The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

23 January 2007

Air America Radio Bankruptcy Bidders, Al Franken, Talk Radio

A 'FRENCH' KISS?

Long-Delayed AAR Purchase May Finally Occur






*** Big updates at SaveWRKO ***

Faced with the choice of allowing one's dying pet to suffer needlessly, or have it put to sleep, what should a rational person do?

Chances are, such a decision would come down to the severity of the animal's illness and its realistic chance for recovery. If it could overcome the affliction, wouldn't further treatment be worth a try?

Deciding whether to keep a money- losing business operating likely involves a similar thought process: is there any future growth potential and a reasonable chance of making a profit?

If not, it's simply a waste of time and money.

In Air America Radio's case, there can't be any doubt the liberal radio network is a hopeless case. Having burned through tens of millions of dollars, in addition to failing to sustain any level of ratings growth, it's a dead duck.

As there's no reason to believe it would attract a significant number of new advertisers, any further cash infusions are as good as flushing it down the toilet.


And yet, stubborn partisan suckers continue to emerge, looking to lose their shirts on a network most people believe has already shut down! Even now, it's about the cause, rather than taking over a viable business.

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, the paper (apparently missing our exclusive from more than a month ago) reported that New York's French family was poised to take over the network, with a deal potentially being reached as early as this week:


Air America Nears Sale to Group Led by the French Family

By SARAH MCBRIDE
January 22, 2007; Page B4

Air America radio's parent company may have found a new rescuer: the French family of Westchester County, N.Y., which owns New York City-area television concern WRNN.

A consortium of investors led by the French family is on the verge of signing a deal to purchase the assets of Piquant LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York in October, according to people familiar with the situation. An agreement could be announced as early as today, these people said. Any agreement would need to be approved by the bankruptcy court. If the deal doesn't go through, it increases the likelihood that Piquant could face imminent liquidation.

If the acquisition does go through, it could lead to several programming changes at the liberal talk-radio network. Richard French, son of WRNN owner Dick French, will likely get his own show in prime time on Air America. Richard French, formerly a New York State Democratic Party official, already has a nightly show on WRNN, "Richard French Live," where he has hosted guests including Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.). Richard French couldn't be reached to comment. Currently Air America runs a political show hosted by David Bender at 8 p.m. EST and an environmental show hosted by Betsy Rosenberg at 9 p.m.


Already, this deal looks like a great way for Air America to wind down its operations for good: the new owners will place one of their own on the schedule and give Marc Maron an Air America show for the third time! If he didn't work out twice before, what would be different now?

Because the Frenches have done such a lousy job with their regional news channel, there's no reason to believe they would do any better running a radio network. WRNN-TV is mostly a dumping ground for infomercials and other rubbish, with a small amount of original programming.


On our end, we're hearing that two cable television executives, Mark Greenberg and Roy Langbord, are now also in the mix with their own competing bid for Air America. Both have had ties to Showtime and were mentioned in one of our previous reports.

Ultimately, it will be the bankruptcy judge who decides what is best for Air America and its many creditors.

Until then, let's again ask this question: other than for partisan political purposes, is there any rational reason to keep Air America alive?

ELSEWHERE: Fresh updates at SaveWRKO.

Images: David A Lunde

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21 Comments:

  • Does John Kerry use French's mustard
    or Grey Poupon? We'll see just how much success AAR would have under
    "French" ownership. First they'd have to pay off that $20 million debt
    though, right? Then they need to
    get more stations, get advertisers...

    At least the molasses-dripped
    voice of Franken won't be plaguing
    them anymore, should he leave to
    pursue that Senate seat.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 23 January, 2007 14:52  

  • Same old BS comming out of your Rigth wing pie hole Maphoney!
    Don't you neofreaks ever give it a rest. Keep yapping! You're pissing off more real Americans every day!

    By Blogger Ozy, at 23 January, 2007 16:15  

  • Brian - you missed a completely new (yet, par for your course, total-BS) angle about the dead woman you used to smear AAR.

    She worked for AAR, and therefore AAR is indirectly culpable for her untimely demise in Iraq!

    Think of it - if she had never worked at AAR, she may never have suffered so much that she wanted to go to Iraq and put herself in harm's way!

    AAR DROVE HER TO SUICIDE! Anyone who has ever been involved with AAR (most of all, Al Franken) is directly culpable as a MURDERER.

    I have to point this out to you? Geebus, Maloney - you're slipping...

    By Blogger TJ, at 23 January, 2007 16:20  

  • No comment on French, but AAR's hosts, with the exception of the tragic Williams/Greenfield morning show, have actually shown fresh energy since New Year's....even Franken has perked up a bit, and his guests have laid the failed theory of conservatism to waste with their witty, relevant commentary.

    Marc Maron's restoration to the lineup would be simply stellar....I heard him guesting recently, and I have to admit, he is talkshow-host royalty in the making.

    So, let's recap....while Brian advised us that liberal talk was to have been dead in the water by now, AAR possibly has a fresh shot, NovaM is going public, New Yorkers in particular are abandoning "Gambling" and "Kudlow-esque" fanaticism in favor of more reality-based programming on all sides, and even (gasp!) music....

    Guess the earth wasn't really flat after all....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 23 January, 2007 18:07  

  • If your line and the talking points that you follow are really true, then why are you so scared of another point of view out there? I would think that you would love to have the debate to prove yourself right.What does it serve you not to have a healthy ...um...check and balance...as this country was founded on such a model. Do you really want to silence anyone who doesnt agree with the Limbaughs of this world?
    I occasionally get a bit of your nonsense in my inbox due to Google searches, and it always seems to me that you are all bark and no bite. Air America, hate it or love it, is at least truthful, which is something that you cant really say of Limbaugh or Fox News. Ive found that straight across the board, the research at AAR is pretty impeccable.
    So, if its so important for you to represent the right wing bullshit line, why don't you at least have your boys and girls out there check there facts? Could it be because the lie is the headline and the retraction is on pg 15?...and the lie is powerful in keeping the masses in line?
    Im so tired of being lied to and seeing the American people scared into voting for crap that has only hurt our country and been in favor of the rich.... whats your excuse for your part in these lies, Brian? Because history will judge us all and I feel like much of your blog is built on lies and misinformation.
    I cant figure what is in this for you...except that maybe you are another frustrated wannabe who is incapable of feeling any of the patriotic empathy that our founding fathers wrote the constitution for.

    Stop acting like such a little boy and realize that the healthy exchange of ideas is good for us...keeping the masses mired in fear and lies is not.

    Oh, and have fun watching your boy Bush crash and burn tonight. Are you tired of carrying the water for the bushies too? lowest ratings of anyone ever....lowest...


    Long live AAR, the French Family, Franken, Maron, and the entire lineup!! Long live Nova and all other voices with different points of view as long as they are researched!
    Honest discourse will never die, no matter how hard you and yours try to kill it!

    By Blogger Melina, at 23 January, 2007 20:22  

  • Viva France & down with the pasty pudges.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 23 January, 2007 21:42  

  • Thank you, melina.

    You have to bear in mind...these morons can't even pronounce the name of the DemocratIC Party correctly!

    In formal discourse!

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 23 January, 2007 23:41  

  • It sure is fun watching you tree-hugging baby killers dance and squirm around this whole AAR debacle. Your only argument at this point is to call Brian and other conservatives names. Like that somehow disproves the fact the AAR is the most failed endevor in the history of radio.

    And hashfanatic.... lay off the doobie. Perked up a bit? Witty commentary? You have got to be kidding me! Have you ever actually listened to Al Franken or are you getting all your material from DailyKooks?

    Hash.... liberal radio IS dead in the water. Despite Franken's newfound perk and wit, they still haven't produced any ratings and station owners are dropping AAR like it's a disease. Keep squirming guys.

    By Blogger njmiller, at 24 January, 2007 07:22  

  • It sure is fun watching you tree-hugging baby killers dance and squirm around this whole AAR debacle. Your only argument at this point is to call Brian and other conservatives names. Like that somehow disproves the fact the AAR is the most failed endevor in the history of radio.

    And hashfanatic.... lay off the doobie. Perked up a bit? Witty commentary? You have got to be kidding me! Have you ever actually listened to Al Franken or are you getting all your material from DailyKooks?

    Hash.... liberal radio IS dead in the water. Despite Franken's newfound perk and wit, they still haven't produced any ratings and station owners are dropping AAR like it's a disease. Keep squirming guys.

    By Blogger njmiller, at 24 January, 2007 07:23  

  • stupid blogspot!

    By Blogger njmiller, at 24 January, 2007 07:24  

  • How appropriate--someone named FRENCH tries to save a liberal radio outlet from its date with death. This is what I mean by corporate communist media--someone with a lot of the jack, but instead they waste it on stuff that don't mean jack in the media! I've never even liked France because the vichy socialists who run everything there are looking to turn France into a breeding ground for Islamofascists. Remember the riots couple of years ago? Oh, I forgot, Liberals never remember anything when they are called on them!

    Though RNN, a waste of a channel if there EVER WAS ONE, is located close to my home in hopelessly liberal Rye Brook, NY, I WOULD NEVER EVEN WORK THERE AS A JANITOR! Perhaps they can hire a few illegal aliens. And when it comes to covering Spitzer, NY State's new "Governor" expect more softballs than at an actual softball game--ONE WHERE THE PITCHER PITCHES LIKE A GIRL!

    And don't nobody get me started on SHRILLARY!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 24 January, 2007 07:31  

  • There is nothing democratic about the Democrat party.

    The only people supporting abortion are the ones that already have been born.

    By Blogger PCD, at 24 January, 2007 08:00  

  • It sure is fun watching you tree-hugging baby killers dance and squirm around this whole AAR debacle


    Oh boy another closet con living vicariously by a tired old list of boring stale right wing talking points, fed into his little pea brain by a bunch of media prostitutes. The same media you retards claim is "liberal" is nothing but a machine for corporate America. Con flunkies have been bought and sold, and actully think con-radio hosts are fighting the good fight against "lib media"
    This is exactly why America has rejected you, nobody buys the tired old "lib lib lib" gag anymore.
    A.A has had a moderate level of success listenership wise, is one of the most popular streams online, and "liberal" talk is alive and well over over the internet and satellite, podcasts, streams, satellite shows. The new talk radio midia is almost all "progressive talk". Such as myself, I got tired of the filthy whores on the radio and decided to do it myself. America is rejecting the con-flunkies everyday in larger numbers, and you can not do a dam thing about it but shriek your boring old "lib lib lib" talk

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 24 January, 2007 09:35  

  • Hash,

    You shouldn't talk. You can't even tell a guy from a girl, and even when you are corrected, you still call a guy "sugar." So, you are not even able to handle the simple things.

    And a Democrat is a person(otherwise known as a noun). Democratic is an adjective.

    By Blogger Stacy, at 24 January, 2007 10:14  

  • Only a moron would substitute the term "Democrat Party" for "Democratic Party"...and as usual, one did....

    More homeschooling victims, apparently.

    Firstly, the leadership of France could teach this country a LOT about recivilizing itself. Somehow I can't visualize Jacques Chirac letting HIS own border guards rot in jail....

    Incidentally, the one problem I DO believe needs to be rectified globally IS the immigration situation. This is no longer a disaster only for us....it is a WORLD issue, with immigrants flooding in through second and third-party countries. One does not trust such issues to the likes of $chlu$$el-Gelt, who is probably too busy fellating Sly Stallone again, or sneaking into mosques, at any rate.

    And isn't interfering in people's religious, abortion, and/or medical issues specifically how you conservofreaks got away from your initial message of balancing budgets, keeping government out of people's lives and bedrooms, and reducing debt while building OUR economy, rather than our future enemies?

    If a guy uses a traditional American girl's name without clarification, how is a normal person expected to tell? Is this perhaps a new level of political correctness we must all be expected to adhere to? More homespun values? For all I know, you could be named Mordechai....

    Incidentally, my screenname has nothing whatsoever to do with your neocon-fueled globalist drug culture. Sad to see where some posters' first associations gravitate toward nowadays....

    I'll not comment on AAR's new ownership until, if and when, the moneychangers are purged from management.

    Terrestrial radio's future is dead for talk. Start streaming or podcasting, and stop whining about your failure to be hired by the same corporatists you revere and using it as an excuse because you have no real plan for the country.

    In other words, you trashed this business. Now, bail yourselves out, if you think you can do it better than the dreaded "libs"....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 24 January, 2007 11:24  

  • Incidentally, my screenname has nothing whatsoever to do with your neocon-fueled globalist drug culture. Sad to see where some posters' first associations gravitate toward nowadays....

    So, what, hashfanatic, you are a really, really big fan of cut up corned beef?

    By Blogger Missouri Show Me, at 24 January, 2007 13:46  

  • (Rolls eyes)...THINK HARDER...

    Oh, never mind.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 24 January, 2007 14:08  

  • Missouri,

    Hash is trying to be sly about being for making big messes. He's just thin-skinned and a jerk.

    By Blogger PCD, at 24 January, 2007 15:28  

  • And if I wanted your opinion, I'd have given it to you.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 24 January, 2007 18:12  

  • Hashfanatic

    OK, I admit that the first thing that came to mind was someone fanatical about hash, as in getting stoned.

    The only other things that come to mind are corned beef hash and various forms of potatoes--and I have trouble believing you are a "fanatic" about either of those.

    So what non-drug item are you referring to?

    By Blogger Missouri Show Me, at 24 January, 2007 18:21  

  • All you need to know about the success of Err Amerikkka from KOMY (Santa Cruz) station owner Michael Zwerling:

    "We didn't sell a single ad in a year and a half," Zwerling said Thursday. "I thought liberal radio would work as a viable advertising business in the most liberal town in America. I was wrong"

    Not a SINGLE AD in a year and a half? That's a commercial success? There's a reason no one bought ads - it's a dead format that no one listens to... A commercial flop, propped up by dreamers and schemers.

    By Blogger Lynnwood Rooster, at 26 January, 2007 11:15  

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