Radio Business Report offers a superb assessment of why Air America failed: they had a terrible business plan.
In the wake of Air America Media shutting down, there has been much gnashing of teeth over the loss of a “progressive” counter to the allegedly entrenched “right-wing” control of talk radio. But the real reason Air America failed has nothing to do with politics – at least not with politics as content.
Quite simply, Air America failed in the radio BUSINESS because it was never run by radio people. From the very beginning the venture was run by liberal ideologues who were on a quest to rescue America from Rush Limbaugh and prevent a return to Reaganism. Oddly enough, Ronald Reagan Jr. actually ended up being on their side and was one of the hosts who lost his job in the shutdown.
We angered the original founders in 2004 by declaring that their business plan was flawed and couldn’t work. As it turned out, it was even more flawed than we realized, since the actual cash committed to the project was a tiny fraction of what had been publicly claimed.
Over the years, Air America has careened from financial crisis to financial crisis, from owner to owner and even one Chapter 11 bankruptcy before the current Chapter 7 liquidation. Through it all one thing was consistent – the political ideologues were running the show and the broadcasters involved were merely hired hands.
You can read the rest of this column here.
This advertisement for Estonia’s Channel 3 is a charming parody of The Simpsons.
Thanks to Karl Altau of JBANC!
In yet another attempt to propel CBS News into oblivion, the once-great network has replaced the legendary voice of Walter Cronkite with that of actor Morgan Freeman.
Freeman is a terrific actor. He has a wonderful, sonorous voice that’s a pleasure to listen to.
But he’s an actor. He’s not a newsman — much less a legendary newsman.
What CBS has tossed away casually is brand identity, something enormously difficult to build and near impossible to recapture, once lost. CBS News’s brand identity once rested on credibility, which is what Cronkite delivered to his audience. Cronkite did this so well that he ultimately transcended his day job, becoming an emblem of serious, credible reporting. Try as they might, no other network has produced a broadcast news person of equal stature and influence. Cronkite set not the gold but the platinum standard for the business, endowing CBS News with a reputation other networks could only envy.
Rather than continue to exploit this amazing asset, however, CBS leadership has tossed it aside, like yesterday’s newspaper.
That they’ve replaced the voice of a reporter — someone who investigates events and crafts their presentation — with the voice of an actor — someone who reads whatever script is handed him — summarizes nicely what’s gone amuk at CBS, and why audiences are turning elsewhere for information.
Garrison Keillor has always struck me as mean-spirited, wrapping a fundamentally smug and condescending world view in a fondant of cutesy-poo irony.
Now, thanks to Glenn Reynolds‘ posting of Marissa Brostoff’s TABLET MAGAZINE column, “Garrison Keillor Doesn’t Like Jews Writing Christmas Songs,” others may also reassess their opinion of NPR’s favorite son. Brostoff describes Keillor’s recent Baltimore Sun column, in which he complains about
“all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write ‘Grab your loafers, coma along if you wanna, and we’ll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah’?”
Anyone capable of writing a column like this doesn’t ‘get’ Christmas — unlike Irving Berlin, who very clearly did.