Air America recoups, expands

Media Life reports that nine months after it looked like Air America radio network would fold almost as soon as it started, it is expanding to three more large markets to reach 45 total. Programming will begin today on affiliates of the heavily Republican-oriented Clear Channel Network in Washington, D.C., Detroit and Cincinnati – an irony many listeners will understand. After Air America launched last spring, two affiliates accused it of failing to pay bills, and it soon went off the air in Chicago and Los Angeles, leaving it in only a handful of small markets. After two of its founders were forced out and some of the staff went without salary, the network stabilized over the summer and began adding markets. Advertising has picked up boosting revenues. Additionally, Media Life says that $19 million of private funding has been secured, and that the network is in talks to get back on the air in LA, one of the most critical and largest media markets in the nation.