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New Liberal Radio Network Is Formed

The co-founders of Air America Radio have formed a new liberal talk radio network that promises to promote freedom and social justice.

That's according to the new company's CEO, Mike Newcomb, who says Nova M Radio, a Phoenix-based network formed by Air America co-founders Anita and Sheldon Drobny, will make its first broadcast on Oct. 30th.

Shortly before Air America filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, Newcomb said he and the Drobnys made a proposal to take a controlling interest in Air America, but the offer was declined two weeks before the company's reorganization petition was filed.

Newcomb said the new network is a competitor to Air America and that the Drobnys invested in Nova M Radio because they believed in the business model of liberal talk radio and wanted it to continue to grow.

The Drobnys and Newcomb are the principal investors in Nova M Radio and plan to seek additional investors.

"With strong management and good financial controls, we believe this is a very viable business, and we plan to demonstrate it as such," said Newcomb, a physician who made an unsuccessful bid for Arizona governor in 2002.

The new network will include shows by hosts Mike Malloy and Peter B. Collins and a nonpartisan program by pollster John Zogby. Newcomb, who previously had a show on Phoenix-area radio, also will host a show.

Joe Trippi, who helped run Howard Dean's Internet-fueled presidential campaign in 2004, also will serve as a media and communications consultant for the network

Nova M Radio is leasing and running KPHX-AM in Phoenix and KDXE-AM in Little Rock, Ark., and has commitments from other stations to run its programming. The network also intends to lease or buy other stations, Newcomb said.