Air America Radio premiered today. I caught some of Al Franken’s show. I think that unless major leaps are made, it is going to crash and burn. The show is not talk-radio worthy. I’ve been joking for a long time that “Air America” is “NPR2″. This has gone far beyond anything I could joke about.
If I hadn’t known I was going to this show, I would have thought it was NPR. Really. Same monotone, same “feed the politico questions” format, same crappy bumper schlock. I understand that the guests are going to be boring. Bob Kerry is going to be boring whether he is on Franken’s show or Neal Boortz’s show or even the Russ Martin Show. That is why it is the host’s job to prop the show up. When the guest brings it down, the host pops in and brings the energy level up. If you don’t have that, you don’t have talk radio — you have NPR.
This network is either going to crash and burn (likely) or it is going to just cannibalize listeners from NPR. I actually see this as the silver lining. If NPR loses enough listeners, then perhaps it might be taken off the CPB teat and privatized. It isn’t going to fail because it is liberal. It is going to fail because it is boring.