Thursday, March 31, 2005

A year after the launch of the Air America radio network, progressive talk is making progress

The Boston Globe is not stingy with the adjectives when praising Air America and their present situation and future outlook.

Naysayers viewed the venture with skepticism, arguing, among other things, that liberals were generally too humorless to succeed in what is essentially an entertainment medium. As the new HBO documentary ''Left of the Dial" (which airs tonight) reports, the early days of Air America were marked by financial chaos, management turnover, and the constant threat of extinction. Today, however, the Air America lineup is heard on 54 stations in cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, as well as Boston.

Don't you believe it. The Radio Equalizer has the real poop on Error America's latest major city market shares and overall condition.

Air America now lists 51 mostly tiny affiliates, which is not very impressive after a full year of media attention, industry affection and trade publication hype. Many smaller conservative radio networks can boast twice that number and still not be taken very seriously by radio professionals.

Watch the HBO special tonight, then read Bryan Maloney's piece. Bet you'll know who's telling the truth. On second thought, save some time, just read Maloney.

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