Air America 2.0 — Any Different from the First Time Around?

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In January, Clara wrote about the plan to sell the financially-troubled Air America to brothers Stephen and Mark Green. That deal was consummated yesterday and Mark Green celebrated the event by posting his vision for the new Air America (a/k/a Air America 2.0) on Huffington Post.

Unfortunately, having read Green’s essay, I’m a bit skeptical of the “new” attributes of Air America. They sound an awful lot like the old attributes — the ones that sent them into Chapter 11. Green asserts in the “Huff Po” that Air America will now:

  • “[Focus] on the radio fundamentals of making a strong line-up even stronger.”
  • “[Connect] to other progressive membership organizations to be mutually fortifying.”
  • “[Be] a multi-media content company involving other distribution platforms — Internet, blogging, audio and video streaming, mobile, social networks, and more.”
  • I think you can do all three of those things and still not make any money if the idea of progressive radio is a fundamentally flawed one, or if the execution of your core product is shoddy, or if there simply isn’t a market for what you are selling. Green also says Air America will “be a business with a sharp point of view. The era of on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand liberalism is over” (what, AA didn’t take a strong point of view before?) and that “Air America will aggressively cover national politics and policies in ways that will be informative, opinionated and entertaining.”

    Well, okay. It sounds a little like, “We’re going to do it better this time!” but I’m willing to be optimistic. Air America covering and maybe even breaking news would be cool, and some genuinely funny content would be welcomed. Go for it, boys, and good luck.

    Any readers who have heard Air America in the last few days (or in the next few) should leave their thoughts in the comments. Any material changes?

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    TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

    We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

    The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

    That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

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