Air America Wins Reprieve Through Online Support
The New York Times reports
Published: December 25, 2006
While ongoing negotiations to buy the beleaguered radio network Air America have kept its future in a state of limbo, the company had one bit of good news last week.
WXXM-FM, a station in Madison, Wis., owned by Clear Channel Communications, rescinded a decision to drop the liberal network in favor of Fox Sports Radio. The station, known as “the Mic” 92.1, was preparing to switch to a local sports format on Jan. 1. But last Friday, in a surprise statement, the station manager, Jeff Tyler, announced that the station had decided to continue with the progressive talk format of Air America into 2007.
A news release made it clear that public outcry was very directly responsible for the reversal: "We are overwhelmed by the recent outpouring of support for our Progressive Talk format from the public, some of our community leaders and some dedicated local advertisers.”
Soon after the initial announcement to drop Air America was made on Nov. 7, a 28-year-old-student, Valerie Walasek, began an an online petition campaign that gathered more than 5,000 signatures and also organized a large rally. She said she was shocked at the outcome.
“I’m still trying to get used to the idea of it, that it actually worked, that I got big business to change their mind,” she said.