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Wednesday, 13 September, 2006

The Air America Radio bankruptcy rumors are bullshit. They may go under Ch.11, but current speculation isn’t based on anything.

This afternoon they had a big powwow. Details may be forthcoming. They are writing off the mornings, and picking up The Young Turks. Yes, nationwide. Springer’s last show is Friday. The network will soon close after Maddow at Midnight EST and loop Franken and Seder overnight.

Something else is coming.

UPDATE: but with nothing about the good parts.

    On September 12, 2006, Air America sent an updated schedule to their affiliates, detailing changes to become effective September 18:

  • The Young Turks will take over mornings 6-9AM ET
  • Sam Seder will move from evenings and will be on the main Air America satellite feed from 9AM-12PM ET, displacing Jerry Springer, who moves over to Air America Syndication in the same time slot. [Unconfirmed and contrary to other reports]
  • Randi Rhodes’ show will be shortened by one hour, and aired 3-6PM ET.
  • Rachel Maddow moves to evenings 6-8PM ET.
  • Politically Direct with David Bender moves from the weekends to weeknights, airing from 8-9PM ET.
  • EcoTalk with Betsy Rosenberg also moves from the weekends, following Politically Direct from 9-10PM ET.
  • The late night shift shortens by an hour (to be 10PM-12AM), and will be hosted by Peter Werbe on an interim basis, until a permanent host is found.

    This schedule is too chaotic and doesn’t feature enough “stars”. The AM radio audience is not one for appointment radio. That only works for NPR because they subtly program in blocks. There are no blocks here, excepting the program director’s head.

    The stars right now are Maddow, Seder, Franken and Rhodes. That’s the lineup. That’s what people want. That’s what works. The Young Turks might suffice, but you have to adopt or develop a current-events and interviews oriented morning show, as opposed to Howard Stern with flat tires. You know, like Morning Sedition which would be a top five morning show in New York had it been allowed to survive in spite of its success.

    I don’t know who you put in the morning, but pandering to your idea of what the people in Flyover County USA want will not and shall not work. It doesn’t have to be heavy, but it does have to do something other than “be nice”.

    You only have the juice to support one feed. This AAR Syndication remains a silly idea, right now. Your people are selling too many shows. Here’s what you can sell. Here’s what will draw in the rubes.

    • 5 to 9 east, 2 to 6 west – Unknown morning show, with a c-list comedian and a radio person or a dynamic morning radio person with full news and features
    • 9 to Noon east, 6 to 9 west – Seder, who should retain the name “Majority Report Radio”, with full-service so it may be sold as a morning show on the West Coast
    • Noon to 3 east, 9 to Noon west – Franken, the man for now. You’re losing him soon enough. He still needs a co-host. He’s good, but he’s bone dry. Maybe this could give Thom Hartmann something to do.
    • 3 to 6-7 east, Noon to 3-4 west – Rhodes, the firebrand which will draw them in drive, and for lunch in the West
    • 6-7 to 9-10 east, 3-4 to 6-7 west – In the old Majority Report slot, it’s Maddow; the whole Maddow experience. Kent Jones, newsmakers, etc
    • 9-10 to 12-1 east, 6-7 to 9-10 west – My suggestion? If he can get out of his Clear Channel deal; the night-time monster, the legend of Chicago, the Tony Randall of both Jones Radio and AAR, the one and only Jaybird, as long as he’s not holding it back anymore: Jay Marvin. Who shot Mr. Pink?
    • 12-1 to 5 east, 9-10 to 2 west – replay Seder and Franken, or Franken and Rhodes.

    It’s not that fucking difficult. Stop trying to make people happy and follow the conventions which do exist for a reason. Do solid radio, compelling talent with content. AND SELL TIME! It doesn’t matter who buys, just sell.

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