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Liberal AM radio (Air America) fails to pay its own way, even in Santa Cruz: Fairness Doctrine
Santa Cruz Sentinel ^ | 1.26.2007 | Shanna McCord

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 .....

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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.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airamerica
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......

Fairless Doctrine

1 posted on 01/26/2007 7:10:34 AM PST by rface
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To: rface

angry, nasty, pissing and moaning

OH MY!


2 posted on 01/26/2007 7:12:28 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestu s globus, inflammare animos)
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To: rface
Forget politics. It's about talent.

Rush is Sonny Rollins.

Air America is a high school stage band kazoo player.

3 posted on 01/26/2007 7:12:35 AM PST by zarf
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To: rface

"I was alright,
for a while,
I could smile for a while..."


4 posted on 01/26/2007 7:12:42 AM PST by 3AngelaD (ic.)
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To: rface

Didn't some New York/French idiots just buy Error American?


5 posted on 01/26/2007 7:13:24 AM PST by Always Right
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To: rface
"We didn't sell a single ad in a year and a half," Zwerling said Thursday

So, in essence, they fully subsidized "Air America" for 18 months...

6 posted on 01/26/2007 7:13:41 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: rface
"We didn't sell a single ad in a year and a half,"

That's why lefty radio is always supported by the taxpayers.

7 posted on 01/26/2007 7:13:55 AM PST by D-Chivas
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To: rface

That's one down, how many more to go?


8 posted on 01/26/2007 7:14:04 AM PST by wastedyears ( "Gun control is hitting your target accurately." - Richard Marcinko)
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To: rface

What did this guy expect? PBS and NPR are "free"; so should Err America. Liberals expect someone else to pay the bill.


9 posted on 01/26/2007 7:14:41 AM PST by randog (What the...?!)
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To: Always Right
French In Bid To Rescue Air America

The Wall Street Journal reports that Air America Radio may be rescued by the French family of Westchester County, New York. The family, which owns a suburban New York television station, is leading a consortium of investors which are said to be on the verge of signing a deal to purchase the assets of Piquant LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last fall.

10 posted on 01/26/2007 7:15:33 AM PST by Always Right
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To: Always Right
Didn't some New York/French idiots just buy Error American?

I saw the DUmmies talking about that - but I don't think a deal has been finalized.

11 posted on 01/26/2007 7:15:41 AM PST by rface ("...the most schizoid freeper I've ever seen" - New Bloomfield, Missouri)
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To: rface
Learning the lesson of Free Enterprise the expensive way.
12 posted on 01/26/2007 7:17:08 AM PST by GoldCountryRedneck ("Idiocy - Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers" - despair.com)
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To: zarf

Air America is more like this guy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8wyLsv1FKg


13 posted on 01/26/2007 7:17:36 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestu s globus, inflammare animos)
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To: rface

And yet shows like Rush and Hannity continue to flourish, go figure.


14 posted on 01/26/2007 7:19:53 AM PST by stm (Believe 1% of what you hear in the drive-by media and take half of that with a grain of salt)
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To: D-Chivas
"We didn't sell a single ad in a year and a half,"

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?

15 posted on 01/26/2007 7:20:19 AM PST by Ditto
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To: Always Right

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.


16 posted on 01/26/2007 7:21:05 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: 2banana
"We didn't sell a single ad in a year and a half," Zwerling said Thursday"

Most real businessmen would have noticed far quicker than 18 months that something was wrong with this business plan!
17 posted on 01/26/2007 7:24:48 AM PST by JLGALT (Get ready - Lock and Load!)
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To: JLGALT

Business plan? Weee don' neeed no steeeenkin' business plan!!!


18 posted on 01/26/2007 7:28:06 AM PST by stm (Believe 1% of what you hear in the drive-by media and take half of that with a grain of salt)
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To: pepsionice
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.

That's been tried before. Jim Hightower tried it, Ann Richards tried it, and Mario Coumo tried it. All three flopped.

19 posted on 01/26/2007 7:30:58 AM PST by Yo-Yo (USAF, TAC, 12th AF, 366 TFW, 366 MG, 366 CRS, Mtn Home AFB, 1978-81)
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To: zarf

I think your post is particular hurtful to all High School Stage bands! ;-)


20 posted on 01/26/2007 7:31:42 AM PST by fremont_steve (Milpitas - a great place to be FROM!)
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To: zarf
"Forget politics. It's about talent."

True. The Airhead America nitwits sell so poorly, there is no competition so no one rises to the top. Even if they had some talented radio guy who wanted to espouse all that angry emotional crap, he would still have no audience. Nearly all the conservative radio guys have an excellent sense of humor and if their ideas or logic offend you, they are still fun and interesting to listen to. The only way anyone, even lefties, can listen to the illogical garbage espoused by other lefties, is if it is packaged as factual news, not a program with callers.

21 posted on 01/26/2007 7:34:39 AM PST by penowa (NO more Bushes; NO more Clintons EVER!)
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To: rface
heh heh heh

The KOMmY network.
That's as good as it being carried in NYC on wLIB!

22 posted on 01/26/2007 7:37:13 AM PST by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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To: rface

"— articulate liberal pundits —"

WTF???


23 posted on 01/26/2007 7:37:45 AM PST by common denominator
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To: mad_as_he$$

Perhaps they'll put Quiq on in Watsonville for half a day.
He had two hours the other day.


24 posted on 01/26/2007 7:40:34 AM PST by sasquatch
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To: rface

Sigh...... I guess they will have to return to NPR which already gets subsidy along with their list of corporate donations(sponsors).

Fairness doctrines do not include failed business plans. There is nothing written anywhere that forces people to patronize bad business, just so they can stay open.

Bankruptcy for Air America is just another statistic of failed businesses.


25 posted on 01/26/2007 7:40:36 AM PST by o_zarkman44
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To: rface

The success the frogs have had with Airbus should serve them well if they buy err America.


26 posted on 01/26/2007 7:41:03 AM PST by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages - In Honor of Standing Wolf)
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To: rface

Everything is fine here at Error America. We have thousands of radio stations airing our programs and 200 million listeners just in the USA alone. We are making tons of money and our on-air talent is very very happy. Everything is just fine!

27 posted on 01/26/2007 7:42:59 AM PST by Veggie Todd (Were those magic grits?)
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To: rface

Everyone dances on the grave of Air America, but the only reason why it failed is because there is a much larger and more successful left wing talk radio network: NPR.


28 posted on 01/26/2007 7:44:52 AM PST by Jibaholic (Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets)
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To: pepsionice

What they failed to realise is that most Southern Democrats (Dixiecrats, Yellow-dog Democrats, or whatever you would call them) are church-goers who love their country. Therefore Air America's style doesn't sell down here.

Funny, Republicans are blamed for being dividers yet the lib's way seems to be to throw anyone they hate out in the cold. They H-A-T-E most of America.


29 posted on 01/26/2007 7:47:19 AM PST by swampmonster
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To: Ditto
You would think that some local tofu shop or organic restaurant would have bought at least one ad.

The only time I've ever heard an ad for a "medical marijuana co-operative" was on the SF station running AA. Not many local businesses even in SF advertised there. It was mostly national campaigns.

30 posted on 01/26/2007 7:50:37 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten per cent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: rface


"angry, nasty, pissing and moaning"

Best characterization of liberal talk I have ever encountered.


31 posted on 01/26/2007 7:54:43 AM PST by rod1
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To: rod1

Air America is Boston was replaced by Mexican Music. Isn't that ironic?


32 posted on 01/26/2007 7:58:55 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: rface

There it is. Liberalism fails miserably every time it is tried. But don't underestimate a liberal! Liberals will try to force liberalism to succeed with illegal and unconstitutional laws that punish opposing viewpoints (the "fairness" doctrine)


33 posted on 01/26/2007 7:59:44 AM PST by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (fairness doctrine - not fair and not a doctrine)
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To: massgopguy

Perfect--A good Mexican polka or salsa is far more rousing than anything Randi Rhodes or Al Franken might have to say.


34 posted on 01/26/2007 8:03:06 AM PST by rod1
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To: rface

Small and medium sized business owners do not want to be associated with the nuts of the far left. Also, except for the Hollywood elite, the far-left do not contribute anything or buy much. If you are attracting the radical left to your business, you are going to go broke (unless you are a college coffee house).


35 posted on 01/26/2007 8:03:12 AM PST by giobruno
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To: rface
Taking Air America's place is oldies music — artists such as Roy Orbison



I'm crying, crying, cryyyyyying.

NOT

Cheers,

knewshound

Latest article; Queer Eye for a Dictator Guy
36 posted on 01/26/2007 8:08:02 AM PST by knews_hound (Sarcastically blogging since 2004.)
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To: Jibaholic
much larger and more successful left wing talk radio network: NPR.

Apply market forces to NPR and it would most likely be toast as well.

37 posted on 01/26/2007 8:21:12 AM PST by Mygirlsmom (sdrawkca-ssaB eb ot smees gnihtyreve tuoba tsuj ,syad esehT)
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To: rface
I thought liberal radio would work as a viable advertising business in the most liberal town in America. I was wrong

Obviously this person has a fundamental misunderstanding of liberal though processes. Liberals spend OTHER peoples' money, tell OTHER people what to do, how to do it and when to do it, let OTHER people do those distasteful things like enforce the goofy laws they enact and protect the country, let OTHER people go to lousy schools, live in government housing (I would say squalid but that's redundant), take rotten public transportation. In other words, supporting anything financially is a foreign concept to liberals.

38 posted on 01/26/2007 8:25:06 AM PST by relictele
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To: rface

There is a reason liberals dont make it on talk radio. If you want Bush bashing, or Republican bashing in general, you already have acsess to it on the evening news and the major papers.


39 posted on 01/26/2007 8:29:23 AM PST by weezel
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To: rface

If you've ever talked to a liberal, you know they only have two debating techniques: Their first tactic is name calling. "George Bush is an idiot!" That pretty much sums up their ideology. Their second tactic is changing the subject. If you respond to their "George Bush is an idiot" charge with, "He has a Bachelor's degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard," they'll say something like "Dick Cheney is in a conspiracy with Halliburton!" That exchange doesn't play very well on talk radio.


40 posted on 01/26/2007 8:43:43 AM PST by highimpact
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To: rod1

Best characterization of Liberal politicics and politicians too.

Now along with help from the Left Stream Media, they may again have demoralized enough of the american public to get back into control of Congress..nut their pissin, bitchin and moanin
will only get their heads cut off, or a stick of dynamite up their "second mouths", when they try to "win"
against the Islamo-fascists. Go 'head...Send a congressional dewlagation over to usurp presidential power
and cut a deal with the "freedom fighters"
that "just want to be left alone".


41 posted on 01/26/2007 8:58:14 AM PST by NickatNite2003 (From the Man from Hope" to the wife who snarls "Abandon All Hope!")
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To: sasquatch
That would be nice but I'm not sure he has the energy.

Saw the note about the weekend. No problem. Next one is out for me. I will be traveling.

42 posted on 01/26/2007 9:01:32 AM PST by mad_as_he$$ (So many geeks so few circuses.)
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To: Always Right

43 posted on 01/26/2007 2:48:32 PM PST by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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