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Posts Tagged ‘Air America Media’

Air America Stops Live Programming, Heads Towards Bankruptcy

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Facing the harsh realities of the media world today, progressive radio network and growing multimedia company Air America Media stopped producing live programming this afternoon and is taking the drastic step of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on the way to liquidating the company.

“With radio industry ad revenues down for 10 consecutive quarters, and reportedly off 21 percent in 2009, signs of improvement have consisted of hoping things will be less bad,” AAM chairman Charlie Kireker said in a memo to staffers today, which is also posted on the company’s Web site. “And though Internet/new media revenues are projected to grow, our expanding online efforts face the same monetization and profitability challenges in the short term confronting the Web operations of most media companies.”

Although live programming will no longer be produced by the network, Kireker said the company would be working with its affiliates to provide “encore programming” until January 25. All employees, including those recently hired to work on the revamped Web site, are being paid through today, and being offered severance packages.

“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,” Kireker said. “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.”

Kireker’s full memo after the jump

Previously: Air America Launches New Web Site

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Air America Launches New Web Site

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Air America Media took another step towards becoming more than just a progressive radio network with the relaunch of its Web site this week.

Air America is upping its multimedia offerings with blogs that offer original and aggregated news content 24/7, streaming multimedia and OnDemand content, a clip library and social media tidbits like interactive chats with Air America show hosts and producers. The site now has six new channels: News, Politics, Economy, Entertainment, Lifestyle and Green, as well as a channel called “Really?” for the weirder news stories of the day.

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Air America Media Celebrates New Web Site In Style

09.23.09 Launch Party 056.jpgIt’s not often that we find ourselves at media events eating Chinese take out in someone’s living room. But that’s exactly what we experienced Wednesday night as Air America Media celebrated the upcoming launch of its new Web site.

Newly engaged chief digital officer Michael Bassik (right), CEO Bennett Zier and chairman Charlie Kireker welcomed guests to the sprawling apartment located just north of Soho on Broadway and introduced the site’s editor-in-chief, Beau Friedlander, who talked about the venture, which the company hopes will become the homepage for progressive Democrats.

Air America’s on-air talent were also in attendance, including Ron Reagan, Lionel, Montel Williams and Ana Marie Cox. We also chatted with The Onion‘s Baratunde Thurston, blogger Maegan Carberry and Deanna Zandt. And happily, unlike one unlucky partygoer (or building resident) we avoided getting trapped in the elevator. We took the stairs.

More pictures after the jump.

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Progressive News Outlets Launch Owner-Operated Ad Network

ad network.pngIn the past, Air America Media faced an obstacle. As a progressive multimedia company, it is able to attract an educated, engaged audience that marketers covet, yet it was having trouble attracting large commercial advertisers due to its limited inventory and relatively small reach.

Thankfully, Air America is a member of Media Consortium, a think tank and support group of sorts for progressive media outlets. And it was at one Media Consortium event that Air America and other progressive niche outlets Mother Jones, The Nation and realized they were competing for the same ad dollars from progressive advertisers. They also saw that if they pooled their inventories, and the eyes and clicks of their readers and users, they could create a critical mass that would make them attractive to large commercial advertisers.

The four outlets joined forces to launch the Ad Progress Network, which they rolled out quietly a few weeks ago. They have paired with Adify to power the network and, according to Michael Bassik, chief digital officer at Air America, Adify has never worked with a network like it before.

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What’s Next In Multi-Platform Content: 4 Questions for Air America’s Bennett Zier

bennett.jpgNewspapers are dying, magazines are closing and more journalists are finding themselves without paying gigs every day. Everyone is wondering: what does the future hold for the media? We brought the questions to the front lines, asking leaders in the field to tell us: what’s next?

Bennett Zier, the CEO of left-leaning Air America Media, knows multi-platform content and niche branding is the key to any media company’s survival today. He is quick to wave off any definition of Air America as simply a radio network.

“We’re a progressive Web site that has its own radio network, and a radio network that has a Web site,” he said.

FishbowlNY: Speaking on a media panel last week, you said that content providers need to find a target market for their content and that they should strive to become the “est” of something. What is Air America’s “est”?

Bennett Zier: We are the most left of center-est or we’re the left-est. Air America is a very well known brand and a brand that speaks to content that is left of center and progressive for listeners, viewers and readers. From our research we know that Air America has become synonymous with progressive media.

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“Air America Is Turning Into A Multimedia Co.”: CEO

airamerica.pngAir America Media announced this week that it is launching its own in-house network sales division, which will represent all of the company’s shows and products — including radio, video and online content — directly to media agencies and buyers.

The new business structure means Air America is taking over work once done by Westwood One radio network to create direct relationships with advertising agencies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Air America Media CEO Bennett Zier told FishbowlNY. Previously, Air America dealt with some advertisers directly but let Westwood One handle relationships with agencies.

“Agencies are sophisticated in their planning and their creative approach in making strategies for their clients, which will hopefully become our clients,” Zier said. “Because Air America is a particular type of company, and a left of center company, there are certain companies that want to advertise with us, and we want to be able to facilitate that and work with them more directly.”

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