Air America is throwing in the towel.
It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our Board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the Company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business.
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.
Those companies that remain are facing audience fragmentation as a result of new media technologies, are often saddled with crushing debt, and have generally found it difficult to obtain operating or investment capital from traditional sources of funding. In this climate, our painstaking search for new investors has come close several times right up into this week, but ultimately fell short of success.
We will strive to assist affiliates and partners in achieving a smooth transition. Starting at 6 pm EST today, we will provide our affiliates, listeners and users a selection of encore programming until 9 pm EST on Monday, January 25, at which time Air America programming will end.
We are proud that Air America's mission lives on through the words and actions of so many former radio hosts who are active today in progressive causes and media nationwide. In the years ahead, as we look back, we should all be proud of our passionate determination to assure that our nation's progressive voice would be heard loud and clear. Through the hard work and dedication of current staff, and those who preceded you, a lasting legacy was forged which will now continue through other voices and venues.
They gave us Rachel Maddow. They gave us-- and then rejected-- such strident, dedicated liberals as Randi Rhodes and Mike Malloy. And now they're going away.
Who will that leave? Randi, Mike, and Stephanie Miller-- and who else? And will someone snatch up Ron Reagan, whose AA program is one of the very best, most even-toned liberal talk shows on radio?
What the hell are we going to do?!
UPDATE: So I didn't see the other three (!) diaries announcing this. Sorry, folks. But it's upsetting to me, I've been a bit more focused on the shitty weather here in Santa Monica (where I work), AND the Prop H8 trial was serving up an especially hot-and-steaming cup of anti-gay psycho-crazy (in the form of the testimony of hostile witness and batshit-crazy "Dr" Hak-Sing "William" Tam), so forgive the late-on-the-uptake diary.