<img src="http://pictures.directnews.co.uk/liveimages/Al+Franken_1961_19574288_0_0_7036957_300.jpg" alt="Liberal news radio network Air America set to file for bankruptcy ” align=”right” class=”post_image”>Air America, which some called "the liberal radio’s answer to Rush Limbaugh," has announced it would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and prepare to close down its operations.
Launched by comedian Al Franken, who is now a U.S. senator from Minnesota, in 2004, the talk-radio network has about 100 radio outlets nationwide. But it has fallen victim to declining advertising sales during the recession and hasn’t been able to find new investors, according to Reuters, which quoted Air America Media chairman Charlie Kireker.
In addition, the company has been plagued with rising debt for most of its time in business. In fact, it had an earlier brush with bankruptcy but was bought out in 2007 by New York real estate mogul Stephen Green and his brother, politician Mark Green.
Some broadcast journalists have expressed gratitude for the work Air America has done. "There was a [need for an outlet] for the left on the air," said Carey Curelop, operations director for KPTK-AM 1090, an affiliate station in Seattle, quoted by ABC News.
"We’re totally indebted to Air America for launching the network and allowing us to get our feet on the ground," she added.
However, New York Daily News commentator David Hinkley wrote that, in the end, the scarcity of entertainment and relegation to part-time and small stations caused the network’s message to be drowned out.
Air America will broadcast "encore programming" though January 25 and then cease to air.