31 October 2006

Nova M Radio

Out of the ashes of the Air America bankruptcy, a new progressive radio network arises, and it's headed by Valley talker Mike Newcomb and one of the founding forces of Air America, Sheldon Drobny.

Welcome to, your new home for progressive talk radio,

In the weeks ahead, we're looking to add more features to our site and more talented hosts to our network lineup. We hope that you'll find this site not only a great source for information about NovaM, but also a great way to particpate in the national debate about the future of our country.

Only two stations in the network for now (Phoenix, AZ and Sherwood AR) and a half dozen show hosts including Mike Newcomb, Peter B Collins and their headliner, liberal cannon yakker Mike Malloy. Also on board are non-partisan hosts John Zogby and John Loftus, for which I am excited to read now has access to my radio microphone broadcasting at least into the local airwaves here in Arizona.

I expect many to scoff at the new talk outlet, and cheer the impending demise of Air America. However, I don't believe for a second that the venture is a doomed prospect because of what happened to its predecessor. Consider that it takes time, sometimes years for new business launch to go into the black. In fact, Fox News Channel lost an average of $90 millon per year for about five years and conservative media mogul Reverend Moon (Washington Times owner) has lost and continues to lose hundreds of millions of dollars. It took some time for the vile, hate mongering Limbaugh to build his empire of dittoheads.

But I'm not stating that Air America was sound enough to weather the initial foray. There was plenty wrong with its implementation:

  • Trying to do television style variety shows on radio.

  • Conducting talk shows without the "talk" — hosts babbling ad nauseum sans caller phone in participation is a sure fire prescription for mass listener tuneout, unless the host is engaging enough or brings enough interesting guests on air (the Al Franken show is the only exception here)

  • Frequently running shows on tape delay or even worse, inserting tapes from previous days for political discourse must remain fresh and lively.

  • Not hiring radio talent, instead opting for performers from other media platforms — success in one realm does not guarantee radio stardom.