Air America Creates In-House Sales Division

Air America Media continues to take control of its own destiny. On Wednesday (May 27), the Progressive Talk radio network announced that it had created AAM Network Sales, an in-house sales division, ending its relationship with Westwood One, which formerly handled the national sales for the network.

The news follows the network’s decision two months ago to bring its affiliate sales in-house and the creation earlier this year of AAM Syndication.

The gamble is that the network, which recently rolled out new programming hosted by Montel Williams, Rachel Maddow, Ron Reagan, Lionel and Ron Kuby, will lead to increased distribution beyond the current 60 affiliates, in order to present a more attractive reach proposition for advertisers.

Bennett Zier, AAM’s CEO, is bullish that the network can build its affiliate base “into triple digits.” “Progressive Talk is now the new mainstream and the potential of the format is greater than ever before,” Zier said. “What the format needs is great talent getting on more and better stations.”

Next on Zier’s list to remake the AAM brand: the coming relaunch of the network’s Web site.