|Rush Limbaugh||Sean Hannity||Michael Savage||Air America||Ed Schultz|
Since its launch on March 31, 2004, the liberal talk radio network Air America has experienced its share of difficulties, including contract disputes, a bounced check, and a revolving door at the executive levels.
This week, the news got even worse when media reports about financial difficulties and speculation about a possible bankruptcy filing forced a spokeswoman to insist that Air America was, in fact, still airborne.
Despite its problems, however, Air America is now heard on roughly 90 stations across the country, according to its web site. That’s up from a mere handful when it premiered and it’s progress for a network that was conceived as an antidote to the conservative dominance of talk radio that emerged in the early years of the first Clinton administration.
So how do Air America’s numbers stack up against some of the nation’s leading conservative talkmasters?
The king of talk continues to be Rush Limbaugh, who can be heard on about 550 stations around the country, according to his web site. A spokeswoman for Sean Hannity, the Fox News Channel commentator who hosts a nationally syndicated radio show, says that program is carried on approximately 500 stations. “Savage Nation” host Michael Savage says he is heard on more than 370 stations.
And there’s at least one liberal host out there with more pickup than Air America. According to information on his web site, Ed Schultz, a syndicated talker who broadcasts a show from Great Plains, North Dakota, can be heard on more than 100 outlets throughout the country.