Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Gasping for Air America

Finding myself a bit overwhelmed by the news of the day, I decided to drop in on the enemy camp to see what was going on. I do this occasionally because I believe in the practice of keeping your friends close but your enemies closer.

Although it offered great resistance, I was able to cajole my browser to lock onto the Air America Minnesota homepage.


I came away with one overriding thought: The people who run this penny ante operation are at best delusional and at worst frauds and liars.

Did I really assert that again?

For those who want proof, I offer this.

You read that right. Gasping for Air America (GAA) claims it reaches 55% of the local market. Note it doesn’t say “You potentially reach”, it says, “You reach a valuable market segment representing over half of the population.”

I wish they would define “population” as they use it.

For the sake of argument, let us say conservative talk radio does reach an aggregate total of 45% of the population, to jump from that “if” to the conclusion that GAA must “then” reach the balance of the population reveals the management to be either delusional or frauds and liars.

As an old radio guy, I’m confident in saying that, given their weak signal and even weaker content, GAA would be kicking some serious behind if they were able to secure 1% of that 55%.

The numbers they claim here are akin to what WCCO used to pull in at the height of it’s popularity.

One way to judge the success of a radio station is by its ad rates and its list of advertisers. I can’t claim to know the former – although I could make an educated guess – but the latter is on the site for all to see:

Chrysalis helping women, children and families transform their lives
The Laborers' Union Minnesota & North Dakota Laborers' District Council
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers & Local 292
United Food and Commercial Workers & Local 789
Lakes and Plains Regional Council & of Carpenters and workers
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota) Community
International Union Of Operating Engineers Local 49
Communications Workers of America

If this is the best they can do for advertisers, they have a long difficult road to travel. I’ve been there – by there I mean part of a start up radio station in the Twin Cities. Radio is a difficult sell regardless of what station you represent.

Selling a station that specializes in Left Wing slop is made even more difficult when one considers that the core audience is anti-capitalist. Imagine the conversation now:

Rep: Hi I’m from Air America and I’d like you to advertise your vegan restaurant on our station.

Vegan: Gee, I’d love to because, like, I really, you know, like what you guys have to say and everything, but, like, if I advertise I might, like, you know, get more people to come to my place and, wouldn’t that take business away from, like, others in the restaurant community? Also, you know, what about, you know, the homeless who don’t have, like radios and, is it fair for me to, you know, advertise if they can’t hear it?

Rep: Wow, you’re so right. What if we call it a sponsorship? Kinda like PBS.

Vegan: That’s so cool. Here’s $500.

That’s right; you can become a “member” of GAA if you want. They have cute levels – just like PBS – depending on how much you give. My favorite part is where it says, “We rely on our advertisers and sponsors for our major support (please patronize these fine folks).

Look at that list again and explain to me how one patronizes a union.

Just like the Left: If you can’t sell it call it a “sponsorship” and people

Back to the audience: What I found here makes no sense. OK, some of it does, but this portion does not:

Air America works for Business
Consider the profile of the Air America listener in New York
· 25-54 . . .Unlike the traditional AM radio listener
· Educated, professional earning high income . . . Unlike the traditional AM radio listener
· Is the most loyal in the market. #1 in Time Spent Listening
· Cannot be reached with other AM radio stations…virtually no duplication.

I don’t know what they mean by “traditional AM radio”, but they sure as hell ain’t talking about the audience for most of the conservative stations across this country.

Locally and nationwide, conservative Talk Radio reaches the best damn audience you could want, 35-54, college educated with advanced degrees, incomes in 6 figures. There’s a reason high end auto dealers and financial, etc. are on KSTP and The Patriot and not on GAA.

There is more there, but I’ve grown tired of slogging through the fecal matter and, to be completely honest, I just don’t give a damn.

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