Thursday, November 06, 2008

The day after the day after

As I begin to collect my breath, work on a few entries and figure out what all just happened, here's yet another one of those weekly wrap-ups. Interestingly enough, much of it revolves around Air Ameirca. Read more:

RFK Jr. would consider cabinet offer

The Obama Administration is currently in it's formative stages, with the announcement of Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel as President-elect Barack Obama's White House Chief of Staff. Over the next few days and weeks, various administrative and cabinet positions will be filled.

One position will be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. And one name that's being floated is Robert Kennedy, Jr. Kennedy is currently co-host of Air America's weekend show "Ring Of Fire."

Kennedy, the longtime environmental activist and member of the Democratic Party's most cherished family, said he would serve the next president if asked.

"You know what, I would be of service in any way that the administration asked me to be," Kennedy told the Huffington Post. "But I am also very happy and I believe I am being effective doing the stuff I am doing currently."

On Wednesday, reported that Obama was strongly considering putting Kennedy at the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The appointment would represent a major and early victory for environmentalists and would undoubtedly please Kennedy's cousin, Caroline Kennedy and uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy - who was an instrumental Obama backer during the primary and is in poor health.

Robert Kennedy downplayed the idea of any imminent announcement, saying,
"I haven't had that discussion with anyone in my family about" joining the Obama administration.

Radio Ink interviews Bennett Zier

Here's an interview with Air America Media CEO Bennett Zier, conducted by trade publication Radio Ink. In it, Zier discusses what's next for the network in the Obama era. And it's not just limited to political talk radio. Here's an excerpt:

RI: Will the focus stay as tightly on the liberal or progressive viewpoint as it has been?

BZ: We’re going to be an independent voice. We want people to listen to the radio station and feel that an independent voice is coming at them that maybe they haven’t heard before. What was on Air America in the past is the past, and I’m happy to be here today.

Here’s a vision: Four years from now, when the conventions are held, I’m hoping that people turn to Air America quickly, and in critical mass, because they want to know what Air America thinks, what Air America is saying, what Air America believes, what Air America challenges. That would be a great four-year plan.

RI: Does Air America lose some of its underdog energy if Obama wins and there’s a Democratic Congress?

BZ: If we do our job well, it won’t matter who wins. Being that independent voice gives us that opportunity. If Obama wins, it certainly gives Air America an opportunity to use the news and the change. If McCain wins, it gives Air America an opportunity to listen, understand, and comment.

RI: You alluded to Air America’s past. Would you say it has had some image problems?

BZ: I think there were two Air Americas out there. There was an Air America business-to-business, and there was Air America to consumers. Air America is a very well-known brand. What it means, we’re going to find out. It means a lot of things to a lot of different people. But people certainly know that it is radio and a website of some political nature.

One of the early things we’re going to be working on is to understand our brand and not just guess at it. We want to be fact-based so we can give the listeners, viewers, and readers what they want.

Another Maddow article

Another day, another article about MSNBC and Air America host Rachel Maddow, who currently leads in the Top Talkers survey in the middle column (vote now!). This one is in The Advocate.

Franken race still up in the air

Finally, to conclude this rather brief update (I've got more on tap for the weekend, so hold your horses), there's still one Senate race that has yet to be determined.

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's is currently leading Democrat and former Air America Radio host Al Franken by a mere 337 votes as of Thursday afternoon. That's down from 438 votes Thursday morning and larger margins Wednesday.

With nearly 2.9 million ballots cast, the candidates are separated by about one hundredth of a percentage point.

The final tally won't be certified until the state canvassing board meets Nov. 18, and an automatic recount awaits.

And if the race doesn't go Franken's way, there are still other career options, as suggested by The Hollywood Reporter.


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