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January 22, 2010

Why Air America Failed: Superb Assessment by RBR

Filed under: Business expertise,Entertainment — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 9:48 pm
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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.

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