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Posts Tagged ‘Air America’

It is with great sadness that I post a link to this Op-Ed at Truthout by Peter B. Collins…

“As an independent progressive and 40-year radio veteran, I’m sorry to report that heroic efforts over the past ten years to build a national radio presence for progressives and Democrats seem to have reached a critical turning point. With the recent loss of key AM outlets in Portland, Seattle and Detroit, the progressive talk format no longer enjoys national coverage, which in turn threatens the financial viability of the syndicated programs hosted by Stephanie MillerThom HartmannEd SchultzRandi RhodesMike MalloyBill Press and Norman Goldman.”

I started this blog originally to document my work fighting for a progressive station here in greater Boston and was thrilled when we were able to pull it off in 2008 after 2 1/2 years of work. Sadly, between the political insanity and the economy, most of the funding and support for this format has dried up and only a small presence of our endeavors remains and is severely challenged to stay alive.

“Ratings range from flat to flat-lined: in 2012, Clear Channel-owned KPOJ in Portland and CBS-owned KPTK in Seattle showed audience numbers so low that they were not listed by Arbitron; Clear Channel’s WDTW in Detroit barely showed a pulse at .1 percent, and the once-powerhouse, now-struggling media conglomerate recently agreed to donate WDTW to a local community group. In his second attempt at WVKO in Columbus, Ohio, Gary Richards was forced to sign off just before Christmas 2012. Progressive talker Jeff Santos waged a valiant four-year struggle in Boston, and I was a consultant in his effort last year to add eight new markets in battleground states; we had no choice but to lease air time, and once again the Democrats who had the most to gain failed to support the effort.”

 

The so-called “left” has failed to create it’s own infrastructure and the country’s drift to the right is the outcome. Repeatedly, support for this infrastructure has fallen on deaf ears, even when shown it’s benefits. We MUST all support what remains of progressive talk radio and tv. Before it is too late. Maybe it is already, but I’d like to think we still have a small chance…

 

 

 

 

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There are quite a few progressive talk stations still on the air and being run successfullyThe important thing is to support them, especially now that AAR is gone and now that the corporations can pour unlimited funds into politics.

Progressive stations exist in Portland, ORSeattle, WAMadison, WISan Francisco, CAAnchora, AKLos Angeles, CAMonterey, CAChicago, IL,MinnesotaNorthampton, MABoston, MA (it took us 2 1/2 years to get a new independent progressive station back on the air after our Clear Channel affiliate was canceled back in 2006 after the election. And btw, the existence of AAR and progressive talk radio in general had a huge role in activating progressives and taking the Congress blue which is why Clear Channel started canceling stations all over in late 2006 & early 2007), there’s even a new channel in Maine supported by Stephen King, XM/Sirius Channel 167 (and Randi Rhodes on 165 3-6pm), and Marc Maron has his own  “WTF” podcasts now. Ring of Fire will get syndication and continue as well.

Now you can even stream some of these stations from your i-phone and blackberry as well as from your computer.

If you hear loads of advertising, that is a GOOD thing as it pays the bills!

I miss some of the great shows and talent from AAR, particularly Morning Seditionand Sam Seder
Al Franken’s in the Senate and Rachel Maddow’s show – not to be missed- is on MSNBC!

So, RIP Air America! But let us all continue to support the progressive media still out there!

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From Robert Greenwald:

Air America’s Sam Seder has a chance to take over the time slot created by Randi Rhodes’s departure.  It was just about a year ago that Air America made the foolish decision to move Seder from a daily show to Sundays; he a vital progressive voice on the radio, one that should be heard  daily.  No one fuses humor with political insight quite like Sam.

Sign our petition to bring Sam Seder back into Air America’s daily lineup

Sam has the right mix of serious politics, great interviewing skills, intelligence, humor and rightful indignation about his subjects. I know that Sam has been a great champion of both exposing important issues to the light of day and inspiring activism. He, of all the hosts who started on Air America, really came into his own and flourished. He has truly built a community (even though everything was stacked against him, as his various shows kept getting moved around, cancelled, diminished). Isn’t this part of what the network should be striving for? Loyal, devoted listeners who will listen to the network all day? I believe that the network takes him for granted, and us (the listeners) for granted. Please help give Sam the real chance he deserves, with real support from the network! Sign the petition and send them email:

pcollin@airamerica.com

 

Sam Seder fills in for Randi Rhodes last October!

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Excerpts below from 4/11 post by Jill http://brilliantatbreakfast.blogspot.com  about Air America, entitled: Why I miss Air America, and why this week just makes it worse. I really could not say this any better myself. Check out the entire post at her blog!

I miss the original Air America. Creative, smart, enthusiastic, experimental, funny, edgy, real…

Again, support the idea of a 5 day a week show for Sam Seder by writing to Air America:  pcollins@airamerica.com

 

“… what Air America has meant to me, and to people like me, over the past four years, is something that I don’t think the parade of ants in suits who have marched through its offices during that time have ever really understood.     

…In those early days, Air America had a kind of “Hey, kids, let’s put on a radio network!” feel to it as the various shows fumbled their way towards some kind of cohesiveness. 

…With an on-air stable of talent that included few people with any actual radio experience, we were able to listen to their on-the-job training. This was not everyone’s cup of tea, as it often resulted in things like listening to Janeane Garofalo screeching or playing out her issues with her conservative father Carmine on our time. But it was new, and it was fresh, and it was different, and damn it, it finally spoke to US — after a decade that saw mindless grinning mouthbreathers like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Neal Boortz and Mark Levin suck up all the AM frequencies.

…Because Arbitron never takes into account web streaming and podcasting, it’s impossible to know how many people were actually listening, but it was a lot more than the conventional meme of “Progressive Radio Fails Because No One Wants It” would have you believe.

…Air America has been plagued by bad management since day one, and it’s the company’s employees, the on-air talent, and the audience that have paid the price. What far too few of the incarnations of Air America management have understood is what a life preserver the network has been to those of us who have had our eyes open through the horror that has been the Bush years. I realize that for the suits in the executive suite, it’s about delivering eardrums to advertisers, but these nimrods that have marched through this company over the past four years, stuck in an era when it’s all about the AM ears, have never realized that Air America’s audience has been just as much about streaming and podcasts as AM radio. They have never understood that the audience was not only far larger than they realized, but also ferociously loyal; but loyal not to “the corporation” but to the bigger concept of progressive talk radio, and to the on-air talent that brought the news, the perspective, and the funny to our ears.

… it’s rare that radio personalities make themselves as accessible to listeners as these two men [Marc Maron and Sam Seder] have. 

… Sam Seder is another story entirely. …Seder worked hard, improved his delivery, did his homework, and created his own style and his own following via his web site. No one can ever say that Sam Seder hasn’t played well with others. When they cancelled The Majority Report, he moved seamlessly to the morning slot. [when they replaced his morning show with Lionel] Seder kept his mouth shut, moved to his Sunday wasteland, and took his community with him.

…Over the last year, SamSederShow.com has become an online community in its own right, and on Tuesdays Seder and Marc Maron do a VODcast that provides a single hour of sanity for those of us who wake up every goddamn day wishing the old Air America was still around. Sam Seder is a good and decent man who has done nothing but bleed Air America blue for the last four years. He fills in when he’s asked to, often at a moment’s notice. He hasn’t once complained. When he had to find out via Instant Messenger that his employer had once again kicked him in the teeth by choosing someone else to keep the 3-6 PM slot warm next week, you never heard him complain on the air. 

…None of these guys [the corporate suits] get that progressive talk radio cannot simply be about getting people to buy John Cammuta’s latest get rich quick scheme or some cream to make your dick bigger or some other cream that’s guaranteed to get rid of the bags under your eyes if you just give them your credit card number so they can charge you every month. 
…No, it’s about the community. It’s about the unique bond that these radio novices created with those who listen to them.

It’s not about money, it’s about people. It’s about sustaining a community in an alienated world. 

Morning Sedition has been gone for over two years, and I miss it every single day. Sam Seder’s show often doesn’t make it to the podcast till two days later. Now Randi is gone, and if there’s any justice in the world, Rachel Maddow will take over for David Gregory in the MSNBC 6 PM slot. And then everyone who made Air America something exciting and special will be gone.”  

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“If we don’t believe in freedom of speech for people we despise,
we don’t believe in free speech at all” –
 Noam Chomsky

Randi Rhodes calls in to Marc Maron subbing for Mike Malloy, 4/10/08

 

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Randi Rhodes on Larry King Live, CNN, 4/10/08
  
 

BREAKING NEWS: Randi Rhodes will appear on CNN’s “Larry King Live” tonight (Thu, 4/10) – 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific

 

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For Immediate Release April 10, 2008

 

RANDI RHODES JOINS NOVA M RADIO

The Nova M Radio Network is thrilled to announce the addition of “The Randi Rhodes Show” to its nationally syndicated talent offerings beginning this Monday, April 14, 2008. Randi Rhodes is the #1 rated progressive talk radio host in the nation. Nova M CEO John Manzo says, “I just can’t stop smiling – Randi is simply the biggest and the best. Randi Rhodes and Mike Malloy under one roof – talk about TALENT!” Randi Rhodes adds, “With Manzo at helm of Nova M, I am truly going to work for the best of the best. He is radio elite…and I am too <laughs>. I’m home, I’m home, I’m home!” “The Randi Rhodes Show” will air live Mon-Fri from 3-6pm Eastern on The Nova M Radio Network. AFFILIATE, MEDIA, ADVERTISER & INVESTOR INQUIRIES: John Manzo, CEO Nova M Radio Network jmanzo@NovaMRadio.com

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Oh, and to quote Crooks And Liars:

“I, like many, think that Sam Seder deserves his own show again. Write to pcollins@airamerica.com and let them know you want Sam back full time. We wish Randi all the best in the future.”

[4/24/08 Update on Randi Rhodes via ltradio.blogspot.com:

XM fans may be able to satisfy their Randi Rhodes fix soon.Orbitcast is reporting that Rhodes, who left Air America earlier this month for Nova M Radio, is in talks to return to XM Radio’s so-called Air America (ch 167) channel.]

 

[Further Update:
Rhandi Rhodes will be returning to her old slot of 3-6pm on XM radio, Monday, May 5th.]

 

 

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STATEMENT OF CHARLIE KIREKER, CHAIR & MARK GREEN, PRESIDENT, FOR AIR AMERICA MEDIA

By Tim Einenkel

Last week Air America suspended Randi Rhodes for abusive, obscene language at a recent public appearance in San Francisco which was sponsored by an Air America affiliate station. 

Air America Media was informed last night by Ms. Rhodes that she has chosen to terminate her employment with the company. 

We wish her well and thank her for past services to Air America. We will soon announce exciting new talent and programming that will accelerate Air America’s growth in the future.

 

More on Air America webpage http://airamerica.com/

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You may not know that talkshow host Randi Rhodes was suspended indefinitely for making off-color remarks at a private event (in a nightclub – NOT on the air) at an affiliate event in SF at Green960 AM.

As of now, there are 2 petitions up, so please sign both:

PETITION TO REINSTATE RANDI RHODES

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Reinstate-Randi-Rhodes

and send letters to Air America:

 

http://airamerica.com/contact

feedback@airamerica.com

Contact: Anne Strahle
astrahle@airamerica .com

STATEMENT OF AIR AMERICA RADIO, FROM CHAIR CHARLIE KIREKER
By air america
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2008
New York – Air America has suspended on-air host Randi Rhodes for making inappropriate statements about prominent figures, including Senator Hillary Clinton, at a recent public appearance on behalf of Air America in San Francisco which was sponsored by an Air America affiliate station.

“Air America encourages strong opinions about public affairs but does not condone such abusive, ad hominem language by our Hosts,” said chair Charlie Kireker.

for more information, see these links:

Huffington Post has more on this as well as the youtube video of Randi’s appearance in SF.

No reports yet as to how long the suspension will be.

Rhodes Says Air America Breached Her Contract

“It is not yet clear if the popular host will be back to work for Air America by then — or ever. At a critical moment in its evolution, the network has put itself in an untenable position. Ultimately, does Air America, or does it not, stand for free speech? At this moment, it clearly does not. That’s not very progressive.”

Updates and more article links, plus the full video of Randi’s performance are at

Green960

 

Stephanie Miller sticks up for Randi Rhodes

Janeane Garofalo sticks up for Randi Rhodes

 

dailykos diary: I will proudly stand up for Randi Rhodes

 

Here is my own letter to Air America, as a sample:

I am writing in support of Randi Rhodes! She is one of the bright lights on your network! (BTW, Sam Seder is another bright light and I cannot fathom, still, why you diminished his role to a once a week show).

I have been a passionately committed listener to Air America since the beginning and have continued to stand up for the network even after many mistaken decisions that in my mind have diminished the stature AND the programming (among them, firing Marc Maron, Mike Malloy, Kent Jones, reducing Sam Seder & Laura Flanders to weekend hours). I may not always agree with everything Randi says, but she has the right to speak her own opinions, especially when she’s not on the air – she is a talk show host, not a newscaster! As a matter of fact, I write this, even though I have not been in total agreement with her “bashing” Clinton. I know she can sometimes be a little “over the top” but it is because she is so passionate about her views. It is her toughness and passion that I admire.

As she was not on the air at the time of her remarks, I do NOT think it appropriate to fire her, or keep her off the air. Whether or not you think her remarks were inappropriate, I would think that an apology or a disclaimer would be sufficient! People also know that her opinions are her own and not necessarily the opinions of “management.”

I did see part of her routine on youtube, and frankly, I thought it was funny. And believe me, whatever your view of the language used, it is nothing new to most people… in a good way, these words have lost some of their power to offend, are in the general every day lexicon and are certainly frequent in comedic acts.

Please uphold the progressive values that the network claims to represent! Fight to retain Freedom of Speech and the Constitution! Reinstate Randi ASAP!

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