Just past its second birthday, Air
Winter 2006 Arbitron ratings, leaked to Matt Drudge earlier this week and reported in greater detail by the invaluable Radio Equalizer blog, show Air America registering a weak 1.0 share in Los Angeles, an even tinier share in Chicago, and a catastrophic drop in New York City, where flagship station WLIB hemorrhaged nearly half its listenership over the last ratings period, falling from a mediocre 1.4 to a pathetic 0.8 share.
That’s smaller than the all-Caribbean format the network replaced when it first launched in
You’d think that the public’s growing dissatisfaction with President Bush and the Iraq War would translate into lots of listeners for Air America’s “progressive” talk, especially with the fawning free publicity the network and its top host, comedian Al Franken, have enjoyed from the mainstream press. But even hard-core liberals (who make up only about one-fifth of the American electorate, it’s important to remember) must find Air
Further, liberals already have NPR—and for that matter, the New York Times, network newscasts, CNN, and most of the mainstream media. Conservative and libertarian voices dominate the radio dial because they offer a much-needed response to the liberal media mainstream. The Right has done well on cable television and in the blogosphere for the same reason. Air
Even as Air
This article originally appeared on city-journal.org.