Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Update from Air America Milwaukee

Here's the latest email from the grassroots effort in Milwaukee, WI from Nova M to bring progressive talk to the Brew City:

To all of you who have supported this drive to bring progressive radio to Milwaukee, we have some news for you – it probably won’t be through Air America.

By all indications, that grand experiment known as Air America is on life support following the filing for bankruptcy protection.

A setback, yes. But as Randi Rhodes points out, Faux News lost money for quite some time before it became profitable. And progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller explains here why the progressive format is not only alive but poised to expand.

By reaching a weekly nationwide audience of five million listeners, Air America showed that progressive talk radio could be entertaining and informative, and serve as a means to rally the troops. Factors not related to this audience or to their ability to deliver the goods ganged up on AAR.

We were working through the founders of Air America, Sheldon and Anita Drobny, whose goal was to help create community-supported AAR stations throughout the country. Circumstances, however, have compelled them to split with AAR and form their own radio network. Their new course is laid out here and here.

The Drobnys’ company, Nova M, will become a provider of progressive content to high rated radio stations. The Nova M roster will include Mike Malloy, Joe Trippi, pollster John Zobgy and possibly other AAR personalities. Sadly, though, they no longer have the funds available to help us purchase a station.

So where does this leave Milwaukee?

First piece of business. The Happy Hour Party we were planning to have... next week is cancelled. Go and campaign for your favorite Democrat and get set to get down to radio business after the election.

It is clear we just don’t want progressive radio in Milwaukee. Milwaukee needs progressive radio.

Thanks to “in kind” donations by the Journal Company and Clear Channel, the power of conservative extremists in the GOP has been magnified. Moderate Republican politicians have either been silenced or run out of office in the Milwaukee area.

Thanks to right wing talk radio we now have the uninspired leadership of a Republican hack leading county government in a Democratic area.

Progressive radio can lead the way to a brighter future.

Following the election, we will explore a number of options. Still on the table is the possibility of purchasing a local station entirely with community investments. That’s a tall order, but depending on the outcome of this election, more progressive money might be available to make this a possibility.

No doubt the Drobnys will help out where they can. They and their new network would be a source for programming for a Milwaukee progressive station along with others including Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, and Amy Goodman.

We will need your energy, time, contacts with community organizations and yes, money, to make this happen. Even if you don’t have the funds to invest in a major way, anything you can do will help. And perhaps you can also help us make a connection with someone you know who does have major funds to invest.

Give this enough thought and you come to one conclusion – this in an investment we all have to make to keep the progressive revolution going in Milwaukee.

So hit the streets and send Democrats to Madison and Washington, hold off the onslaught of the Green campaign, and don’t let the sponsors of the marriage discrimination and death penalty referenda send us back to the Middle Ages.

As for after the election – STAY TUNED.


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