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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust

I was really disconcerted to read over at Kos yesterday that Air America Phoenix has been sold to a Christian station. As you may know both Redd and I have appeared on the Charles Goyette show somewhat regularly, so I emailed Charles to see if it was true.

He sent me this:
It's so.

Religious broadcasters out of Denver bought it in a three station acquisition from our owner, James Crystal Inc. Expected closing date of Feb. 1. It's hard to believe that Phoenix needs another religious station, but the new owners will have two here.

It's really is puzzling from a business and revenue standpoint. (It seems like a lot of bother just to get me off the air!) This is the nation's fifth largest city, 15th market, with dynamic growth. There are 60-some radio signals in the airwaves here, most of which aren't making any money. Yet we turned the corner to profitability in less than a year, an amazing feat for a start-up. Despite having done virtually no outside advertising or promotion, Air America Phoenix is already the third talk station in town having left behind a half-dozen others that have been long established in the market. My show is virtually sold out all the time.

Bob Christy, who made this happen, is exploring other possibilities for the operation in the market, but time is running short. Who knows?
It's a terrible loss. Charles is one of the most well-informed people you'll ever speak with, and the world just really does not need a voice of sanity trumped by yet another snake oil salesman bleating for dollars. (As a side note, anybody ever get stuck driving through like the West Texas panhandle where Jesus radio is the only thing besides the cattle futures you can get? I always start thinking about what kind of mindset you would have to be in where that shit actually starts to sound good and then I creep myself out. I'm fairly certain the idea for satellite radio was hatched somewhere between Amarillo and Lubbock.)

judybrowni has a good bit up at Kos about how to bring Air America to your community as was successfully done here in Oregon recently. Anybody looking for a good New Year's project could certainly do worse.

(graphic courtesy