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November 21, 2005



Professor -- Thanks again for your two outstanding and spot-on analyses of Air America. I've been gladly set my alarm for 5AM because I find Rachel Maddow's perfect daily hour such a clear-headed jolt. Maddow's shows are archived and available for download and pod cast, minus commercials. I urge FMU listeners to try today's show (Nov. 21, 2005) for an excellent example.


I didn't know you could podcast air america - I used to listen to it for the few days it was on Sirius. Thanks for the tip! And great post.


Spot on, a hundred percent. I would add: As the NYT article pointed out, one of the innovations that Air America Radio has produced is the idea of not just producing and syndicating a single show, but to create an entire national network with a lineup all its own. This could be an incredible strength, but, as you pointed out, basing decisions as if you're just a content syndicator and on a single market's numbers negates whatever strength you derive from national branding. Most Air America Radio listeners want badly to believe in and support the entire network. But if they continue to cherry-pick like this and throw all the rotten ones into the basket, they'll be losing their brand loyalty pretty quickly.


Another thought: When is the last time anyone has ever visted an online forum or read any press discussing Air America Radio where that sang praises for "Springer on the Radio?" Has anyone ever read effusive praise for this program? If so, where? Every time I ever read opinions about Springer, they start at lukewarm and become more critical. Compare that to "Morning Sedition," which seems to get nothing but rave reviews and severe outrage regarding news of its pending demise. It's just enough to make you go "WTF?"

Billy K about "Maron & Maddow in the Morning?" That makes so much sense it's ridiculous. I like Riley, but what does he add, really?

My morning drive usually let's me catch 10 or 20 minutes of Sedition, which I love. Unfortunately, the rest of my time is spent with Jerry. Jerry, I love ya - I really do - but your show is just not...good.

Speaking of "not good," Franken has become unlistenable, and I don't think it has anythign to do with Lanpher leaving. It's just becoming kind of a free-form NPR experiment in hushed tones. Half the time I can't even hear what they're saying. Al is funny and smart, but...well, he should bring that to his radio show.

Hell just put Randi on for 12 hours and I'll be happy.



Well done on the second brilliant post on this subject. I agree with many of your points. Maddow is a true rising star and Springer ought to be the first to walk the plank.

I'll share where I disagree. My guess is that AAR is going to get Maddow for less than Maron and these are sparse days at AAR headquarters (just a guess). Maron may be asking for more than Goldberg thinks they can afford.

And while I've loved Maron since the days of Short Attention Span Theather on Comedy Central, I think his appeal is not as broad as AAR wants. The humor, especially of the contributors, is top notch, but the political message lacks clarity, and untilmately that's useless as a counter to the conservative noise machine. The sarcasm can split my sides, but it probably bombs in the flyover territories.

Tough decision to have to make, in any case.


" about 'Maron & Maddow in the Morning?' That makes so much sense it's ridiculous. I like Riley, but what does he add, really?"

Nope, that would be too much. Maron has his style, Maddow has hers, and I do not think they would work well together. The two would just end up competing for airtime, and I don't think that would end up being good radio. Riley is an excellent foil to Maron. What does he add? He's a good sidekick. He's the show's intellectual engine. He's the straightman. He's the one whose ego doesn't fill up every corner of the room, the one who gives that creative madness a center. He's the Doors to Morrison, Quivers to Stern, Lanpher to Al. I think these guys are just perfect, and that any other mix is just going to be dull and wasted effort.


The local affiliate in L.A. replaced "Sedition" with Stephanie Miller, whose "morning zoo" hybrid format belittles a brilliant political satirist but probably explains why she's a hit in flyover, which is good for us. I've grown weary of Al and Randi and can't take either for more than an hour, and I'm a political radio junkie. I think Ed Schultz is doing the heavy lifting for the genre, while the Majority Report is the perfect smart/hip college format, perfectly merging the blogs with radio. It's a crying shame that the quarter-million student market in Boston is getting Springer replays instead of Majority Report live. Somebody please fix that glaring inanity!

Carol Anne

Two more reasons to listen to Rachel Maddow:

Rachel is not only out as a lesbian, she is comfortable about mentioning her girlfriend (Susan) on the air now and then. That makes this 60-year-old dyke very happy when it happens.

Kent Jones does a New York news and sports segment. When he didn't include the WNBA New York Liberty's scores last season, I e-mailed my request for their stats. And soon they were on!


Carol Anne, that's so cool that they were so responsive. Very cool.

I just had a thought. Is "The Situation" going anywhere, really? Or is it about to get yanked, too? If it gets yanked, what about Rachel and Tucker on Air America Radio? Except it's HER show, not his. Sort of flipping "Hannity and (Colmes)" on its ass? Pair Rachel with a token conservative and have them discuss da issues? Would ya listen? I know I would. Maybe not as a whole show, but perhaps as a segment, definitely.

Bill Tchakirides

I've signed the petition, wrote articals on my blog, sent 5 letters to Danny G (no response of course), sent e-mails begging Al and Janeane and Sam and Randi to stick up for Marc, written to AAR Board members and sponsors like Dave Oreck, Called Danny G twice (of course, no return call...just get to leave a message).
I'm really fed up.

I like Rachel. I like Riley. But I get the most out of Marc... and if he goes to XM or somewhere else, That's where I'll go, too.

Webster Hubble Telescope

Man this hurts. I love that show. When my fave WFMU show is off the air, FXO's (more than a few) Exciting Moments, at least I know it will likely get invited back sometime in the future. Such is democracy. With this move, there is no hope. Such is phony corporatism.

The sarcasm can split my sides, but it probably bombs in the flyover territories.

I don't give a damn what somebody thinks in flyover territory. I know what I like and they should keep this show. Screw profits.


Another terrific piece; thank you for running this.

Goldberg is a moron. I've written him twice, I've written Rob Glaser, Anita Drobny, I've signed the petition, and I have a big frickin' banner on my blog asking others to sign it.

If Goldberg is so concerned about New York, perhaps he ought to consider that WLIB's signal sucks in most places. I drive 9.5 miles from the Pascack Valley area to Rockland County every day, and I get clear signal in only about half that distance.

Rachel Maddow has improved greatly on radio, and I'm delighted to see her get more time -- but not at Marc Maron's expense. And while Mark Riley is a good interviewer and a hell of a nice guy, he and Maron are greater than the sum of their parts (especially when you throw Jim Earl, Kent Jones, Tom Johnson, Dan Pashman, and Brendan McDonald into the mix).

You are 100% correct that Goldberg is axing the show prematurely, with the entire Stern audience up for grabs. I'm disgusted that the board is allowing him to do this when there's so much backlash against it. It's enough to make me think they're all Republican moles.

Franken will leave next year to run for Senate. Janeane Garofalo has clearly had just about enough of doing this every day. Marc Maron FEEDS off the morning show. He's turnedi into the best radio personality around, in just 18 months.

It sickens me to think of mornings without Morning Sedition. It just makes me feel like the bad guys always win. Can't they just give us this one thing?


Well done, good analysis. I agree 95%. I was drawn to Air America by Franken but have found myself addicted to Maddow and Maron. I still love Franken, but find him a bit more boring (because Lanpher is gone? Not sure...). Personally, I have no use for Springer, and Rhodes annoys me, but at least she seems to have a fan base. Per Morning Sedition, I don't understand why some feel the need to cut out comedy and satire; I believe they're important weapons in the war against the lies of the right. How can you survive as a liberal in W's America without a strong sense of humor and appreciation for the laughter that can be found in the ridiculous? I mourn the loss of Morning Sedition and hope that AA's wise enough to keep Maron in one role or another.

Air Ambulance

It's an excellent analisys of Air America and I must admit that the author is right. And now I can podcast it.)

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