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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:16 AM
Original message
A bumpy takeoff for Air America liberal radio network
NEW YORK -- Last week, Al Franken and Katherine Lanpher basked in the warm spring sun outside the Park Avenue skyscraper that serves as hub to the Air America radio network. Their distinctive laughs bounced off the courtyard wall as the pair relaxed after their 3-hour show.

"The O'Franken Factor" had been good that day. Good guests. Good energy. Things were looking up. Fifteen minutes later they went upstairs for a staff meeting, where they learned that two of the network's top executives had resigned, the second management shake-up in as many weeks. The good news was that their paychecks, delayed for 24 hours, would now be distributed.

(snip)

Things are kind of weird at Air America these days. No one disputes that the network, now in its seventh week, has had a rocky lift-off and continues to be buffeted by financial and managerial turbulence. It has lost key stations in two of its top three markets, Chicago and Los Angeles, and this week closed its sales offices there and laid off staff.

(snip)

Never one to resist a wisecrack, he added, "We were over-executized to begin with. At one point we were wondering why we had so many executives." Pause. "We don't wonder that anymore. Now we may be short one really good one." One might wonder: Why is this man joking? Because, at least outside the revolving doors of the executive suites, the mood -- and news -- is good. Personalities for the various shows are beginning to emerge and the amateurish technical glitches are beginning to subside.

(snip)

The fledgling network continues to add new cities to its roster along with real advertisers such as Walgreens and Kay Jewelers (instead of public service announcements). Experts say its Internet presence -- drawing as many as 80,000 listeners an hour at http://www.airamericaradio.com -- is unparalleled. "Air America is far bigger than any other radio network's presence on the Internet," said Kurt Hanson, editor of RAIN, a radio and Internet newsletter. "It is the biggest success story for a U.S. broadcaster to date."

(snip)


Deborah Caulfield Rybak is at dcrybak@startribune.com .

http://www.startribune.com/stories/389/4776276.html
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Reverend_Smitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. good...
"Air America is far bigger than any other radio network's presence on the Internet," said Kurt Hanson, editor of RAIN, a radio and Internet newsletter. "It is the biggest success story for a U.S. broadcaster to date."

Maybe those naysaying rethugs will put that in their pipe and smoke it!
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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I am connected almost the entire time they are on. Hope they
have a huge success!!!!
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SoFlaJet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
3. They're dying to call this one a bust
but mark my words as a longtime Randi Rhodes fan it will NOT fail.No one in radio is a harder worker than my girl.You see we are a little bit possessive down here in Palm Beach County when it comes to Ms.Rhodes.She still isn't getting her props in the SCLM all they do is mention Franken who will give it a year of his time.for Randi this is her life mission and she will drag AA by it's ear to success.Have faith democrats regardless of whatever is printed.
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scarletlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. You said it.
Randi is the tops and will be the big star.

I love AAR and listen to it as much as I can. I have to stream all of the shows except Randi's since I can get that on WJNO
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lanparty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Al is getting better ...

I will say that Al is actually an amazing journalist. He is level headed with a quirky sense of humor. Al's show is by far the closest thing to NPR on Air America.

Randi plays it on the edge. She sometimes plays a little loose with facts and goes out on a limb with wrong information contrived in a similar fashion as Limbaugh, Hannity, et al... Though to her credit, she only does this occasionally. Limbaugh makes a living out of it.

I do think that Al is sticking around. He's been nipping at the conservatives heels for quite some time. He continues to rip into them every day with pinpoint accuracy and a quirky sense of humor.

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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
4. Now i read the entire article. The last paragraph:
"The impression one gets from this whole thing is that it's really more of a political campaign with contributers than it is a radio business with investors. That's been the thing that's made it seem so shaky to those inside the business. It doesn't follow the pattern of a business; it's more of a political movement. And radio is not a political machine. Radio is a medium."

I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU: If AAR decide to sell stock, and even if they say it is for sure investors will lose money, I WOULD INVEST. I love listening to them and they are going to be a force in broadcasting if they can get over their birth pains.

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Democat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Rush, Hannity, and all the rest are a right wing political campaign
Anyone who thinks that Rush isn't a part of the Republican party is a fucking idiot.
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AmandaRuth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. i read here that RR had mentioned on her show that
the 2 x-executives were reThug plants who were in deep cover to make AA fail. She may have been making a joke about this, but perhaps not. Does anyone know for sure? Is there a way we can get the names so the DU sleuths can do some investigating? And does anyone know when Air America will come to a Seattle area station.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Miss them so much in LA


I just don't understand it!
How can I get every kind of Hispanic station in LA clearly and even without commercials?

I can listen to Born Again stations by the ton- crystal clear.
Rush comes in shouting all day long.

And yet, we can't have ONE liberal station that I can listen to,this is insane.

I LOVE Air America. I want to listen to it on my radio in my car and any where else. I miss knowing that I can hear "people of minds like mind" when ever I want to listen.

Is that too much to ask in America-the land of the free and the brave!!
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Bob Moss Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I love AAR
It's the best, especially Franken.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Hi Bob Moss!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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lanparty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
12. BTW

Randi Rhodes mentioned that the executives who resigned were conservative moles. They were trying to undermine the organization from the inside.

They've been trying to gag liberal media sources for some time now. The network is an obvious instant success. It's simply not as well funded.

Internet streaming is a very good indicator of a stations success. Unlike Neilson, it DIRECTLY measures a segement of the viewing audience. The fact that people will stay teathered to their computers to listen is very telling that there is a tremendous audience wanting Air America.

The Chicago and LA situation is lamentable. They're kinda over the barrel now. Station owners in those markets are going to drive a hard bargain. Hopefully, they'll find a new Chicago and LA Station soon. Hopefully, George Soros will kick some money in to speed things up.

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SoulDiva Donating Member (40 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thank goodness for DSL
I am going to be living in England for the next 2 years, there is not a chance that AA will make it to the air waves here. Thank Goodness for DSL!! I listen everyday.
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Welcome to DU, SoulDiva!!
:hi:

The media over there is much better than here. You won't
be starved for anti-Bush stuff--they have it out in the open
there.

:evilgrin:
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