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Air America to File for Bankruptcy

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Think Progress is reporting Air America radio will announce filing for bankruptcy protection on Friday according to three independent sources. The company has experienced financial difficulties throughout its existence, continuing to request infusions of capital and suffering the loss of several high-profile hosts. Five employees were laid off Tuesday without severance.

The network has had several controversies since its inception including a funding scandal involving Evan Cohen. Air America Radio funneled $875,000 dollars from Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, a not-for-profit, in the form of a "loan" to fund its operations. Due to of the less-than-ethical funding arrangement, Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club has been disbanded.

In another incident, The Randi Rhodes Show aired a skit that could have been interpreted as advocating the execution of the President George W. Bush. Several of the shows have been accused as fostering bigotry against Christians, Catholics in particular, and have been seen as lowering the dignity of political debate.

In a comment on Think Progress on the matter:

The right wing is sure to seize on Air America’s financial woes as a sign that progressive talk radio is unpopular. In fact, Air America succeeded at creating something that didn’t exist: the progressive talk radio format.

However, the progressive talk radio format did exist with the variety of IndyMedia projects as well as Pacifica Radio. Air America, however, was the first radio that put through an entire slate of radio shows instead of syndicating individual shows. This has largely caused problems with their expansion as it required stations to pick up the entire network for 24 hours a day instead of the most popular shows.

Ratings have shown that Air America has never been able to compete with rival Rush Limbaugh. However, Air America has brought a new broadcast model into talk radio and has led to similar projects. For instance, Wide Awakes Radio is an internet-only talk radio broadcast station that focuses on conservative content.

Air America's troubled past has finally caught up to them. Board shakeups, hosts leaving, and shady financing have all contributed to the demise of the station. Air America Radio has not returned calls for comment as of this writing.

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • Arch Conservative

    Air Ameirca was a joke from start to finish. Liberals want to talk about tolerance and diversity and then they run ads with Bush getting assisnated. Seems a tad bit hypocritical but that’s nothing new for the American left.

    I guess Air America couldn’t steal enough money from children’s organizations to stay in business.

    Oh well. they won’t be missed.

  • Braniff

    Couldn’t the wealthy folks in the entertainment industry subsidize Air America? Or were they too busy with their divorces, DUIs/drug abuse problems, attempts to put their babies on the cover of the babies and attempt to accumulate bling or what not?

  • http://www.vitaminz.blogspot.com Zach Baker

    I saw an HBO documentary on it’s beginning. While not being someone who agrees with Air America’s politics, I did think it was interesting what they were trying to do: Set up an influential radio network in a very short period of time.
    They acheived that, in a sense, but their influence is still up in the air. And I think, after watching the documentary, it’s a surprise how long the network lasted.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com brad schader

    AA rested to heavily upon their celeb-radio host wannabes and ignored their real talent. Had they taken Thom Hartman, Ed Schultz, Stephannie Miller, Mike Malloy they would have done great. They tried for names and not talent.

  • Arch Conservative

    Since when is Mike Mallot talented? he’s just another foaming at the mouth moonbat who couldn’t hold anyone’s interts but other foaming at the mouth moonbats.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    You’re talking about a man who has more talent in his little finger than you have brains Arch. I thought were over your juvenile name calling and that you’d grown up, I guess I was wrong.

  • Arch Conservative

    Mike Malloy is a piece of shit. Nothing but a rabid commie zealot. Fuck him and anyone who listens to his billshit.

  • Lumpy

    Mike Malloy was a certifiable nut and AA actually took him off the air for a while because he was too crazy even for the after midnite slot where he was competing with the crazies from coast to coast.

    I actually found AA entertaining (except the tedious Franken) . Does this mean they are going off air or are they just reorganizing?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    We it’s certainly better than listening to Bushit

  • Arch Conservative

    I would pay good money to watch Michael savage beat the living shit out of Mike Malloy.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Or … you could, oh I don’t know, listen to something else on the radio?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Well, if it makes you happy…

  • Arch Conservative

    yeah it would make me about as happy as listening to a skit about Bush getting assisnated made Rhandi Rhodes and her listeners.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    at least she can spell the words “their” and “assassinated”

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “I would pay good money to watch Michael savage beat the living shit out of Mike Malloy.”

    You mean Michael Weiner, right? 😉

    That being said, I am glad that Air Anti-America is kaput. If radio listeners want a liberal/leftist view on things, they can just tune into NPR…or go online and stream Pacifica.

    And it’s nice to see a vicious scumbag like Franken lose his job…

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    I would pay good money to watch Michael savage beat the living shit out of Mike Malloy.

    What’s really funny is that you think Mike Malloy is a foaming-at-the-mouth lunatic, but you don’t think that Michael Savage is.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    PLEASE NOTE: In the above comment, I did not deny that Mike Malloy was a foaming-at-the-mouth lunatic. At all. I would never deny that.

    I’m simply saying that Michael Savage is not, in any way, LESS of a foaming-at-the-mouth lunatic than Malloy.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Oh Mike. You and your caveats.

    BURN HIM!!!!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Filing for bankruptcy means stopping business altogether like impeaching the President means exiting office.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Supporting AA is the same as supporting Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern, they, as we, all have the American right to speak.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    From the article in Bambenek’s link:

    UPDATE: Air America responds.

    If Air America had filed for bankruptcy every time someone rumored it to be doing so, we would have ceased to exist long ago; it may be frustrating to some that this hasn’t happened. No decision has been taken to make any filing of any kind, we are not sure of the source of these rumors and frankly can not respond to every rumor in the marketplace.

    That out of the way, let’s point out a couple of things.

    1) Air America is not failing because it is liberal or progressive or “moonbat” or whatever you want to call it. Let me repeat that: AIR AMERICA’S LACK OF SUCCESS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ITS IDEOLOGY. (It was not Bambenek, of course, that suggested that it did, but a fair number of commenters.) Air America is not doing well for the simple reason that it’s bad radio. That’s it.

    2) There is only one thing in this article I can really dispute:

    Several of the shows…have been seen as lowering the dignity of political debate.

    Really? Political debate in the US had any dignity remaining when AA went on the air?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “AIR AMERICA’S LACK OF SUCCESS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ITS IDEOLOGY.”

    …yes it did.

    /Argument Clinic

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Suss,

    I’m not able to respond to that comment unless you pay for another five minutes.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Oh come on! That was hardly five minutes!

    Fine…

  • Slick Willy

    AA was in the odd position that it was competing with Bush himself to point out the idiosity (Bushpeak word?) of his administration’s foreign and domestic policies. Just by listening to actual Bush administration speeches (and actions) performs the same function as what AA was trying to accomplish.

  • Arch Conservative

    Of course Michael Savage is foaming at the mouth as is Mike Malloy. The difference is Savage is always right and he’s not a commie scumbag piece of shit.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Arch, your whole persona on Blogcritics is a practical joke, isn’t it? You’re actually comic relief, right?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Actually more like a misbehaving three-year-old in constant need of attention.

  • zingzing

    somebody give archie a handjob. the man needs to let off some steam.

  • http://javajoechess.blogspot.com/ Joe Erjavec

    I am so happy to see the civil commentary here. *rolls eyes*

    I listened to Air America on and off. I liked Al Franken’s and Ed Schultz’s shows. However, despite the fact that I am a liberal person, talk radio in general does not appeal to me, so I spend my time listening to NPR.

  • MCH

    “And it’s nice to see a vicious scumbag like Franken lose his job…”
    – RJ Elliott, #15

    “Max Cleland resembles a gigantic thalidamide baby.”
    – RJ Elliott, July 31, 2004

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    On reflection, I’ve decided that Cleland actually looks remarkably like Larry Flint.

    Dave

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption12

    Did someone really acuse NPR of being liberal?

  • IgnatiusReilly

    “Where’s Cerulean with the endless promotion of AA when we need him?”

    Maybe she was right about the way men treat women around here.

    Rather than rely on someone else to do it buried within the comments, when is the author going to post an update to his article?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Maybe she was right about the way men treat women around here.

    You know, I forgot alltogether that Cerulean was female. I find gender meaningless in the context of online discussion. As for a prejudice on BC against women, that seems improbable given the domination of the editorial staff by people of that persuasion.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    I thought only trannies considered gender a “persuasion?”

  • Bud Woods

    The right-of-center radio hosts understand that broadcasting is a competitive environment. The free market works; it sorts out ideas, concepts, separates valid arguments from propaganda/libel/name-calling, etc. The left-of-center hosts don’t understand [or don’t trust] markets and suffer under the delusion that they and their simpaticos’ opinions are good for the public. They believe that the public should sit there like 3rd graders and listen obediently to their teachers – regardless of what’s being said. If, in fact, PBS, CPB & NPR weren’t subisdized by Congress and free band width, etc., “public” broadcasting would have to move to the center and most of leftist drivel per Bill Moyers [among many others] would have been cancelled years ago.