Air America’s Al Franken
The struggling liberal network Air America Radio will lose its flagship station in New York City this summer, according to the industry publication Mediaweek.
Air America’s lease for WLIB-AM ran out March 31, and the network acquired an extension that lasts only until Aug. 31.
Under new management, WLIB will continue with a “progressive-talk” format but replace Air America’s fare with local programming.
An Air America spokesman insisted, however, the network would continue in New York City.
“To be clear, Air America will not go silent on the New York City airwaves. We do not, however, comment on hypothetical speculation,” the spokesman said, according to Mediaweek.
Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity had the highest-rated radio talk shows in the New York City market from January through March, according to the Drudge Report.
Air America’s most prominent host, Al Franken, ranked 12th.
After WWRC-AM in Washington, D.C., recorded a mere fraction of a rating point in the spring with syndicated shows from the likes of lefty talkers Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo and Stephanie Miller, Arbitron couldn’t detect a measurable listenership for the station in the summer quarter, the Washington Post said.
The news came on the heels of the network asking its listeners to send in money, a financial scandal involving money siphoned from a Boys & Girls Club in New York City, a California radio station pleading for advertisers to sponsor the programming claiming it could not get a single ad, and a host apologizing for what some thought were threats against President Bush’s life.