Jewish World Review April 2, 2004 / 12 Nissan, 5764

Martha Zoller

Martha Zoller
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Consumer Reports

Air America? Hot Air That Is | Radio is a tough business, especially for Air America, the new "liberal" radio network. When logging on to their website, the streaming was not working. That is not their biggest problem, though. It seems that progressive thinking is driving Spanish language and African American programming off the air in their strongest areas of voter turn out.

In New York, the only African American format station is now carrying Air America and there is not one African American in Air America's lineup. Now, they might expect that from the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, but is unacceptable in the party of the downtrodden. The format was not making money, but it shouldn't be about money, it is about what is right. A Spanish Language station was the victim in Chicago and Los Angeles. San Francisco is nest in line, what will be the Democratic voting base that will be snubbed there.

I must admit here that I am stretching a bit, not on the issue of taking over stations that format their programming towards ethnic communities in cities that are Democrat Party strongholds, but on why they are doing it. These stations were vulnerable for "take over" because their formats were not making money.

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Broadcasting on the airwaves is a business venture that has to make money. I don't blame Air America for targeting stations that weren't making money and offering them a way to make money but let's put the shoe on the other foot.

Imagine that a series of African American or Spanish language stations were unceremoniously changed to conservative talk radio, the Left would be outraged. There would be all kinds of conspiracy theories floated.

Bottom line is the bottom line. The more people that are legitimately successful in the radio business, the better it is for radio in general. But is the worst is true that this is just going to be a radio format that will be subsidized by limousine liberals, then isn't is just advertising time?

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JWR contributor Martha Zoller is a radio talk show host in Georgia. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2004, Martha Zoller