009. Hartmann had been the flagship program on AAR for a year.
Montel Williams hosted the new flagship program in Lionel's previous
spot, and Lionel moved his show to the 12pm-3pm ET slot.
On January 21, 2010, Air America announced that it would immediately
cease programming and file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, giving the
following explanation on their website:
The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact
on Air America's business. This past year has seen a "perfect storm"
in the media industry generally. National and local advertising
revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies
nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection. From large to small,
recent bankruptcies like
Citadel Broadcasting and closures like that
of the industry's long-time trade publication Radio & Records have
signaled that these are very difficult and rapidly changing times.
Others involved with Air America or progressive talk radio cite other
reasons as the cause of the network's demise.
Thom Hartmann left Air
America due in part to his dissatisfaction with the network’s
merry-go-round management. “We’ve been far more successful since
we left,” Mr. Hartmann said in an interview after the closure.
Several other former employees have made similar complaints,
specifically that the management of Air America lacked the necessary
broadcasting business expertise.
Alan Colmes cited problems with the network's
constituent stations: "Because conservatives were so entrenched on
heritage stations, the progressives on Air America were relegated to
smaller, less powerful, under-performing signals that could not
compete with their more established counterparts; certainly not
without lots of promotion and time to develop, both of which were
denied in most cases."
In Arbitron's Spring 2008 ratings book, stations carrying a majority
AAR programming and in markets reporting every quarter averaged a 1.3
share. The highest rated Air America affiliates were
KPOJ in Portland,
Oregon (3.7 share),
WXXM in Madison, Wisconsin (3.5), and KABQ in
Albuquerque, New Mexico (2.6). The lowest rated affiliates were WDTW
WLBY in Detroit, Michigan (unmeasurable),
WOIC in Columbia, South
WTKG in Grand Rapids, Michigan (0.5), and flagship
WWRL in New York City (0.5).
WXXM in Madison had announced in November 2006 that it would switch to
all sports programming by the end of the year. Following
backlash from the station's listeners and syndicated hosts,
Clear Channel in Madison later backtracked, deciding to leave the
progressive talk format on the station.
Main article: List of Air America Radio affiliates
As of October 2008, Air America programming was carried on 66
terrestrial broadcast stations, an increase of 10 percent over the
previous six months. Thirty-two of these stations broadcast a majority
AAR programming. During the first 4½ years of the network's
existence, Air America has lost 63 affiliates to other programming or
formats. Air America counts any station that carries any of their
programming as an affiliate, similar to radio networks such as ESPN
Radio. Stations owned by
Clear Channel Communications
had been early backers of the network, and the company used the
network as programming for some of its smaller AM stations. However,
in the past few years, the network has been moving instead toward
replacing Air America on those stations with
Fox Sports Radio
Fox Sports Radio (a Clear
Channel product), as WCKY Cincinnati,
KLSD San Diego and WINZ
Miami were all once Air America affiliates but are now affiliated
with Fox Sports. (There have been a few notable exceptions that have
remained with Air America, such as
WXXM in Madison, Wisconsin, which
kept Air America after listener protests, and KKGN in San Francisco,
where the Fox Sports affiliation is held by another station and there
are fewer programming options due to significant competition).
SiriusXM Satellite Radio channels "Sirius XM Left" and "Sirius XM Left
Plus" currently broadcast programs from two former Air Americans: Mike
Malloy and Thom Hartmann.
Jones Radio Networks
Nova M Radio
Progressive talk radio
^ "The Top
Talk Radio Audiences", (for Spring 2008), TALKERS Magazine
^ "The Top
Talk Radio Audiences", (for Fall 2008), TALKERS Magazine
^ "Air America Fire Sale". The Smoking Gun. February 7, 2007. Archived
from the original on March 5, 2007. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
Associated Press (March 6, 2007). "Green brothers close deal to buy
liberal talk radio network Air America". San Diego Union-Tribune.
Archived from the original on August 29, 2008. Retrieved March 14,
^ "Country Music Renegade
Steve Earle to Launch a Weekly Show
Exclusively on Sirius Satellite Radio" (Press release). Air America
Radio. June 4, 2008. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009.
Retrieved October 3, 2008.
^ Louise Story (January 30, 2007). "Air America to Be Acquired by New
York Investor". New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
^ "Radio, America Still on the Air ", by Richard Corliss, Time
magazine, April 5, 2005
^ "A voice for unabashed liberals, Air America Radio debuts to do
battle with conservative talk shows", by James Sullivan, The San
Francisco Chronicle, page A-2, April 1, 2004
^ Franken's Air America bounces back with Bush win
^ Radio: America Still on the Air
^ Wetmore, Ken (June 24, 2004), Nobody was duped: Sorensen denies
allegations surrounding Air America, KUAM News, archived from the
original on January 12, 2006, retrieved August 3, 2006
^ "Radio Free America, Inc., v Multicultural Radio, Inc., Order and
Judgement Index no. 105834/4" (PDF). October 15, 2004. Archived from
the original (.PDF) on September 27, 2006. Retrieved March 14,
Chapter 11 Rumors in the air again". New York Daily. September 14,
2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved
March 14, 2007.
Mike Malloy Fired by Air America Radio". Archived from the original
on October 7, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2006.
^ Franken Signed Air America's Payment Pact – September 7, 2005 –
The New York Sun
^ "Statement from Air America Radio" (Press release). Air America
Radio. Archived from the original on February 6, 2007. Retrieved March
^ Air America Funds Returned To a
Bronx Boys and Girls Club –
September 28, 2006 – The New York Sun
^ "Best Sellers", New York Times, October 8, 2006
^ "Air America Radio Files for
Bankruptcy Protection". Fox News.
October 13, 2006. Archived from the original on November 4, 2006.
Retrieved October 13, 2006.
^ "Free Fall Radio: Air America Goes Bankrupt". Archived from the
original on October 23, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2006.
^ "Air America Radio Files for Chapter 11". Retrieved October 13,
2006. [dead link]
^ "Air America Radio Announced Today That it Has Signed a Letter of
Intent" (Press release). Air America Radio. January 29, 2007. Archived
from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
^ "Big changes for Air America". LTR – The Alternative Media
Resource. April 25, 2007. Archived from the original on June 29, 2007.
Retrieved July 19, 2007.
^ "AAR Reveals New Program Line-up and Ad Sales Arrangement". Talking
Radio. Archived from the original on May 23, 2007. Retrieved April 25,
^ "Extreme Makeover – Air America Edition". LTR – The Alternative
Media Resource. December 21, 2006. Archived from the original on June
21, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
^ "Air America Radio Appoints VP Of Programming". Radio Ink Magazine.
March 14, 2007. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
Retrieved March 22, 2007.
^ "Air America Appoints David Bernstein VP/Programming". Radio Online.
March 14, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
Retrieved March 22, 2007.
^ Hinckley, David (March 19, 2007). "New PD sees Air America as just
good radio". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
^ "David Bernstein Exits Air America as VP/Programming". Radio Online.
November 15, 2007. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009.
Retrieved July 17, 2008.
^ Rhodes leaves Air America Archived April 11, 2008, at the Wayback
Machine.. Radio Ink. April 10, 2008.
^ "The State of the News Media 2009, Audio" Archived March 24, 2009,
at the Wayback Machine., stateofthemedia.org, retrieved November 9,
^ Shea, Danny (April 10, 2008). "
Randi Rhodes Blames Air America's New
Owners On Larry King: "This Is Really About Them Wanting To Change My
Contract"". Huffington Post.
^ "Maddow rechannels energy at Air America", by David Hinkley, New
York Daily News, February 3, 2009
^ Stelter, Brian (January 21, 2010). "Air America to Cease
Broadcasting Immediately". New York Times. Archived from the original
on January 24, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
^ a b "Progressive Radio Hosts Say Air America Closing Won’t Affect
Them", by Brian Stelter, Media Decoder Blog, New York Times, January
Clear Channel press release. Archived July 20, 2008, at the Wayback
Machine. November 10, 2006. Retrieved June 23, 2007.
^ Madison Air America affiliate will switch to sports. The Business
Journal, November 10, 2006. Retrieved June 23, 2007.
Clear Channel backlash in Madison". LTR – The Alternative Media
Resource. December 12, 2006.
^ "Schultz on 'The Mic': "That's no way to run a railroad"". LTR –
The Alternative Media Resource. December 8, 2006. Retrieved July 19,
^ "The Mic lives!". LTR – The Alternative Media Resource. December
21, 2006. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
^ "www.airamerica.com/stations". Archived from the original on May 7,
2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
^ "On WINZ, progressive talk is gone, but DJ still sounding off", by
Glenn Garvin, The Miami Herald, April 14, 2009
Air America (and list of affiliates)
Al Franken Show
Doin' Time with Ron Kuby
The Lionel Show
Marc Maron Show
The Majority Report
Marc Sussman's Money Message
The Mark Riley Show
Mike Malloy Show
Montel Across America
On the Real
Rachel Maddow Show
Randi Rhodes Show
Ron Reagan Show
Ring of Fire
7 Days in America
Springer on the Radio
State of Belief
Steve Earle Show
This Is America with Jon Elliott
The Time Is Now
The Young Turks
Evan Montvel Cohen
Air America – Gloria Wise loan controversy
Broadcast radio networks in the United States
Arkansas Radio Network
Georgia News Network
Louisiana Radio Network
Michigan Farm Radio Network
Michigan Radio Network
North Carolina News Network
Ohio News Network
Texas State Network
Music of Your Life
WFMT Radio Network
World Classical Network
Family Life Network
Family Life Radio
Good News Voice
The Life FM
Radio Nueva Vida
Rejoice! Musical Soul Food
Sound of Life
Sounds of the Spirit
Your Network of Praise
Futbol de Primera
Sports Byline USA
Talk Media News
NOAA Weather Radio
Travelers' information station
High Plains Public
New England Public
New Jersey Public
North Carolina Public
North Country Public
Defunct or moribund
Blue Network/ABC (original)
America's Radio News
children radio networks
Dial Global (Local/Waitt)
Liberty Broadcasting System
Mutual Reports/Mutual Black Network
Mutual Progressive Network/Mutual Lifestyle Radio
Progressive Broadcasting System
Talk Radio Network
Washington News Desk
Westwood One (original)
I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!
Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations (1996)
Why Not Me? (1999)
Oh, the Things I Know!
Oh, the Things I Know! (2003)
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (2003)
The Truth (with Jokes)
The Truth (with Jokes) (2005)
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate (2017)
2017 United States political sexual scandals
Employee Free Choice Act
Medical Loss Ratio
Midwest Values PAC
Student Non-Discrimination Act
U.S. Senate election
U.S. Senate election
Al Franken Show
Air America Radio
Saturday Night Live
Stuart Saves His Family
When A Man Loves a Woman (1994 film, co-writer)
Al Franken: God Spoke (2006 documentary)
Fox v. Franken
Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party