Skip to comments.Liberal AM radio (Air America) fails to pay its own way, even in Santa Cruz: Fairness Doctrine
Posted on 01/26/2007 7:10:31 AM PST by rface
"We didn't sell a single ad in a year and a half," Zwerling said Thursday. "I thought liberal radio would work as a viable advertising business in the most liberal town in America. I was wrong".......speculating why ad sales never got off the ground despite decent ratings....."It's an angry, nasty, pissing and moaning format where the only thing they say is 'Bush stinks' or 'Bush is bad'," he said. "No commercial advertiser wants to be associated with that".......Limbaugh is a major moneymaker for the sister station, Zwerling said, and his show pulls the highest ratings of any program .... in Santa Cruz the vast majority of registered voted for Sen. John Kerry .....
SANTA CRUZ Al Franken, Randi Rhodes and Sam Seeder articulate liberal pundits don't sell well, even in Santa Cruz.
The trio are part of the nationally syndicated Air America, which was dropped from Santa Cruz radio station KOMY 1340 AM on Thursday and replaced with music from the 1950s, '60s and '70s.
The left-leaning radio network, aimed at taking on Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk shows, debuted on Central Coast airwaves in July 2005, but local advertisers never bought in, station owner Michael Zwerling said.
"We didn't sell a single ad in a year and a half," Zwerling said Thursday. "I thought liberal radio would work as a viable advertising business in the most liberal town in America. I was wrong"
Santa Cruz isn't the only place Air America has problems. The network is struggling nationwide and filed for bankruptcy four months ago.
Zwerling put Air America on the air as an alternative to the Limbaugh program, which plays on KOMY's sister station KSCO 1080 AM every morning.
Limbaugh is a major moneymaker for the station, Zwerling said, and his show pulls the highest ratings of any program on KSCO or KOMY.
However, in Santa Cruz, where the vast majority of registered voters are Democrats and voted for Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, Zwerling wanted to give listeners a program that better plays to their political beliefs.
Some Santa Cruzans loved Air America, Zwerling said.
But advertisers either didn't want to be associated with a station long known for a conservative stance or they simply didn't believe the show was a good place to spend their money, Zwerling said, speculating why ad sales never got off the ground despite decent ratings.
"It's an angry, nasty, pissing and moaning format where the only thing they say is 'Bush stinks' or 'Bush is bad'," he said. "No commercial advertiser wants to be associated with that"
Early on, Zwerling saw trouble with Air America.
Only a few months after putting it on the air, he toyed with canceling the program but held off to give advertisers a chance to warm up to the new network.
With ad sales continuing to be lackluster, he announced to Air America executives in September that KOMY would no longer run their shows, and had planned to pull the plug Oct. 25.
KOMY hadn't come up with a replacement program by October and Air America stayed on until Thursday.
Taking Air America's place is oldies music artists such as Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Chuck Berry and The Platters with local, live disc jockeys.
Air America, owned by Piquant LLC, filed for Chapter 11 in October after talks with a creditor broke down.
Air America said it lost about $40 million since it launched in March 2004, including $13.1 million in 2006.
Earlier this month, Zwerling also dumped Michael Savage, a strident conservative talk show host based in San Francisco who says "liberalism is a mental disease"
The cost to purchase Savage's show became too expensive for the station, Zwerling said.
angry, nasty, pissing and moaning
Rush is Sonny Rollins.
Air America is a high school stage band kazoo player.
"I was alright,
for a while,
I could smile for a while..."
Didn't some New York/French idiots just buy Error American?
So, in essence, they fully subsidized "Air America" for 18 months...
That's why lefty radio is always supported by the taxpayers.
That's one down, how many more to go?
What did this guy expect? PBS and NPR are "free"; so should Err America. Liberals expect someone else to pay the bill.
I saw the DUmmies talking about that - but I don't think a deal has been finalized.
Air America is more like this guy
And yet shows like Rush and Hannity continue to flourish, go figure.
That is hard to comprehend. You would think that some local tofu shop or organic restaurant would have bought at least one ad. Or even Peter Lewis' "Progressive" Insurance company?
The mistake that Air America made from day one...was not becoming a regional voice in one area of the US. If they had stood up the network in Texas, and been a fairly tame liberal voice...with issue-oriented "DJ's"...they could have built onto something and gradually moved out to the midwest and the south.
The "slam" style that they displayed...didn't sell in the south. Most southern democrats would never listen to Air America. The rare bits of humor they did get across...just weren't the type that most southerners would take a likening to. So this was a dismal effort aimed toward failure on day one. Rush is just as big today...as he was ten years ago. Air America didn't take him down one single notch. That really says the entire story.
Business plan? Weee don' neeed no steeeenkin' business plan!!!
That's been tried before. Jim Hightower tried it, Ann Richards tried it, and Mario Coumo tried it. All three flopped.
I think your post is particular hurtful to all High School Stage bands! ;-)