Thursday, December 09, 2004

It's official: Air America coming to Washington, D.C.

Air America, the liberal radio network that had a rocky takeoff last spring, has struck a deal to land in Washington.

The arrangement with WRC-AM comes as the fledgling network is gaining altitude, announcing yesterday that it has re-signed star personality Al Franken to a multiyear contract, raised $13 million in new financing and named Rob Glaser, chief executive of RealNetworks, as its chairman.

WRC (1260) plans to drop its syndicated sports talk programming in favor of Franken and some of the rest of Air America's left-leaning lineup while adding other liberal commentators, say people familiar with the matter. This would give WRC's owner, Clear Channel Communications, a "blue state" station to balance its "red state" programs on WTNT (570), which includes conservative hosts Laura Ingraham, G. Gordon Liddy and Michael Savage.

Don Imus, the acid-tongued morning host heard on WTNT, will be simulcast on WRC. Neither station has been a powerhouse in the Arbitron ratings, with WTNT ranked 17th in the market last summer, with an average of 74,500 listeners. WRC, which has a weaker signal, was last at No. 40, averaging 29,800 listeners.

Air America makes it's D.C. debut on Inauguration Day, January 20.

The article also says that AAR has been drawing good ratings. Claims that AAR has been in the top five among listeners ages 25-54 in San Diego, Miami and Portland, OR.

Click the headline for the original article.


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