The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Air America Loses Engine

By Andrew Jenkins in News on Oct 17, 2006 1:24AM

The liberal talk-radio network Air America Radio filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this past Friday. The network, which is home to programs hosted by Al Franken and Jerry Springer, initially got its start with the help of a capital investment from Chicago-based investors Sheldon and Anita Drobny. The station has seen some trying times ever since. Despite a following of 2.4 million anti-Limbaugh listeners every week, the network and its various owners have been under a dark cloud of debt and sticky financial problems for the past two years.

As such, the Drobnys might soon be hoping to lose the title of founding father and mother of AAR. The two have apparently invested a good amount of time, and better amount of money, in the network. They even went so far as to create a radio group that would purchase struggling stations and move the programming to AAR. Nevertheless, bankruptcy reports showed that the network has lost some serious dough — nearly $35 million — since its inception in 2004. To note, a company statement said that the station has secured financing that will allow it to continue broadcasting during its restructuring period.
Above all other questions, Chicagoist wants to know what this news will mean for the battle of Chicago’s political talk-show billboards. You may have seen “Liberals Hate It” billboards advertising the conservative talk-radio network 560AM or WIND. In rebuttal, AAR bought ad space on a Kennedy Expressway billboard for the Al Franken Show, noting that “Liberals Love It.” We've been waiting for a "Conservatives/Liberals Hate Puppies" billboard, but in the meantime we'd be shocked if WIND hasn’t already cooked up some sort of ad slogan poking fun at their liberal competitor's fiscal woes.

Images via Air America Radio store and