Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Another corporate scandal

Hi-De-Ho Rene,

Did you ever listen to Air America before it went off the air in LA? It's never been on a station that can be heard out here in the Heartland (except on satellite radio), but I don't think we cowboys are the target audience anyway.

Professor Bainbridge has an interesting post on some of the legal issues surrounding Air America's shall-we-say "quirky" finances.

Aside from its start-up woes, it seems to me that Air America had a business-plan problem from the beginning. I'm not a big Rush Limbaugh fan (for reasons similar to, though not exactly the same as, P.J. O'Rourke's), but the market built his audience of ditto-heads. He didn't get staked a quadrillion bucks to bellow at us; his audience sought him out. Demand drove supply.

At least from the outside, it appears that Air America hoped to drive demand with supply. Instead of growing organically, it was given a $30 million growth hormone (or not; see PB for details). Certainly, any venture needs start-up cash, but it seems unrealistic in retrospect to think that, without proving itself in the trenches, it could become an instant media powerhouse -- or even a self-sustaining business.



Blogger Rene said...

I heard about Air America but I never heard it in Los Angeles.

The LA radiowaves are so crowded that I have a hard time finding a "blank" spot on the FM dial to use my iTrip gadget in my car.

Los Angeles is filled with talk radio and sports talk radio. If you are in LA, you can find sports talk on 690, 710, 1150 and 1540. And so if conservative talk programs didn't have listeners they would be off the air just like that.

There is the station that Rush is on, KFI 640 home of "more stimulating talk radio." I rarely listen to Rush but I do give him a lot of credit for being the trailblazer in the realm of conservative talk radio.

There is KABC 790 where you can find O'Reilly and Hannity though I most enjoy Libertarian Larry Elder.

And my personal favorite is KRLA 870 where I listen to Prager and Hewitt.

I'm thinking I should have at least one or two lefty blogs on my reading list. Which do you recommend?

For radio, to get contrary views, I turn to NPR stations 89.3 and 89.9. They have lots of interesting non-political stuff which I enjoy.

When I do want to hear the other points of view I know I can find it there. I do give credit to some of the locally produced programs as they try to have some balance. Kudos to KCRW's "Left, Right and Center" and Warren Olney's interview shows and to KPCC's Larry Mantle.

For opinion magazines, I'll sometimes pick up a New Republic to balance the libertarian and conservative diet I get from Reason and AEI and National Review.

I confess though that like most people I'm feasting more on media I agree with than disagree with.

11:25 AM  

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