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Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Air America - Money? What Money?
by Cordeiro
In the continuing saga of the sinking ship that is Al "Cheap Shot" Franken's not so bold foray into Talk Radio, Air America's funding problems have sunk to a new low previously thought unattainable.

Never let it be said Air America doesn't succeed in blazing new frontiers.

Air America's principal problem is its failure to make anything remotely resembling a profit. For those of you unfamiliar with the term "profit", its the money left after expenses, taxes, and Starbucks fees. Profit is routinely denounced by the left-wing radicals in this country. Profit represents the left's failure to tax, regulate or otherwise deny a company's right to have money to spend however it sees fit.

The left must be extremely proud of Air America. It makes the dot.com companies of the late 90's look solvent.

That said, market forces still require their pound of flesh from companies operating in the market. People demand to be paid. Utilities demand payment or threaten to turn off little things like lights, water, and latte machines. Air America, despite its best efforts, still must feed the very fickle demands of the market.

As Air America has been phenomenally unsuccessful in turning a profit, it has engaged in something most companies don't have to do. Air America does a lot of fund raising. Well, after phone calls to wealthy Democratic donors went un-returned, and several bake sales ended up losing money, Air America started looking for loans.

Some of us would call the transfer of 875 Large from a Bronx non-profit (and federally funded) organization a sham, but I digress.

I am not a lawyer. I'm not an accountant. That said, I won't bore you with the mind-numbing details of Air America's "loan" fiasco. Captain Ed, Michelle Malkin, and Radio Equalizer all do a phenomenal job of that.

What I am is a student of market forces. Air America has one fundamental problem for which there is little they can do. (Memo to "Cheap Shot" Franken: Can you handle the truth?) Here it is:

Nobody is listening. Nobody. People in New York City would rather listen to a Caribbean Steel Drum band than anything Franken and Company have to say.

No listeners = no ratings. No ratings = no revenue. No revenue = bankruptcy - or in Air America's case, siphoning money from programs aimed at helping children and the elderly.

As of this writing, not one word has been spoken, written, or otherwise transmitted regarding this scandal via the MSM. Why this is so, I can only guess.

Perhaps the MSM is afraid (collectively) that upon reporting this scandal, their reporters will be cut down from behind by "Cheap Shot" Franken. After all, that seems to be his modus operandi for dealing with those who disagree with him.

Here endeth the lesson.


As much as I don't want to debunk all Kos' numbers (ok, maybe I do), but here are some ratings numbers that paint a very bleak picture for Air America. Al "Cheap Shot" Franken is down 50% in Boston and 14% in New York since Spring 2004. To paraphrase Frank, If you can't make it (as a liberal talk show host) in New York (or Boston) you can't make it anywhere (else).

UPDATE #2: Radioequalizer has interesting information on AAR's looming payroll problems. This could end up being the downfall of the network. Liberals though they may be, getting paid is still somewhat important to them.
4 Comment(s):
A loan does not a bankruptcy make. Nor does only subjugating opinions to other right-wing personalities actually deal with the numbers.

Thought not your cup of tea, Kos has at least quoted sources for its numbers. Check it out: AAR in upsurge.
As much as I hate to point out what seems obvious to me, Kos missed a glaring difference between Rush and AAR.

Rush has 3.4 (give or take) million listeners over a 3 hour period. AAR is trying to fill an entire broadcast day and only manages to get 1 million listeners at any given time.

Kos gives "quotable numbers" that AAR is up 32% while Rush is down 1%. Well, crunching numbers as one should, AAR's 32% doesn't even come close to matching Rush's 1%.

Kos can cite whatever numbers he wants, but the great equalizer of ratings dictate the success of any radio program. Kos says AAR isn't there - yet. I hope he isn't holding his breath waiting for AAR to arrive.
As if this isn't stating the obvious! Kos wants AAR to succeed because he is liberal, while you want it to fail because you're conservative.

I don't think either one of you should be making any prediction one way or the other. I have seen crappier shows succeed that AAR and better ones fail. Don't justify your extreme bias with a "market forces" argument.
I'll justify my extreme bias (I don't bother to hide it or call it anything else) by using the best factual evidence I can to support my case. Said factual evidence just happens to be "market forces".
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