Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bennett Zier to become CEO of Air America

Air America Media continues its executive office shuffling by naming another radio management veteran, Washington DC-based Bennett Zier, as its chief executive officer. He had been serving on the network's board of directors since April.

Zier will be working in New York to head up Air America’s on-air, online and video projects while continuing to live in the Washington area. He says he is excited about the new opportunity, especially given the changing media landscape.

“Where Air America saw engaged voters, I see engaged audiences,” he said. To reach those audiences of listeners, readers and viewers, plans are in place to create more interactive Web content and video that will air on both broadcast television and the Internet.

"Bennett brings a wealth of successful experience to this role at Air America Media, ranging from launching and growing stations to running broadcast companies in Washington, New York and Boston,” said Air America Media Chairman Charlie Kireker in a statement. “Since we recruited him to our board in April, Bennett has demonstrated the leadership skills necessary to build Air America into a significant business while working with president Mark Green and the rest of our management team."

Zier was formerly in charge of Clear Channel's Washington and Baltimore radio stations, which included progressive talker WWRC. In December 2005, he left to help start up Red Zebra Broadcasting, owned by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. Zier left Red Zebra in March 2007. Coincidentally, Red Zebra, which had recently entered into an agreement to purchase Clear Channel's three AM stations in the market, including WWRC, officially took control of the stations at midnight this morning, via a lease agreement. As of yet, there are no immediate changes planned for the stations' programming, though Zier's strong relationship with Snyder could be a plus in keeping progressive talk, particularly Air America, on 1260.

The Washington Business Journal and DCRTV have more.


Jill said...

Ho-hum...another management addition....another Clear Channel hack....and Mark Green is still running the show.

NYLefty said...

"Mark Green is still running the show."

And you know this...how?

Seems to me that Mark Green was "running the show" when his brother was the principal owner....but now that Charlie Kireker is the owner he's hiring some real radio people...something Air America has lacked.

Jill said...

Mark Green is president, and the lineup has that "Radio HuffPo" feel to it. And they think Bob Shrum ("Mr. 0-for-8"is someone people are going to want to pay double the going rate for a cruise to hobnob with.

FSL said...

I don't have a clue what AAR is up to, who is running the show or what direction they might take.

They hired two guys connected to Clear Channel's DC operation and Clear Channel's talk stations have never been a big factor in the local market. It's not clear what they bring to the party. Would it make more sense to hire people from CC's syndication arm? It would seem so.

The liberal talk format has established some beach heads in local radio markets. There is an opportunity for the format to grow and develop from its current base. There is some reason to be optimistic. But why so much attention to AAR? They are currently a weak number three in progressive talk programming. The format has been getting solid while AAR slides. Unless you work there or own stock, there is little reason to care what happens to AAR. It seems like Dial Global's acquisition of Jones Radio could turn out to be more important to the future of the format than two new suits at AAR.

NYLefty said...

The lineup seems pretty good to me...Kuby is a big improvement over Rhodes and even though I'm not wild about Lionel, I'd rather listen to him than Stephanie's morning zoo.

And not having Seder on the air? That's a good thing, I agreed with what he said, but couldn't stand his voice and all the verbal crutches (er, ah, um, etc.)

And Shrum is hardly the main attraction on the cruise.

NYLefty said...

"But why so much attention to AAR? They are currently a weak number three in progressive talk programming."

More wishful thinking by the man with many aliases (who's been dissing AAR since it began).

NovaM has only two shows in syndication and one of them (Malloy) is on far fewer stations than either Hartmann or Maddow. That hardly qualifies NovaM for the "number two" spot

FSL said...

Dear Lefty:

Stations set their line-ups. Stations, in particular the more successful progressive talk stations, pick their shows a la carte.

Number of shows in syndication doesn't matter as much as how shows perform in their time slots. AAR trails Jones and Nova M in getting shows cleared. The only AAR shows which are contenders in their time slots are Hartmann (against Schultz) and Maddow (without real competition). You mention Malloy who is up against Greene/Elliot, Colmes and even Hendrie (again) and still has more clearances (and more live clearances) than his competitors.

I don't think AAR deserves a pass just for being liberal. You are a liberal activist. I'm interested in good radio. AAR as a broadcaster and as a business have been screwing up since before they launched and doing their worst to discredit the liberal talk format. Call that "dissing" if you want. Only now more people are saying the same thing as I.

I'm smart. I know what I'm talking about. I know how to use the English language. Of course I'm recognizable. I challenge "conventional wisdom." Of course I'm recognizable. Thanks for the compliment.

ltr said...

Tell me you didn't just claim your superioriority over everyone. In a blog comments section! You've got to be freakin' kidding me!

You need to seek help. And pronto.

FSL said...


I didn't say "superior." There are things at which I excel and there subjects about which I am knowledgeable.

I don't say more than "everyone." My SAT, GRE and MAT scores put me in the 98th-99th percentile.

I realize in the world of political correctness, all opinions are valid - no matter how unfounded, uninformed or illogical. But let's face it, the world of radio message boards (and radio itself) is the kingdom of the blind - and even the one-eyed man stands out, is reviled and like Howard Roarke must endure the "hostility of second-hand souls."

However, I don't understand why some of you are so interested in talking about AAR, given their current place in the biz. I especially don't understand why some of you are so interested in talking about me (and not about the opinions I post, with which I guess some of you disagree).

Artie Libs said...

Oh, Brian Maloney, you're such a card!

But why not just use your real name?

NYLefty said...

I'm smart.

Are you 12 years old? Pathetic.

ltr said...

Okay, I've seen a lot of silly shit in my day. But I have to say, this is the first time I've ever seen anyone brag about THEIR OLD HIGH SCHOOL TEST SCORES ON THE INTERNET! It's bad enough anyone still boasts about anything on the web. I mean, sensible people stopped doing that back in the days of Compuserve. And at least they bragged about stuff like how many forms of martial arts they were masters at or how big their peckers were. SAT scores? Well, that's a new one.

Boasting about anything on the internet makes a person sound pretty ridiculous. Hey, I may look like Brad Pitt, drive a Porsche and can bench press pianos, but I don't go around bragging about it.

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