...Blackfive Prediction: That even in an election year, the liberal radio network will be either (1) off the air entirely or (2) be reduced to a tenth tier radio network before the election in November....
Here's more from the New York Times (it's long - I wanted to pull out the relevant parts because NYT has a logon req.):
Liberal Voices Get New Home on Radio DialDoesn't seem like they are on to anything. And, Ms. Garofalo says in the article that liberals tend to be nicer than conservatives. That's crap (especially, after their innuendos and cut-downs that have nothing to do with policy or politics). I've only heard Rush or Hannity a few times on the radio. I've listened more to Hugh Hewitt or Milt Rosenberg. And, for the life of me, I can't recall any of them resorting to low-brow, below-the-belt humor to get their points across.
By JACQUES STEINBERG
Lady Olivia was on the phone from Washington.
And Sam Seder, a nighttime host on Air America Radio, the fledgling liberal talk-radio network, had a question about the clientele of his guest, who identified herself as a dominatrix.
"More Republicans or more Democrats?" Mr. Seder asked.
"Seventy-30," Lady Olivia said.
Mr. Seder's broad grin suggested that that was precisely the answer he had hoped for. Sitting in a windowless studio 41 floors above Midtown Manhattan during a rehearsal on Thursday for the program, "The Majority Report," he shuffled through a sheaf of testimonials downloaded from Lady Olivia's Web site, operated under a different name. He soon inquired about the identities of those Republicans, displaying a particular interest in learning more about "Jon from Washington," who had written, "I enjoyed the corporal punishment more than I thought I would."
"Does his last name," Mr. Seder asked, "rhyme with Chriscroft?"
The exchange yielded no information about the attorney general of the United States. (Lady Olivia's response was little more than a coy laugh.) But it did provide some clues to how Air America, which makes its debut at noon today on five stations with Al Franken, the comedian and political satirist, at the microphone, intends to challenge the hegemony of conservatives on commercial talk radio.
But this liberal radio network faces numerous obstacles in capturing a substantial audience, in particular finding a critical mass of stations that will broadcast its voices. The network has already fallen behind in its initial goal, announced last year, of owning five stations by the time it went on the air. As of today it owns none.
Instead Air America has bought programming time on stations with moderately strong signals, but previously low ratings: WLIB-AM in New York, WNTD-AM in Chicago, KBLA-AM in Los Angeles, KCAA-AM in Riverside and San Bernadino, Calif., and KPOJ-AM in Portland, Ore. A San Francisco station is expected to be announced in early April.
By contrast Rush Limbaugh, whom Air America has identified as a chief competitor, is heard on more than 600 stations, including WABC in New York. Sean Hannity, another conservative talk-show host, has a similar reach.
Air America, which has raised more than $20 million, has grand plans for buying stations, or at least all of the broadcast time on stations, in more than a dozen cities by year's end. Many are in Ohio, Florida and other states considered battlegrounds in the presidential election. But since the media ownership rules were eased in the mid-1990's, much of the broadcast spectrum is owned by a handful of companies. Few stations are for sale, and few station owners will give over all of their broadcast day to untested programming.
Among others, Ms. Garofalo and Mr. Seder poked fun at Mr. Bush's former spokesman Ari Fleischer ("Is he not shoveling coal in hell now?" Mr. Seder asked); Karl Rove, the president's senior adviser and political strategist (said by Ms. Garofalo to be pursuing "the elusive 18-25 Klan demo"); and Vice President Dick Cheney. (Mr. Seder said he felt sure that he could see Mr. Cheney's hand moving Mr. Bush's mouth on "Meet the Press" earlier this year.)
Ms. Garofalo said that "The Majority Report," its name inspired by a reference to Al Gore's presidential victory in the popular vote in the 2000 election, would also feature substantive interviews. Among the invited guests, she said, are Ben Cohen (the activist founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream), Dr. Joyce Riley (an advocate of Persian Gulf war veterans) and Howard Dean. (Ms. Garofalo was in the audience on the night of the Iowa caucus, before he gave what she described as his "so-called `I have a scream' speech.")<...>
Rather than offend good-hearted liberals, this foray into futility should be known as the Left-Wing Radio Network. And it's going to flame out faster than a joint at the Dennis Hopper Estate...
Update: Josh at Quibbles-N-Bits live blogged part of the opening festivities at Air America...