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Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Kireker’

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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BREAKING Air America: No More Live Programming Filing Chapter 7

We just received this memo:

From: Charlie Kireker

Date: January 21, 2010 4:36:59 PM EST

To: All

Subject: Air America Operations

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.

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Mother Jones Gets Bittman

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New York Times’ Mark Bittman Makes Dinner for Mother Jones Magazine Photo credit: Sarah Kehoe
Last night Mother Jones, the political magazine founded in the 70′s with a focus on investigative journalism, hosted a fundraiser at the Institute for Culinary Education. The New York Times‘ food writer Mark Bittman, who just completed the New York City Marathon two days earlier, hosted dozens of donors in the Institute’s kitchen, where they cooked up a “minimalist” meal.

Bittman, who contacted the magazine after their issue last year on food security, spent the night mingling with admirers and Jones staffers while teaching them how to roll their own pasta and make their own casseroles with more greens than meat.

Meanwhile, Mother Jones‘ had a couple announcements of its own.

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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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Lunch: Charlie Rose, Joe Scarborough, and the Summer Die-Hards

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— DIANE CLEHANE

With the dog days of summer upon us, the usual suspects at Michael’s are soldiering on over their Cobb salads until it’s time to take off those last few weeks of the month to the Hamptons, Nantucket or some other sun-filled spot far from the madding crowd. In the meantime, the random celebrity sighting is keeping things interesting. Word of illusionist JB Benn‘s sleight of hand tricks that kept the crowd bedazzled last week must have gotten around the magician’s union because my spies told me that David Blaine walked in without a reservation yesterday and was bending quarters for everybody’s amusement. Just thought you’d like to know.

I was lunching today with publishing powerhouse turned Internet entrepreneur Joni Evans, whose five-month old site Wowowow.com is going great guns. Joni, who is wow’s CEO, launched the site with pals Liz Smith, Peggy Noonan, Mary Wells and Lesley Stahl for “self-assured women who are a bit too old to care what everybody thinks.” This month, Joni kicked off “The Book Party” with Judith Martin (Miss Manners) reading a collection of the classics. “It’s been incredibly well-received,” she says, and plans are in the works to expand the vertical in all sorts of interesting ways. And that’s not all — Joni tells me in the not-so-distant future the site will introduce a new fashion maven into the mix to cover style and a health vertical ‘Medicine Ball.’ The site’s content is popping up on MSN.com, Fox.com and Yahoo’s Shine. For more dish about Joni and her newfound career, check out her interview with me for our “So What Do You Do?” series coming next month …

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Charlie Rose and an unidentifed young blonde gal

2. Peter Brown

3. Jonathan Tisch and John Sykes

4. Michael Fuchs and Peggy Siegal

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