Wednesday, January 27, 2010

656 Hot Air America

656 Hot Air America

The newly dead liberal talk radio network was on life support for all its life, about six years. It's not the death of all liberal talk radio, although what's left isn't voluminous. Hartmann, Schultz, Henican and a handful of others. But there's no longer a main player in the field, and what we have left is the extreme right, which is getting more extreme by the day, hence Hot Air America. No major counter voice. No major place where like minded companies, such as there are of them, can advertise.

Everyone has an opinion about why it failed, and they're all different and they're all right. Al Franken abandoned his pioneer program to run for Senate. They never recovered from that. His show wasn't much. But the name recognition was important.

They were over ambitious, under funded and managed like, well, a typical radio station, which is to say ineptly. That kind of management doesn't work on a national level. (It really doesn't work on a local level, either, but somehow the badly run locals soldier on.)

Without Franken, who was left? Rachel Madow emerged from the herd and became a TV superstar. The rest were phoning it in.

Hot Air America is entertaining. Air America wasn't. Rush can be funny in an evil way. Savage: people listen to him for the same reason they watched Dan Rather -- hoping to be on hand when the guy implodes. Mark Steyn is an amusing player of word games. Air America's Lionel, for example, never was.

Money was always a problem for AA. Getting and keeping affiliates was another problem. A liberal talk operation needs a New York outlet. AA's was WWRL, which at 1600 on the dial can't be heard 20 miles from its transmitter, let alone across the whole metro area.

They lost their Los Angeles outlet early on. Ditto Washington, DC. They were weak in Detroit and Chicago and so-so in San Francsico.

Their programming model was wrong. Instead of trying to be a full service network, they should have just syndicated their programs like Premier or even the sorry, bankrupt Citadel.

And many say liberals don't need talk radio in the same way conservatives do. Liberals can't be herded, and think independently.

Air America was the Terri Schiavo of broadcasting. And no members of congress or the judiciary made any kind of fuss about saving it.


--The President is about to deliver the State of the Union Address. Reporting to Congress annually is his constitutional duty. It is not a constitutional duty to have to hear an opposition party reply immediately thereafter, but we're going to get one.

--The dual speech arrangement turns the President's reporting to Congress into a political campaign event. That's not what the founders had in mind, most likely. And if the counter-speech were a point by point refutation of the address, we might actually learn something, but it won't be and we won't.

--That's the bad news. The good news is most people will tune out the second speech. And those that don't, should.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010


Paul Huedepohl said...

"Liberals can't be herded, and think independently."?!

Yet somehow the Global Warming Hysteria (TM) continues on...

Anonymous said...

Reason #1A

Liberals/Progressives would rather listen to their Ipods

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, annual reporting is not a constitutional requirement. Here's what it says.

"He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union,.."

Ted S. said...

Why there is not much liberal talk radio was explained long ago by Ann Coulter. There are two reasons:

1) Talk radio's prime time is during the rush hour commute. Since most liberals don't have real jobs to commute to, there is no natural market for talk radio for them.

2) To the extent liberals want to hear talk radio, the taxpayers already buy them an all-you-can-eat buffet at National Public Radio (not to mention the established liberal oligopolies of network news, newspapers, weekly news magazines, academia, cinema, television, etc., etc.), so with all that supply of liberal media, there's not much leftover demand for liberal talk radio. As with anything else, when the government forces taxpayers to buy you something for free, it destroys the case for private investment. Of course liberals never understand this. That is part of why they are liberals in the first place.

Wes Richards said...

Paul H: Climate change is fact. Why the climate changes is not. I'm inclined to believe that most of it is nature. But to characterize it as "hysteria" is to mischaracterize it.

Wes Richards said...

A. Nony Mouse: I don't blame them for listening to their iPods over conservative talk radio. But I have a problem with people who get their news from Worldnet and Jay Leno

Wes Richards said...

Yes, you are correct on the Constitution. I still favor Morse code over speeches

Wes Richards said...

Ted: That's utter nonsense and you know it.

NPR and its clones are often accused of "liberalism." That is absolute nonsense. Public radio is as close to neutral as one can get. Think about the supporters: WT Grant, ExxonMobil, etc. This is not what you would call "liberal." To the credit of the so-called public broadcasters, they remain independent.

If the Ted Foundation gave some bucks, do you think anyone would balk?

Anonymous said...

"Everyone has an opinion about why it failed, and they're all different and they're all right."
We're all right! I'm right and you're right! Yippeee! NPR is centrist and Exxon is evil! It's all good!

Anonymous said...

"Liberals can't be herded, and think independently."

Now that's funny!

Perhaps you should have been on Air America yourself?


Mike said...

"Liberals can't be herded, and think independently."

To which I can only chant, "Yes we can."

"Public radio is as close to neutral as one can get. Think about the supporters: WT Grant, ExxonMobil, etc. This is not what you would call "liberal." "

You make a compelling argument.

I guess that means all those Democrats, including our president, who received thousands in campaign contributions from the evil, capitalist, Wall Street financial institutions they're now demonizing aren't liberal either.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Joe Hurley said...

I'm convinced it's pointless to leave a comment, but...

The half of America who leans conservative felt that the major TV networks were too left-leaning in their editorial stances. We also felt that the news was being packaged and presented to push this liberal point of view. This lead to a resurgence of radio (a dying medium) as an alternative to the preeminent media.

Now we have more diverse choices for our news-media consumption. We have Fox News on the right, MSNBC on the left, and CNN is trying to move towards a more centrist presentation.

If the media was predominantly right-leaning in it's editorial positions, I'm sure that Air America would have done a bit better.

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