Thursday, March 24, 2005

HBO to Air Docu on Air America: "Left of the Dial"

Air America gets a one-year birthday present from HBO on March 31 when the cable network airs the documentary “Left of the Dial” by director Patrick Farrelly and producer Kate O'Callaghan. The film tracks most of the past year’s travails as the liberal network started, faltered and was yanked off the air in some major markets. A Drudge Report review of the documentary played up “The doubts. The lies. The bounced checks. The heartbreak.”

Air America Radio president Jon Sinton told Billboard Radio Monitor “This documentary is a sanctioned event. Matt Drudge, notwithstanding, we’ve signed off on it. The filmmakers had access to us and it truly is a story of birth, death and resurrection. It’s a very redemptive story. We’re not displeased with it at all.”

An HBO release says the documentary “reveals the nervous expectations of investors who staked their careers on the network,” including Evan Cohen, Air America’s former chairman, David Goodfriend, who becomes the network’s general counsel, and investor Doug Kreeger. Along with profiles of many of the networks personalities, descriptions of nervous debuts, shouting matches and other frenzied activity, HBO says the documentary closes late in 2004 when, “in December 2004, a new round of investors brings Air America a measure of financial stability.” HBO pegs the affiliate roster at 40 by year’s end.

As of March 23, Air America has added another 11 stations and now boasts 51 affiliates.

The film will debut on Thursday, March 31 at 8pm (ET), with other playdates on April 5, 11 and 14.


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