The development of a radio network is not an easy thing, it turns out. Programming and show hosts have to develop over time. It isn't a simple as saying, "phooey on that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity! We need a left-Democrat equivalent"! While you can trot out boring ratings-free crap on Federally subsidized NPR, radio on the free market has to actually be entertaining and draw listeners.
Alas, Air America is as entertaining as reading the legal notices in the newspaper. Because nobody listens, they can't sell ads. Because they can't sell ads, they fall back on the NPR model of begging for financial support. From Joe Kovacs' article at World Net Daily:
"We know we can't achieve this next stage of growth without significant help from you, our loyal listeners," said the network in an e-mail to supporters, according to Mediaweek, which said the "unusual move for commercial radio" was "more common to noncommercial stations and political action committees."
a California radio station pleaded for advertisers to sponsor the liberal programming of Air America shows it broadcasts, claiming it could not get a single ad.
Supply and demand, as ever. I'd actually like to see it succeed, just for the sake of having unfettered liberal bias on the air. I like a crowded marketplace of ideas. However, I'm afraid the 'talent' and business model are so weak that the thing will die on the vine.