“Air America Is Turning Into A Multimedia Co.”: CEO

Air America Media announced this week that it is launching its own in-house network sales division, which will represent all of the company’s shows and products — including radio, video and online content — directly to media agencies and buyers.

The new business structure means Air America is taking over work once done by Westwood One radio network to create direct relationships with advertising agencies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Air America Media CEO Bennett Zier told FishbowlNY. Previously, Air America dealt with some advertisers directly but let Westwood One handle relationships with agencies.

“Agencies are sophisticated in their planning and their creative approach in making strategies for their clients, which will hopefully become our clients,” Zier said. “Because Air America is a particular type of company, and a left of center company, there are certain companies that want to advertise with us, and we want to be able to facilitate that and work with them more directly.”

Ultimately, the new structure will give Air America the ability to “control its own destiny” with a dedicated sales team that works only for Air America every day, Zier said. The extra attention will help the company raise additional ad dollars — its main source of revenue. Right now, the in-house sales team is made up of three employees, but they will be looking to hire in the fall, which is good news for everyone.

“Air America is turning into a multimedia company,” Zier said. “And we are looking to attract listeners, viewers and readers with the radio and airamerica.com.”

To that end, Air America is planning to relaunch an updated version of its Web site, which will be more user-friendly and interactive — later this summer.