Friday, January 22, 2010

[Off the] Air America Media Dissolves

former WLIB logo, as an Air America Radio affi...Image via Wikipedia
 Air America Radio debuted in 2004 as a progressive network alternative to Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, and other conservative stalwarts dominating the airwaves and chronicled in Hot Air by Washington Post Media Columnist Howard Kurtz.

Although never dominant, Air America at its height had more than 100 radio outlets across the nation and boasted established "names" including now-U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D.-Minn.) and actress/comic Janeane Garofalo, and soon-to-be stars such as Rachel Maddow.

It all came to a crashing ending this week as Air America Media ceased live programming Jan. 21 and will disappear from the airwaves entirely Jan. 25 as it undergoes Chapter 7 bankruptcy dissolution. Ownership blamed the dramatic drop in local and national advertising revenues that has plagued the industry as a whole, but Air America's history was turbulent before the nation's recent economic downturn. 

Air America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in 2006 and soon after, was purchased by Green Family Media.  Full-time employees with more than 6 months' tenure will receive severance packages.

Other notable hosts over the network's brief six-year existence included Ron Reagan, Jr., "Lionel", Jerry Springer, Joy Behar, and Richard Belzer.

Liberal listeners will have to make do with NPR, and oldies, jazz, and classical stations.

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