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Air America Idiot Update

The NYC Arbitron Abbattior (5/21/04):

WABC (Rush, Hannity): 3.9 (up from 3.7) Ranked 7th overall
WOR (O’Reilly, Savage) : 2.1 (down from 2.2) Ranked 21st
WLIB (Air Idiot): 1.4 (up from 1.3) Ranked 24th

So, after all the hype, all the braggadocio, all the free advertising, when it is “put up or shut up” time, they come out flat; an incremental increase from the audience who religiously tuned to WLIB when it was a Caribbean flavored niche station.

Yeah, these numbers are gonna convince people to invest. Sure.

UPDATE: According to an Al Franken/Air Idiot fansite, Randi Rhodes announced on her show today that she’s bailing out.

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Air America Idiot Update

With it’s first bonafide NYC Arbitron ratings to be released today, Air Idiot announced it is looking for some new rubes:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Air America Radio, the upstart liberal talk show network that has been plagued by management troubles, is seeking to raise new money in efforts to pay off debts and steer the business back toward profitability.

Having burned through the estimated $60 million they had backing their initial foray into the talk radio jungle without seemingly using at least some of that money to pay their bills, or even all their employees, Air Idiot now seeks to convince people to sink more dough into this sinking fast outfit,and are turning to some not unexpected sources for help:

Such Democratic heavyweights as Sen. Hillary Clinton, her husband, former President Bill Clinton and billionaire investor George Soros have been appraised of the money-raising efforts, according to a person close to the company.

The network has also made efforts to get Democratic party presidential nominee John Kerry to spend more of its campaign money on ads aired on Air America.

A new business plan is being touted, where Air Idiot would “just own the New York station, and broadcast nationally via affiliates. That will result in lower costs, though with less revenues as well.”

The only problem, which isn’t broached in the Reuters article, is that Air Idiot does not own the NYC station. They lease the air time under a two year deal from owners Inner City Media. So I would imagine the first order of business would be to make an offer for the station with some of that new money. So, if today’s Arbitron numbers are good, Inner City has no reason to sell. If the numbers suck, they have every reason to kill the leasing deal and go back to their Caribbean format.

Stay tuned!

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