Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Failure of Air America

So Air America failed. It is not hard to discern why. The picture above, which is from Pentoon, is part of the reason. The network's flagship person is what the picture says he is. The few times I listened to him, I heard a bitter man wailing about how unjust the current administration is. Each time it sounded the same.

One of the area's local hosts was about the same. In the case of Christine Craft one heard a bitter person ranting. She might have been the left wing variation of Mark WIlliams, the guy written about earlier in this place who was bounced off a larger local station. Outside of the major media markets, there may not be a large enough share to produce revenue. Even in the major markets, the programming did not offer enough to make the system work. The conservative radio hosts are in every market because they offer commentary in an entertaining fashion.

Radio is about entertainment. Air America did not offer that. Limbaugh and Medved and Prager and even Laura Ingraham have the great possibility of being funny or thought provoking. And while I think in recent years the medium has declined in its attraction, that possibility still exists. A second reason conservative radio continues to make money is that they offer something which is harder to find in other media. CNN, the NYT, the WP and most of the rest of the "mainstream" media (that is an odd term because mainstream would imply some buy in and I think that is questionable) are all pretty much on the same side and with the same point of view as Air America. We know what that establishment has to say most of the time. But starting with Rush and the updates - there was a compelling reason to turn in. Ditto for each of the other talk show hosts. Medved has a certain charm. Prager has a certain intellect. And Ingraham has almost a frat girl quality. Each of them also has flaws (often an extreme stretching of an issue)- which is why I wrote earlier that I have increasingly turned to podcasts.

No comments: