Blaming its demise on a decline in radio industry ad revenue for ten consecutive quarters, Air America Media has decided to file under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, effectively ending its six-year broadcasting run as of 9PM EST tomorrow. Created as a liberal / progressive radio response to conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Air America has hosted a number of relatively prominent liberals, such as now United States Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) and Rachel Maddow (MS-NBC).
So how have people taken the news? Like any decent blogger, I turned to the Internet to find out.
The fall of Air America Radio is being hailed as a triumph for conservatives, wrapping up a two-day series of unfortunate events for American liberals, including the loss of Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat to Republican Scott Brown and a recent decision by the Supreme Court to essentially destroy all limitations on corporate contributions to political campaigns. Transforming the downfall of Air America Media into a political issue, many conservatives seem to be attempting to use the company’s situation as a symbol for the general decline and failure of liberal talk shows, often citing pay discrepancies and total number of listeners as evidence.
Mark Krikorian, a blogger for the National Review, even went as far as stating, “Air America and Camelot snuffed out in the same week! So maybe the work does not go on, the cause does not endure, the hope does not live, and the dream really can die.”
Are these individuals on to something? Does the fall of Air America symbolize the dominance of conservative talk show hosts over broadcasting? To be honest, I’m not sure, although I’m certain that many individuals disagree with the aforementioned arguments. Regardless, one thing that people seem to agree on is that the fall of Air America was no surprise, particularly with the company’s highly publicized decision to apply for bankruptcy protection in 2006. In 2009 revenue for radio dropped by about 21%.
So, what now? Dana Loesch, a conservative talk show host from St. Louis, seems to believe that liberals will use this event as motivation to renew the Fairness Doctrine. Only time will tell, but it should be interesting.