. . .schadenfreude, of course. Mr. Air America, he dead.
It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our Board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the Company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business.So who killed Cock Robin? Here's what Air America believes:
The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America's business. This past year has seen a "perfect storm" in the media industry generally. National and local advertising revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection. From large to small, recent bankruptcies like Citadel Broadcasting and closures like that of the industry's long-time trade publication Radio and Records have signaled that these are very difficult and rapidly changing times.
That's true as far as it goes, but it doesn't go very far. The problem for Air America was never vast, impersonal forces. It was their continual failure to find an audience. Rush Limbaugh isn't facing a "perfect storm" these days. Nor is Fox News, which lately has been beating both CNN and MSNBC combined in the ratings.
The thing about markets is this: you have to satisfy a need and it's best if you can satisfy an unmet need. There's no lack of liberal voices on the public airwaves; there never has been in my lifetime. You get the same basic undifferentiated liberalism on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and MSNBC. The public stations provide the same basic fodder, except with more classical music and pledge drives. Rush Limbaugh and Fox have been wildly successful because they have provided something that wasn't previously available. And Limbaugh and Fox will continue to grow because they understand their audience and nurture it.
I keep waiting for one of the major networks to change course and start competing on Fox's turf. There's money to be made. But they won't do it, even though the opportunity is obvious. It's an endless source of amusement. And fodder for blog posts, I guess. And if you want more dancing on the graves of our unfortunate portside pals, Mitch has you covered.