Goodbye Air Atlanta (mostly)

Almost a month ago, Bloglanta noted that AM1690 (Air Atlanta) was purchased by Joe Weber (who also owns AM1160) and speculated about the future of Air America radio there. Well, now we know

Weber is planning to keep only Al Franken from noon to 3 p.m. He says his focus is on mornings and drivetime and by keeping Franken, he hopes to grab a few of those Air America fans. This does mean no more access to Rachel Maddow, Janeane Garafalo, Jerry Springer and Randi Rhodes unless you have XM Satellite radio or you can listen online. 1160 will simulcast until he creates a new format there. He wouldn’t say what he’s going to put there.

This all happens on Monday, June 12. I do wonder what is going to happen to the locally flavored shows such as Air Loaf and Atlanta Jewish Talk.

75 Comments so far

  1. happy liberal (unregistered) on June 16th, 2006 @ 10:44 am

    Well put slamduncan. I agree. There must be something we can do. We finally had a balance on the radio waves, and now we don’t. People need to hear the truth based on facts, not an agenda. Let’s keep with the ideas on what we can do to get Air Atlanta back on the radio without having to buy XM. I know there has got to be a way. Keep the faith. One thing we can do is VOTE!!

  2. This is Awsome (unregistered) on June 16th, 2006 @ 5:26 pm

    “It’s so sad that we ‘liberals’ are bashed for simply being upset.” You are such the martyr.
    I guess pester also means not wanting to see the issue for what it is -Nobody was listening to Air Atlanta! If anyone in this town did, then the owner would have kept it on the air.
    I am also glad that MOST (keyword) liberals believe in the free market. Of course that also would mean MOST of the free market would be contolled by a government entity that would dictate to us what a “Human Right” is. conservative, liberal, or LIBERTARIAN, if you do not like to be pestered or you are “offended” by someone questioning your beliefs, then this is not the arena for you to be in.

  3. Teresa (unregistered) on June 16th, 2006 @ 9:49 pm

    I am disappointed that AAR is gone from Atlanta. I lived here for 7 years without finding anything to consistenly listen to on Atlanta radio until I found 1690 AM. I’ve already researched XM (I can get a radio for $59.99 and a subscription for $12.95/month), and I will probably make that investment. But, I want to make sure my voice is heard by the new station owner in the process, so I think I’ll send Mr. Weber a copy of my XM subscription and make sure he knows that at least this listener will not be listening to his station or his commercials!

  4. True Blue Liberal (unregistered) on June 18th, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

    Maybe This is Awesome will choke on all the money
    he will no doubt make from the sale of thousands, or millions, of XM satellite radio systems. We can only pray he does.

  5. Scott (unregistered) on June 19th, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

    For you free market idiots. We do not have a free market, we have an ownership market. This means it is imperative that someone compile a list of Joe Weber’s advertisers so we can inform them that his decision has cost them money by listeners to the entire spectrum of AM&FM radio in ATL turning to XM satelite radio. That is the free market correcting the wrong of rampant capitalism without control.

    If anyone can post how to get in touch with Joe Weber … like an e-mail address and a list of his advertisers I would be gratefull. I’ve already taken myself out of the ATL radio advertising market (as of yesterday I’m an XM subscriber) BTW I now get AA 24/7 in the clear with no static!!

    But this only works for those of us who can cough up the cost of XM. As with any political message it needs a public outlet to get the message to the largest audience.

    I fault the previous owners to some degree. They did a lousey job of advertising that AA was in ATL. I had only discovered AA was on 1690 in ATL recently and that was because I overheard some RW nutbag spewing his hatred by laughing over the soon-to-be demise of AA in ATL.

    I started listening and was hooked from day one. Finally a radio station that expressed what I was feeling and thinking. Confirmation that I wasn’t alone in this burg of RW nutbags.

    ATL needs AA 24/7, and hopefully someone will fill that void in the airwaves over ATL again. Perhaps this time someone who can get the message out that it’s on the air.

    Till then I’m listening to XM which means that all local advertisers have one less listenter to thier adds. These folks need to know that Joe Weber was responsible for lowering the value of their advertising. Perhaps they should demand a better (lower) rate from all the stations.

  6. This Is Awsome (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 12:09 am

    You know, Slamduncan would not be happy with all this name calling -or “bashing.”
    You see, ownership is part of the free market. Owners of businesses cater to the needs of their customers. And customers were not plentiful to keep AAR on the air.

    You do relize that Joe Weber must be doing okay since he MOVED his station to 1690 to expand his current programming from 1160. This means that 1160 was doing well with it’s own listener base. Of course what do I know, i’m just a Free Market Idiot, and Joe Weber is just one of those evil capitalist/owners who DARE make money from this venture -which in your spectrum is “NOT FAIR.”

    I do heavily recommend that you purchase XM radio, it is a great company and they provide a great service to their customers. If you cannot afford it, I am pretty sure you will make the argument that you have a “right” to listen to XM radio and demand it be free.

    And to my friend True Blue Lib. You don’t eat money, you SPEND IT, you INVEST IT. This means you do what you want with the money you EARNED you silly goose.

  7. Scott (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 9:08 am

    Joe may perhaps be delusional, perhaps he moved his 1160 programming because he thought it would do better with expanded hours, that perhaps no one was listening to 1160 programming because like 690 you just can’t listen to it after dark unless your two feet away from the tower.

    All I ever hear from people is how crappy radio is in Atlanta. With such a huge captive audience on the roads every day, it’s truely amazing how the radio community squandors the market by doing everything it can to lose listeners.

    In this race to the bottom perhaps Joe, like every other radio station owner in Atlanta, was just looking for the least expensive, royalty free programming he could find to put on his stations. After all with the majority of AM advertising being block programming it really doesn’t matter what you air or what your market share is, the real issue is how MANY radio stations you own … so perhaps Joe’s purchase of 1690 was motiviated by grabbing more block advertising and using royalty free stuff to fill the air between commercials.

    The problem is no one listens to AM radio unless the programming is somthing they can’t find anywhere else, and they are really committed to listening to it. Now granted I’m sure there are those out there who can’t wait to turn on 1690 and hear a scratchy, static filled rendition of an operatically sung song from the 1930’s or 40’s. Comparing however between the two choices, I’m willing to bet that there is a much larger audience willing to suffer drops, fades, static, and noise to hear someone from Air America.

    So, you’re not a free market idoit, nothing about you is free market. AM radio isn’t free market, it’s bottom-of-the-barrel market driven by advertising that is doaled out en-mass, and not at all based on programming or numbers because the AM listener numbers are just to small and demographically to poor to make a difference. Unless of course you can peel away a demographic from FM or non-air radio to listen to your programming.

    What Joe failed to realize is that Joe had a niche audience. One that he could have built up had he chosen to do what the previous owners failed to do, build up the audience by obtaining enough free advertising (newpaper articles, TV news stories …) to get the message out that Air-America was in Atlanta on 1690.

    Joe is not an entrepreneur in the classic free market capitalist sense like you’d like to make him out to be. He like most of your ilk today are out to make the fastest cheapest buck they can with total disregard for sustainability and public responsibility. There is no dignity and integrity in the so called free-market actions you ascribe too here.

    In the past businessmen did things for sustainability, for mutual good; the good of themselves AND of the community, knowing that while the pay-off wasn’t quite as good as doing things for purely selfish motive, they were creating the American dream and making thier community and country a better place in the long run, which meant of course more opportuinty to recapure that inital loss in the future.

    Go away neo-con, you and your ilk disgust me. You and your kind are the exact reason I left the republican party. The grand-ole party of truely patriotic, paternalistic, responsible entrepreneural spirit now stinks of greed, corruption, and gluttony from miss-guided self-centered neo-capitalists like yourself. You disgrace those true entrepreneurial businessmen who came before you.

  8. Scott (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 9:34 am

    BTW this is awsome, 1160 and 1690’s customers are the advertisers not the listeners. In radio business the listeners are the commodity being traded not the customer. Further, In the AM market advertising is mostly blind.

    The advertiser buys a package from a third party who has purchased advertising in huge blocks from a multitude of radio stations. Much like you try to hit your target by using a spray of shot from a shotgun. The goal is not to buy into some specific popular programming the goal is the largest number of on-air opportunities (runs) during radio listening peak time.

    Likewise the advertiser rarely gets into what they want on the air, nor do they generally care what the programming is. Rarely does an advertiser get to say, I only want to advertise on stations that play such-n-such. Usually the advertiser doesn’t give a hoot, they just want local air time. Radio has to use the shotgun approach because, and this is especially true in the ATL area, the commodity (the listener) is rarely tuned to the same station for very long. So as an advertiser you hope to get heard by having your spot on as many stations as possible, hoping someone will hear your message while the scan drops into a station for it’s 10 second cycle.

    Perhaps if your going to put in your entrepreneurial free-market advice into a discussion about what programming is aired on a radio station, you should study and understand the dynamics of the market your talking about first.

  9. Carolyn (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 11:57 am

    I am so disappointed. I miss Randi! I absolutely cannot stomach boortz or hannity. there is something wrong with those folks. I don’t know what to do with myself. And what’s up with this music and the guy talking? This has got to be the most boring stuff around. Please get AA back!!

  10. Gilly (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

    Here is how to contact 1160 (now 1690) and here are sponsors listed on their website. Each should be contacted to make sure there is noise about AA being off the air. (Al Franken is not enough).

    1690 Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:
    1100 Spring Street, Suite 610
    Atlanta, GA 30309
    Phone Numbers:
    Phone: (404) 681-9307
    Request Line: (404) 223-1160
    Fax: (404) 870-8859
    Vice President/General Manager Jeff Davis:
    Larry Larson:
    Helen Kopec:
    Scott Glazer:
    General E-mail:


    Vision Computers, Inc.
    5865 Jimmy Carter Blvd.
    Norcross, GA 30071

    Champion (Atlanta – 770-454-7323)
    National Corporate Headquarters
    Champion Windows Manufacturing Inc.
    12121 Champion Way | Cincinnati, OH 45241
    513.346.4600 | 800.875.5575

    The Original Gutterguard
    North Georgia
    (Corporate Headquarters)
    (800) 838-6450

    Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre
    Our address is:
    5239 Floyd Rd
    Mableton, GA 30126
    Our phone number is:

    Theatrical Outfit
    PO BOX 1555
    Atlanta, GA 30301

    Box Office: 678-528-1500

    Reliable Air
    (tel) 770-594-9066
    (fax) 770-998-4809
    Sales Department:
    Service Department:
    Billing Department:
    15021 Highway 92
    Woodstock, GA 30188

    Brand Atlanta, Inc.
    100 Colony Square
    1175 Peachtree Street
    Suite 1660
    Atlanta, GA 30361

    Presbyterian Homes of Georgia, Inc.
    Toll-free: 1-800-808-3309

    Julia Karoly’s Beautage
    Skin Restoration System
    4335 South Lee Street #C
    Buford, GA 30518
    (fax) 678.482.6030

    Southern Landscape Lighting
    Phone : 770-451-0001
    Email :

  11. manny (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 10:54 pm

    Since Air Atlanta has been off from 1690 the commutes have been “SILENCE” or plain CD music..

    Cannot listen to the other “TALK RADIO”..

    tried NPR a few minutes..Waiting for AAR to be back in ATL

  12. Scott (unregistered) on June 21st, 2006 @ 8:15 am

    Gilly, thanks for the info. I’m informing all sponsors that Jeff Davis decision to take Air America has reduced the Atalanta advertising market by at least one customer. That thanks to him I will never hear their commercials again as I now have to listen to Air America via XM radio. If they’d like me to hear their commercial perhaps they would consider advertising directly with Air America or XM radio.

    It’s important that anyone who used to listen to AA on 1690 send an email to Jeff Davis. This way may realize the dedicated audience he threw away on crap musac type programming.

    Sponsors should know that stations owned by Jeff Davis have created a negative listener base, some of whom I believe would be willing to boycott. I know I’m willing to boycott all of the above advertisers since they all have lots of competators to choose from.

  13. Dean (unregistered) on June 21st, 2006 @ 3:44 pm

    Well, I’ll miss Air America/Atlanta. I enjoyed Randi, Rachel, and- it really surprised me!- Springer. I’m not terribly worried, though. Unlike the programable neo-con Republicans, we, liberals, don’t really need someone else to tell us what to think. And with ALL the conservative talk radio out there, they must really need LOTS of reminding.

  14. C.J. (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2006 @ 6:06 pm

    I am quite pleased with what 1690 offers now! that elevator music will most likely drive up the ratings. I was always wondering when they would scrap air america/atlanta. All they really ever did was whine and complain, and take calls from people who obviously had no job and way to much free time on thier hands. The same can be said about all the other AM stations in atlanta.

  15. c.j. (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2006 @ 6:09 pm

    …time to change the dial over to the Regular Guys!

  16. James (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2006 @ 6:28 pm

    Is there a way for a non-profit to bring Air Atlanta back?

    Direct listener support may be the best way to guard against the whims of the media market. I am not opposed to commercial sponsorship, but if former listeners are willing to spend $12/month on XM, why not make a direct contribution to an organization that speaks for you?

    Perhaps we can learn something from the Christian radio stations that integrate listener support with commercial sponsorship.

    This whole situation has made me appreciate all the more Link-TV and FSTV (9410 and 9415 on Dish). And I will make a contribution before buying into XM.

    Perhaps Atlanta could use a Pacifica radio station.

    What do the people say?

  17. Scott (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2006 @ 11:46 am

    James I’m with you. So how would we do about starting starting somthing like that?

  18. MaxMinimum (unregistered) on June 26th, 2006 @ 4:07 pm

    Just to get a little fanboyishness out of the way first…

    Al Franken does a FANTASTIC job of providing actual FACTS as opposed to just opinions while at the same time being quite entertaining – The Minority Report is, at times, as or more entertaining (mostly due to J.G.) but doesn’t dig down into issues quite as well. Al is a master at sorting out the relevant facts and issues at play when considering a subject.

    Now, onto the real subject at hand…

    I don’t know much about the new owner, and definitely not enough to slam him on his decision. The fact that he’s keeping Al Franken on the air makes me think this wasn’t done as a slap to liberals. That, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with an arts-centric station. I’ve pretty well stopped listening to 1690 other than during lunchtime, though, so I can’t really say anything about the quality of its content.

    That said, I’m very sad to see this happen. Yes, it’s fine for markets to drive what succeeds and what doesn’t, but, in this case, it’s definitely true that the marketing, or lack thereof, was just not enough to get the job done, particularly over such a short trial period in such a conservative state. Air America can definitely work here and will. It’s just a matter of time and setting up the proper infrastucture for it.

    If anyone knows or hears anything at all about an organized effort to get a full-fledged Air America back in Atlanta, please post it here and everywhere else you can think of. Also, I’d be willing to put some effort into helping out with this myself. I don’t have the financial resources it’d take to buy a radio station, though I would if I could. However, I have some graphics and writing skills I could lend to the effort. If we have to start this right here, right now, let’s do it.

    I’ve just created an account at Yahoo ( Anyone with time, knowledge or skills that may be applicable (even if you can just make fliers, etc.) who’s interested, please email me. Any info I receive I’ll then share with you. Who knows, perhaps something will take shape.

  19. Joellyn (unregistered) on June 27th, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    I’m glad to see that there are so many listeners out there who are outraged and disappointed that Air Atlanta is no more. I returned to the Atlanta area after an absence of a year, and was extremely confused as to what was going on with 1690. After I went online and found out what happened I was so sad. Being an avid listener of Air America here in my adopted home of Los Angeles, I had been overjoyed when I found Air Atlanta on the dial, and vowed to turn my mom on to it. Unfortunately, the signal wasn’t strong enough in her area. She’s been mind-controlled by the likes of Rushie, Hannity, O’Reilly, Boortz and their slimey ilk. I was hoping I could get her to listen to another viewpoint. Except for blogs like these, I don’t think there is another outlet for liberal and progressives in Atlanta now. Every newspaper I read while I was there, every other talk radio station I listened to was all the same, neo-con spew against all things Democrat and liberal. They twist the truth and enflame their listeners with their ultra conservative rants over and over and over until people believe it’s gospel. My beloved state deserves better than it’s getting right now. I agree with those of you who truly believe that Air Atlanta has a rightful place in that town, and a viable listening audience, and I am going to do my best to help out in the effort to get it back on a station where it belongs. I’d like to thank Gilly for the contact info on 1690 and all their advertisers. I’ll be sure to contact them and let them know how I feel about Air Atlanta’s demise. I hope everyone who visits this blog does.

  20. smyte (unregistered) on June 28th, 2006 @ 3:13 am

    In Chattanooga, the right-wingers are hoping Joe Weber will come north and buy out their Air America station too.

  21. Daniel (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 9:13 am


  22. Joellyn (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 8:22 pm

    Well, I hope the other bloggers that have posted here will come back to this blog to see that it’s been reopened. This topic is one that we shouldn’t let go! By the way, I responded to the article on, and so did several others and all of the responses were negative ones. There IS a listening audience out there for progressived radio and we really must work together to keep these conservatives who own radio stations from controlling the airwaves.

  23. julie (unregistered) on July 4th, 2006 @ 9:59 pm

    The 10th largest radio market in the U.S. cannot support Air America? I don’t buy that for a moment…It really pisses me OFF and I’ve written numerous emails to Jeff Davis (the VP for whatever stupid station bought out 1690) and to Air America honchos or whomever…

    I have been a loyal, loyal listener since Air America first “landed” in Atlanta (spring 04). I honestly know that I listened to Air America ALL THE TIME (hours and hours EACH DAY) and so did ALL of my progressive, forward-minded friends. I don’t believe for a second that the ratings were that low…That’s just BULLSHIT.

    Air America got me through a most unbelievaby difficult time (the nightmare following 11/02/04) and my political epiphany from spring of 04 still stands (or stood) true: John Edwards INTRIGUES me, George Bush INFURIATES me, but Air America INFORMS me and keeps me sane. So I just told my sister-in-law in Minneapolis that we no longer have Air America…She couldn’t believe it; said she’d thought Atlanta was such a cosmopolitan city (much more than Minneapolis, which, of course, still has Air America…GRRRRRRR.

    I hate to be so dramatic but this is really how I feel. How can this be possible that we have NO power in congress, NO power in the senate, NO power in the White House, and now NO Air America???????????????? WTF can we do about this? Hey, Atlanta: the rightwingers do NOT rule this city.

  24. stanx (unregistered) on July 6th, 2006 @ 3:42 am

    This blogger thinks we’re all full of it.

  25. Joellyn (unregistered) on July 8th, 2006 @ 1:19 am

    Well, what is everyone waiting for? Go tell that blogger, (be nice, now, he thinks we’re all ranters) how we feel about losing our favorite station. The more we keep this going, the more people will start to listen. I agree, Julie that rightwingers do not rule Atlanta, even though they would really like everyone to believe it. Glad to see people coming back to this blog. Let’s try to keep it open as long as possible.

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