The same discussions exist on boards of almost every sport: how to make sport XYZ popular in the US. Everything is just about popularity in the US. This is alpha and omega of sports.
The same discussion exists on tennis forum, the same on soccer, probably also volleyball, alpine skiing, etc. US, US and US!
And this is actually a very positive sign. Figure skating is not isolated in its struggle for popularity in the US, but is in the same group with many other sports. So it's not about the very nature of figure skating, but it's about the nature of US TV networks in general. So it's not about the lack of US champions, but it's about the TV itself. There are no US champions in tennis either (except Serena, who is controversial even in the US) and the tennis fans complain about exactly the same thing as people here.
There are many US champions and role models in alpine skiing (Mikaela, Julia, Bode, Ted, Lindsay, etc) and the alpine skiing struggles to make the US TV as much as tennis and figure skating.
The US is a world power in the very spectacular sport of indoor volleyball, while the indoor volleyball is virtually non-existent in the US, except college girls. Volleyball world championships are not covered in the US AT ALL! Is not even mentioned in the press headlines.
So no matter how many world champions US will produce, how many gold medals Gracie or Jason win, nothing will change. It all doesn't matter. It's all about the very philosophy of US networks.
For the US networks the unit of measure is millions. If something cannot be measured in millions then it simply has no right to exist. It is pushed to niches and elitist obscurity. Champions don't matter. The philosophy of gigantism is at the very core of US networks. I am not US born, it took me years to learn this system, but now I can see how it really is because I can compare both.
And figure skating will never be measured in millions. Therefore talk about bringing figure skating to TV prime time is baseless. Assuming what figure skating is we can say it's already as popular as it can be. It gets as much prime time as tennis, and much more than tracks, volleyball, alpine skiing and many many other sports all put together.