Friday, October 13, 2006

In which I add some thoughts to Howie's and Sam Seder's about Air America Radio's Chapter 11


I just read Howie's post about the impending Air America Radio Chapter 11 filing--news to me--with Sam Seder's extremely helpful and informative thoughts on the matter.

Obviously Sam's inside knowledge vastly exceeds mine, which is zero. But I want to underline everything he has to say about the importance and, yes, the success of what AAR has done on the air in its short history. It always seemed to me that the business and promotion part of the enterprise was handled with increasingly stunning incompetence, but one reason the enterprise was so worth fighting for was the very fact that so much good-to-terrific stuff was coming out over the air.

The much-lamented Morning Sedition morning show was one of the great experiments in radio history, and might have grown into a programming anchor and a genuine money-maker if it had been properly nurtured instead of unceremoniously deep-sixed. And then in some ways Rachel Maddow's morning show was even better. (I'm thinking of the job the show did of simply presenting the basic news a progressively minded person needs to carry with him/her into the day.) I hope Rachel is flourishing in her new evening time slot. She's obviously one of Air America's great assets, and I hope the reorganization will lead to many more people being able to hear her.

Since I haven't gotten back to the subject since my last rant about AAR mismanagement (which was graced with an especially interesting comment added by valued DWT reader--and fellow Morning Sedition aficionado-mourner--Timcanhear, who also added a terrific comment to my Morning Sedition post linked above), I just want to underscore Sam's points: that AAR has played a vital role in giving us progressives a voice and bringing us together, in expanding the market for other progressive radio talkers, and above all in providing a really astounding quantity, given its short history, of really top-quality programming. Hey, I'm not ashamed to say that its advent changed my life.

Finally, for any readers who are confused about the whole confounding matter of bankruptcy, speaking as someone who works for a company that went through a Chapter 11 reorganization and still has a job, let me stress that the whole point of Chapter 11 is precisely to make possible a company's workable reorganization, as opposed to liquidation.


At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Ken. I look forward to seeing those with vision and expertise taking the reigns and getting the financial aspects fixed so we can continue to enjoy AAR and hopefully watch a reexpansion of offerings.

There is enough money in the upper reaches and in the public to keep this going. We just need folks with good ideas and good sense.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

Air America programming is as good or better than any in America. Hopefully there is someone out there with deep pockets who can make it happen.
First step would be to re-hire The Morning Sedition! Second step would be to hire a national marketing team.
I can say with pride, I was fortunate and happy to have been an advertising manager of Air America's biggest frequency station in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, it was under the Clear Channel umbrella of 8 locally owned radio stations, most of which are poorly managed, corporate rubber stamps of bad programming.


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