I've heard that if you have status on one airline and move to a new area and can't fly them any more, you can call up an airline and get them to match your status. Is this true? Which airlines offer this? What are the stipulations?
Some airlines will match, others won't, so it's tough to answer in the abstract
As a general rule though, you're more likely to get matching from a North American airline, and quite unlikely to get it from a European one except during one-off promotions. Also matching inside of an alliance is usually tough to get, between alliances is easier.
For some examples, BA, Emirates, Lufthansa and Singapore are known for not offering status matching, where as Delta and Continental do.
Things do change over time, but at the moment your best bet is to look through the FlyerTalk New Airline Status Match Master Thread, look up your new "local" airlines and see.