It's kind of interesting reading this thread from the beginning. Air America Radio began in March of 2004, went bankrupt in 2006, went on the auction block in 2007, limped along thanks to huge influxes of cash until finally cashing out today. ('Cashing out' is obviously a poor choice of words, since it has been out of cash since at least 2006).
To read the network obituaries, one would think it was a trailblazer in creating the liberal-talk-radio format, but that is hardly true. NPR has provided 'progressive' talk shows for as long as I can remember. Many talk radio channels that carry the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ken Hamblin, and Dr. Laura tried carrying 'progressive' talk shows, but most simply did not garner the ratings, even when paired with the flagship Rush Limbaugh Show, either by preceeding or following his popular program. Probably the most notable of these was Alan Colmes, whose show was carried by a number of stations that carried the Rush Limbaugh Show for a time. Mr. Colmes has since moved on to television, but his format predated Air America Radio by several years. To say that there was no 'progressive' radio shows before Air America Radio is to stretch the truth. Nor can you say that Air America Radio was the first 'commercially successful' progressive radio format, since the history seems to require quite a stretch of the term 'commercially successful' in order to justify that claim.
One obituary does make the claim that Air America Radio was responsible for making Al Franken a Senator, as it paved his move from comedian to 'serious' political commentator. Even that requires a stretch, methinks, since Comedy Central had used him as commentator for their campaign coverage as early as 2000, and his books on politics were written before there was an Air America Radio. Rush Limbaugh Is A Big, Fat Idiot was written in 1999, long before the founding of Air America Radio.
Granted, obituaries are meant to bolster the image of the deceased, whether the deceased be human or corporate, and we generally are forgiving if the eulogy stretches the truth a bit. Nor should I speak ill of the dead, even if it is just dead air.
Air America Radio, R.I.P.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.