Progressive radio network Air America has announced that it will be ceasing its live programming after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. According to a statement at airamerica.com:
The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America's business. This past year has seen a "perfect storm" in the media industry generally. National and local advertising revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection. From large to small, recent bankruptcies like Citadel Broadcasting and closures like that of the industry's long-time trade publication Radio and Records have signaled that these are very difficult and rapidly changing times.
Air America was developed in 2004 with the hopes of countering conservative talk radio and offering a more progressive alternative over the airwaves. Popular figures like Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo and Rachel Maddow have all served as Air America hosts at one time. But now, with the network closing shop after six years, the question remains: what went wrong?
Was Air America the victim of a fledgling media format in a struggling economy? Is America just not interested in liberal talk radio? Why did Air America fail?