Air America announces signoff

Jan. 21, 2010 at 8:56 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Air America, the left-leaning talk radio network, will file for bankruptcy protection and cease broadcasting, Chairman Charlie Kireker said Thursday.

In a memo to employees and a posting on the Air America Web site, Kireker said the network ceased live programming Thursday afternoon and would cease broadcasting entirely at 9 p.m. EST Monday.

"This past year has seen a 'perfect storm' in the media industry generally," Kireker said. "National and local advertising revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection."

In the memo, Kireker said radio industry ad revenues have been down for 10 consecutive quarters and the economic downturn has led other broadcasters, including Citadel Broadcasting, and related companies such as the trade publication Radio and Records to declare bankruptcy.

"Those companies that remain are facing audience fragmentation as a result of new media technologies, are often saddled with crushing debt, and have generally found it difficult to obtain operating or investment capital from traditional sources of funding," the memo said. "In this climate, our painstaking search for new investors has come close several times right up into this week, but ultimately fell short of success."

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