The Corner

Brian Anderson Responds

Here ya go:

Morris’s two-thirds breakdown may be very general, as your reader suggests–it’s an empirical question, and I’d love to know the exact number, but don’t. But it seems to me that Morris is right about the demographic problem the network faced. His point was that without black and Hispanic listeners–who must make up a a sizable portion of the third of the population or so that self-describes as liberal, if not two thirds of it, and certainly would make up a sizable portion of whatever potential audiance Air America might have had, since conservatives weren’t going to listen, nor most centrists–the network wasn’t going to succeed. Your reader’s point that these black and Hispanics wouldn’t listen to political talk radio was Morris’s point (and mine). I don’t quite grasp what he’s disagreeing with. White liberals all listen to NPR. Who was going to listen to AA?

He adds:

Perhaps I shouldn’t have said Air America failed to lure in these listeners, but that it couldn’t. AA’s New York affiliate, WLIB, recall, replaced an all-black Caribbean station, whose ratings were in AA’s ballpark or higher for some of the latter’s ratings periods.