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Air America To Close Its Doors Due To Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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Air America, the progressive radio station that served as an alternative to such loud-mouthed conservative programs as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, has had a fair share of financial woes since launching in 2004. Its shaky management led the station straight to chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2006. The next year it was sold to Green Family Media for $4.25 million. Now Air America is facing chapter 7 bankruptcy and, well, the time has come for its inevitable decline. It will shut its doors –or, rather, shut down its frequencies– this Monday.

A statement on their website reads:

The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America’s business. This past year has seen a “perfect storm” in the media industry generally. National and local advertising revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection…

In the years ahead, as we look back, we should all be proud of our passionate determination to assure that our nation’s progressive voice would be heard loud and clear. Through the hard work and dedication of current staff, and those who preceded you, a lasting legacy was forged which will now continue through other voices and venues.

For conservatives, Air America is coming to a merciful end and it serves as a warning: a radio station should first and foremost be about entertainment, not simply about a political ideology. Many of the hosts, from Janeane Garofalo to Al Franken, had no background radio. Transferring the wit and wisdom that worked so well in their writings or standup routines to the radio airwaves proved to be a failure.

Many times, the programs on Air America sounded like angry activists preaching. And while they were right about many of their points, the commentators lacked the showmanship and audacity of their conservative counterparts. To put it simply: it was dull. yes, it gave Franken political cred that helped secure him the Senate seat in MInnesota and it gave a voice to future stars like Rachel Maddow, but, all in all, it was an extremely misguided effort. When progressives don’t feel like tuning in to a progressive radio station, it’s time to pack up.

That all being said, Air America will no doubt leave behind a legacy of what works and what doesn’t work on the radio. The conservatives get it (unfortunately) and the progressives will get it after this fiasco…I hope.

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