The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

15 November 2007

Air America Cans Key Programmer / Reformer


Straight-Talking Air America Programmer Shown The Door

With fresh rumors of financial troubles at the world's most notoriously inept radio network, your Radio Equalizer is astounded to hear that reformist Air America programmer David Bernstein has been shown the door after less than a year inside the building, according to several industry trade reports.

Unlike previous managers at the liberal talk network, Bernstein came from a solid programming background, overseeing major stations in New York City, Boston and elsewhere. He wasn't a Hollywood elitist bent on showing talk radio how things should be done.

Nor was he afraid to speak his mind when it came to reforming AAR's rotten programming. Is this why he was so quickly removed from the building? Did his blunt talk prove too much for AAR's thin skins?

From CBS News, take a look at this October report:

It wasn’t what was said about Air America Radio, so much as who said it. (So many critical comments have been directed toward the network.) And then, given that information, my response was a hearty “Oh, no he di’nt!.”

According to St. Petersburg Times media writer and New Edition aficionado Eric Deggans, the following observation was made of the liberal-leaning radio network:

I do think the liberal programming that has occurred here has been far too extremist… It's not our job to get a Democrat elected to Congress. We need to be funny, we need to be enjoyable, and I don't think that existed at this company three years ago.

The person who said it? Air America VP of Programming David Bernstein, in a conversation about the new direction the network is heading in.

In March, he hinted at this approach, using more careful language in a New York Daily News interview:

Don't talk to David Bernstein, who starts today as the new vice president of programming at the progressive radio network Air America, about "energizing the base."

That's one of things it is often said conservative talk stations like WABC (770 AM) do at election time. They don't convert people to a point of view as much as they become a pep rally for those who already hold it, mobilizing them for maximum involvement.

It's been argued that one goal of Air America, which is heard locally on WWRL (1600 AM), has been to help organize pep rallies for the other side.

Bernstein says if it does, it's incidental.

"I don't think of Air America in those terms," says Bernstein, a 32-year radio veteran best known in New York for programming WOR several years ago. "I want people, after they've heard Air America, to say they learned something - that whether they agreed or not, we gave them honest information they didn't have before."

That said, he acknowledges that being a liberal network is a crucial part of Air America's brand and value. "This is something that didn't exist before," he says. "That makes it very important in a society like ours, where every point of view needs to be heard.

"But I don't see our purpose as 'answering' conservative radio or Rush [Limbaugh]. There's no clear majority in this country today. We want to talk to everyone and help everyone make the right choice."

In other words, this guy wanted to set Air America on the right track, with interesting mainstream liberal programming, rather than style extremist misery.

Just imagine being entertaining, rather than looking to accuse the Bush "crime family" of personally setting the San Diego wildfires as a diversion?

Air America Radio has become the left's version of the extreme- right "black helicopters" crowd we were forced to contend with in the 1990s. The difference is that liberals are afraid to confront their own, so the fringe has taken over.

Soon, it will be clear this was the turning point, where Air America's one last chance at survival was undermined from within by "progressive" kooks who will be collecting unemployment checks in the very near future.

Why keep shows that obviously aren't working? Why not hire new hosts? Even under new ownership, this rotten network has proven as stubborn as ever.

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Randi photo: NY Post, Bernstein: NY Daily News



    Out!! Out!!

    Don't let the door hit ya, where the Good Lord split ya, hahaha!!

    The best news I've seen on this site in months...

    May God merit that this be only the first of many changes.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 15 November, 2007 00:30  

  • Maloney,

    Bernstein destroyed AAR, since he has been aboard, rating declined and more major affiliates were lost, HE FAILED. Look at San Diago, from a 3 share pre Bernstein to a .9 share after his influence.

    Your one of the most dishonest writers on the internet, ohhh that's right, your a radical con, all of your kind are dishonest LIARS.

    So you want Bernstein to stay? The man who killed AAR's listenrship and ratings???? You would keep a failure aboard????

    Since Bernstein, canned Sedar, failed to bring back Mike Malloy, hired Lionel and John Elliot, AAR ratings severly decreased. Every move he made has been a failure, because he was buying into the right wing lies " AAR was too extreme", bullcrap. RNC radio is too extreme, they are extreme liars and extreme scum. AAR only sounded extreme to an indoctrinated right wing zealot. Bernstein spent more time being indoctrinated by right wing mouthpieces who infest the radio world than actuallty listening to the former AAR.... The former AAR had dedicated lsiteners, the new AAR has underpreformed, CON influence was the reason.

    This was a good move, the numbers prove him a FAILURE Brain.... Your the most dishonest blogger out there. Bring back the fire to AAR for election season. SCREW THE CONS AND THEIR "CONSULTING"

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 15 November, 2007 10:10  

  • Extreme radio is dead. Radio is entertainment, it not a branch of the DNC. I hate most of what Rush and Michael Savage stand for, but they understand that first and foremost they are entertainers. When progressive radio understands that maybe it will have a chance. Sanctimony, pomposity and all agenda all the time have no place in commercial radio

    By Blogger Kaleidoscope, at 16 November, 2007 01:32  

  • Airhead America went from awful numbers to horrific numbers. It’s not the conductor it’s the train jump on board.

    By Blogger pf1, at 16 November, 2007 06:09  

  • Sanctimony, pomposity and all agenda all the time

    mmmmmm. Out of your two examples Savage is indeed an entertainer, a maniacal personality, good for a laugh, Limbaugh is indeed ALL AGENDA ALL THE TIME, so much to the point that he goes to the White House for talking points..

    and Randi Rhodes is dammm entertaining. Lionel is one of those "entertainers first" amd on AAR he has no numbers, listeners to AAR want agenda, want news and want the truth, not comedy.

    you just dont get it

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 16 November, 2007 23:44  

  • MiniProp said:

    ...listeners to AAR want agenda, want news and want the truth, not comedy.

    So, you are saying that among the few listeners of AAR that there were before, many of those stopped listening because they are no longer getting "agenda, news, and truth?"

    Your use of the word "agenda" reminds me of how others have changed the word "attitude": I remember people having good attitudes and bad attitudes. Then it seemed the women-oriented talk shows had promos bragged that they had ATTITUDE.

    AGENDA: Shout it out, see who responds.

    By Blogger Missouri Show Me, at 17 November, 2007 13:05  

  • "So, you are saying that among the few listeners of AAR that there were before, many of those stopped listening because they are no longer getting "agenda, news, and truth?""


    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 18 November, 2007 13:14  

  • Absolutely.

    I agree with hash. They lie every time I’ve listened to them. Come to think of it they sound just like hash and mop. Compulsive liars to hell with the truth.

    By Blogger pf1, at 19 November, 2007 07:43  


    By Anonymous Kevin, at 19 November, 2007 15:30  

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