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Air America Failing in NYC?

To paraphrase the great Frank Sinatra: If you can’t make it here, you can’t make it anywhere…

WWRL program director Rennie Bishop Tuesday said that despite dropping some Air America shows this week, the station remains “dedicated to providing the most consistent and progressive programming to our listeners.”
WWRL (1600 AM) stopped carrying Air America’s Lionel, 9 a.m.-noon, and Thom Hartmann, noon-3 p.m. It is carrying two hours of paid health programs, 9-11 a.m., then Ron Daniels 11 a.m.-noon, and Ed Schultz, noon-3 p.m. It has also added a tape delay of the Rev. Al Sharpton, 8-10 p.m.
“WWRL is proud to be the progressive voice in the ether of conservatism,” said Bishop. He praised Schultz, the country’s highest-rated liberal talk host, and noted that the station still carries Air America’s Randi Rhodes, 3-6 p.m., and Rachel Maddow, 6-8 p.m.
Dropping the two Air America shows, said Bishop, reflects only “a changed contractual climate not necessarily in the best interests of WWRL.”

Air America survived a bankruptcy filing last year and has seen management changes that have, as often happens in those cases, led to financial changes. Some of those affected its agreements with WWRL, which is one of the country’s dwindling band of independent radio stations and must turn a profit to stay in business.
Bishop expressed concern about the use in this column yesterday of the word “ambivalence” to describe WWRL’s relationship with Air America.
“Like any organization, we will continue to adjust to the overall changing business climate,” he said, “while categorically making clear we have never been ambivalent in our business dealing and honesty to our audience.”


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