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Ding-Dong, The Witch Is Dead

It’s time for all of America to mourn the passing of the good witch Air America. She was interesting while she lasted but, alas, her time has now passed.

Air America was launched in 2004 as the liberal alternative to conservative talk radio giants like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Glenn Beck. The hopes in the liberal community were high that they would be able to effectively counter the conservative talk radio voices that they so despised. That obviously didn’t happen. They filed for bankruptcy and were shut down abruptly on Thursday due to their financial woes.

From the very beginning, Air America struggled to gain and retain an audience but the public just didn’t catch on. Despite who some said were interesting talk radio hosts like Al Franken and Rachel Maddow, it became increasingly difficult to capture any listener interest whatsoever.

Heck, even this author attempted to acquire the taste, so to speak. Obviously, being a conservative, I probably wasn’t going to agree with much said on that station but I at least wanted to give it a shot and be entertained to some degree. What I found instead was boring and vitriolic, a combination that is the death knell for any radio show. You can get away with being vitriolic, ala Michael Savage, but you at least need to be entertaining. Air America certainly wasn’t that. I’ve been able to listen to liberal-leaning shows in the past. One of the first talk radio shows I gained an interest in was that of Alan Colmes. Back in the early 90s during the evening at my job, I would listen to conservative Barry Farber and, following his show, Alan Colmes. I certainly didn’t agree much with Colmes but he was able to do a good, informative show that wasn’t over-the-top venemous like some of the utter crap I heard on Air America.

The claim being floated now is that it wasn’t possible to keep the network afloat anymore because of the poor economy. Well, I’m sure that had a small part to play but, let’s face it, no one wanted to listen to their tripe and now they are paying the proverbial piper for it.

Is it possible for a liberal talk radio network to flourish? I think so, but they will certainly need to avoid the formula used by Air America’s creators if they want any chance whatsoever of succeeding.


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