Saturday, December 02, 2006

Air America negotiations go into overtime

So, I assume you were all waiting with nervous anticipation to find out the fate of Air America Radio, right? Today was supposed to be the day, with representatives of the network in a corporate pow-wow, followed by a court hearing this afternoon, supposedly to announce a deal to guarantee the fledgeling network's survival.

Well, we'll all have to wait.

According to All Access, Air America is deep in negotiations with a potential buyer and may have an announcement possibly by the middle of next week about plans to continue the network's operation.

The network has sent an e-mail to affiliates from VP/Public Relations Jaime Horn about a "plan to take us into a future beyond bankruptcy... we appreciate your patience and dedication to Air America through this difficult period, we know that we continue to exist because of your faith in our programming."

AAR had been given an extra week beyond the original court-imposed November 22 deadline to find a buyer, but the negotiations have gone into overtime and the network continues to receive financing while the deal is negotiated.

Meanwhile, in a few moves that will likely see Brian Maloney having triple orgasms (eeeewwwww!), his best friend Al Franken, who's future in radio has been the topic of many rumors, has been moved or altogether dropped by several stations, a couple likely due to Ed Schultz's move into direct competition with him effective December 11. Franken's weekday show has been dropped by WXKS/WKOX in Boston, as well as WARF in Akron, OH. At WCPT in Chicago, Franken and Schultz swap timeslots. The three stations are likely hedging their bets against Franken's rumored departure from his radio show. The move in Boston can be partly attributed to the recent success of timeslot competitor Thom Hartmann, whose show actually beats 800 lb. radio gorilla Rush Limbaugh head to head in Seattle.

7 comments:

barooosk said...

Not just the fate of AAR

Also,

The fate of Al Franken
Who replaces him if/when he leaves
Will Schultz grab his time period
Which AAR will survive
etc etc

Bob said...

One rumor has WXKS/WKOX Boston dropping AAR/progtalk at the end
of Dec.; the Hartmann show being a temp. fix to replace Franken.
Anything can happen though and
the upcoming announcement of the
sale to AAR could be a big factor in this and other stations.

ltr said...

raccoon, er... Bob, the only one floating that rumor is you. Repeating a rumor often enough will not necessarily make it come true.

If you really hate those two stations so much, listen to something else. I hear Boston has a lot of pretty decent stations.

Frasier said...

Boston is a good market for talk radio - in various flavors: Syndicated conservative talk. Local talk. Public radio talk. Sports talk. Talk radio's total share of audience is better than most.
Why hasn't liberal talk done well there?
Maybe because Boston has so much strong LOCAL talk programming, there's little need for or interest in syndicated talk (Salem or liberal).

ltr said...

Stations in larger, heavily radioed markets will most always struggle. There are just too many stations. That's a lot more pieces cut out of the pie.

This is the situation in places like Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington and others. Way too many stations, and in the case of these areas, multiple radio markets exist, and even out-of-market stations show up in the ratings books, adding even more competition. And there is a large amount of talk radio in these markets.

And not all liberals (or conservatives, for that matter) listen to talk radio. Quite often, I find myself listening to music stations, CD's or even mp3's in the car. So ideology is less a factor than most think.

Bob said...

>>Maybe because Boston has so much strong LOCAL talk programming, there's little need for or interest in syndicated talk (Salem or liberal).

That's quite true--Salem's WTTT
1150 (all syndie conservative) doesn't show up in the 12 +
ratings even with Hannity aboard
(supposedly second highest number of listeners nationwide). AAR needed to be on a better signal AND do a local show (and not just one slot on Sundays..DAILY!) to have survived.

Bob said...

>>I find myself listening to music stations, CD's or even mp3's in the car

Agreed on how there's way too much competition for our ears--and note that I'd think most on the Left are younger, and those folks would prefer to hear some music. As people get older they might want more news-talk to listen to instead--and some folks drift more to the right as they age.
So most talk shows have a conservative or moderate base of listeners--and they're older...


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