Blogged by Brad from on the road...
Melinda Henneberg at HuffPo reports Air America Radio, currently under bankruptcy protection, will be bailed out by a new investor. As well, she reports that Al Franken is officially leaving to explore a bid for the U.S. Senate up in Minnesota. (But who is funnier? Franken or his expected Republican opponent, Sen. Norm Coleman? Tough call.0 UPDATE: Since asking the aforementioned question, as if the gods wished to underscore it, see this just-in hilarious Coleman-related story.)
Perhaps without the need to cover Franken's large salary --- his noon-3pm ET show slot is expected to be filled by our friend, the good Thom Hartmann --- AAR's top-down business model, which has crippled them from the beginning, may be eased a bit and bring a chance for profitability to the only large non-Rightwing media outlet of note.
Of course, with media monster Clear Channel putting AAR onto stations with some of the weakest signals in many of the major markets --- in our estimation, in order to limit their feasibility in such markets and keep other stations with stronger signals from carrying AAR programming --- it could still be an uphill climb.
On a related note: We're currently in Phoenix where we'll be Guest Hosting The Peter B. Collins Show later this week. The indie-owned Air America affiliate station out here, 1480 KPHX (flagship station for the new Nova M Radio network), is very difficult to pick up cleanly after sundown, even just on the outskirts of the city.
If the Fairness Doctrine ever returns --- as may be introduced soon in the Congress --- perhaps such stations and non-Rightwing programming will be given a legitimate shot to compete on a level playing field with their Republican-owned counterparts. They've not been allowed such a fair and balanced shot since Reagan dissolved the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 in order to make way for the Republican-owned media take-over of our public airwaves.
The disastrous decision --- along with subsequent vetoes by both Reagan and Bush I of Congressionally-passed legislation to restore fairness and balance to the publicly-owned airwaves --- has had an inestimably negative impact on America and our once-respected position of leadership in the world.