AM 950 mostly unaffected by Air America’s demise


AM 950, Minnesota’s progressive talk radio station, won’t be impacted by national distributor Air America filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy Thursday. Air America is KTNF’s source for only one weekday show and a handful of weekend programs, station president Janet Robert tells the Minnesota Independent.

A statement at the Air America website blamed the economy for collapse. The distributor is “ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon,” the statement said.

The most immediate casualty that will be apparent on KTNF is “The Ron Reagan Show,” which aired from 7-8 p.m. on weekdays. “Ring of Fire” is one several weekend Air America shows heard locally.

Robert said she was making calls to try to keep “Ring of Fire.” But that is the only Air America she is pursuing, she said, and she expressed doubt that most Air America programs would find new distributors.

AM 950’s locally- produced shows on the weekday schedule include “The Mark Heaney Show” and “Quick on the UpTake,” with others airing on weekends. The remainder of the station’s programming comes from Air America rival Dial Global, Robert said.

Robert said she was sorry to hear the news. “There are a lot of really nice people there,” she said. “We’re really grateful to them for having launched 24-hour progressive talk radio.”

The independently owned local station began broadcasting on a different signal in 2003 but on March 31, 2004 began carrying much of Air America’s 24-hour program schedule, including Al Franken’s program. The main exception was “The Ed Schultz Show,” distributed by Dial Global.

Over the years, AM 950 got more and more of its programs from Dial Global as popular programs left Air America for its rival distributor. Along the way, Air America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reorganizing under new investors.

Weekday mainstays that will continue to air as usual include shows hosted by Schultz, Bill Press, Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann and Mike Malloy.

Chris Steller appears weekly as a guest on “Quick on the UpTake.”