Friday, March 30, 2007

Producer Says Sam Seder's Show Will End Next Week

The on again off again rumors about the end of Sam Seder Show, are on again today.

At 12:17 pm et today, Mo Lib, a poster on the Sam Seder Show blog claimed he that he heard Dan Pashman, a member of the Sam Seder Show production staff, say that they were "making a promo on Monday saying this is the last week of Sam Seder Show."

Here is the exact text of Mo Lib’s post:

mo lib said...

With the Sammy Cam still on I clearly heard Dan Pashman say they will make a promo on Monday saying this is the last week of the Sam Seder Show. This sucks!Sam will do fine without AAR. He's smart and creative. It's a real loss for the rest of us.I hope he can stay on the radio. Maybe with Nova M. This is really sad news.

Is this true? Or just another rumor about the demise on Seder’s morning show on Air America Radio?

After Mo Lib’s post there were dozen’s of comments on Pashman’s statement, which was apparently made on the Sammy Cam after today’s show was over.

Some of the posters seemed resigned to admit that Seder’s show was indeed coming to end. Others suggested that this was just some kind on April Fool’s joke planned on the eve of the third anniversary of the AAR launch.

Talking Radio is attempting to contact Seder and AAR officials to confirm the status of the veteran talker’s show.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Is Rush Limbaugh Irrelevant?

When California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called talk show host Rush Limbaugh “irrelevant” in comments made during a recent appearance on the Today Show, Limbaugh brushed it off.

Schwarzenegger was asked if he was concerned that Limbaugh disapproved of his move to left on such issues as stem-cell research, global warming, and universal health care.

“All irrelevant…Rush Limbaugh is irrelevant.” Schwarzenegger said. “I am not his servant,”

The controversy eased when the Republican Governor and the conservative talk show host agreed to smoke a stogie and let bygones by bygones.

However, the question remains an operative one. Is Rush Limbaugh irrelevant?

Don’t get us wrong. Limbaugh is still the number one talk radio host, reaching over 13 million radio listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, and his daily show is carried on over 600 stations.

Limbaugh is millionaire many times over. He joked that he could have bought Air America Radio with his pocket change. (Bankrupt AAR was recently sold for only $4.75 million.) He had enough money to pay his high priced legal team, which helped him beat charges of illegal drug purchases, and he can still buy all the Viagra he needs for his sex romps in the Dominican Republic.

However, it is clear that his standing in the conservative movement has declined significantly since 1994 when he was named “honorary member of the U.S. House of Representative” after the Republicans took control of the Congress ending forty years of Democratic Party dominance.

Limbaugh was on top of the emerging conservative talk radio machine. He didn’t have to share the limelight with other talkers like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. He was the only game in town and he was on the top of his game.

However, in the dozen years since Limbaugh’s glory days as a key figure in the so-called “Republican Revolution”, we have seen a steady decline in the both the statuses of Republican Party and of Limbaugh’s position as an important media figure.

We all know what has happened to the Republicans. After over a decade in power, the GOP lost control of both houses of Congress in an historic election defeat brought on by scandals, record deficits, and an unpopular President leading an equally unpopular war.

What is less well known is what happened to Limbaugh. After the Republican defeat, he told his listeners that he “was no longer going to carry the water for the Republican Party.” Maybe it should have been the other way around. The Republican Party might have said “we are no longer going to allow Rush Limbaugh to carry our water”.

The opinionated talk host is probably responsible for delivering the Senate to the Democrats. In the final days of the 2006 election campaign, Limbaugh immersed himself in a very tight Missouri Senatorial campaign by accusing popular actor and Parkinson Disease victim, Michael J. Fox, a supporter of Democratic Party candidate Claire McCaskill, of faking his symptoms.

The polls showed McCaskill losing the election in the final days, however, after Limbaugh’s idiotic charge against Fox, McCaskill won the election and the Democrats took over the Senate by one seat.

Limbaugh's loss of standing with Republicans is not his only problem.

Since his triumph in 1994, El Rushbo has seen his audience decline by about 35%. In addition, despite his favorable scheduling on the top talk radio stations in the country (usually 50,000-watt flame-throwers) often preceded by strong local talk shows:

  • Rush will probably soon lose his number one status to Sean Hannity, who according to Talkers Magazine, is just slightly trailing Limbaugh.

  • Sources in the PI business have told Talking Radio that they are paying half of what they paid ten years ago for a national spot on Limbaugh’s Show.

  • Bill Handel, the number one local talk show in the country, told a group a radio execs at the recent R&R Talk Radio Seminar in Los Angeles that “Rush’s ratings [on KFI in Los Angeles] are one third what they were ten years ago.”

  • The only question is not whether Limbaugh is “irrelevant” but rather why is he hanging around talk radio when he is persona non grata in the Republican Party and losing listeners at the same rate that Air America Radio is losing stations?

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Dennis Miller's Underwhelming Station Lineup

    After a failed TV talk show and equally unsuccessful attempt to be a color commentator on Monday Night Football, Dennis Miller, will try to resurrect his faltering career, once again, on Monday with a syndicated talk radio show that will reportedly debut on 80 stations.

    We say "reportedly," because Westwood One, which is syndicating Miller’s talk show, has only identified 11 of the stations that will be carrying the show. In a press release, announcing the launch, WW1 claims that 80 stations will offer the show, including seven in the top 10 markets.

    Five of the seven are low-rated Salem Communications stations that will have to juggle their line-up of such talk radio heavy weights as Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Mike Gallagher, and Michael Savage to accommodate Miller’s three hour daily show. The other two top ten affiliates are Clear Channel second tier talkers-- KNEW in San Francisco and KTRH in Houston.

    Here are the 11 station’s clearing the Dennis Miller Show that were announced by WW1 along with market rank and current ratings:

    The combined share of these stations is less than a buck. In fact, KFI in Los Angeles reaches more homes in Southern California than all these 11 stations, including KRLA in LA, reach in the whole country.

    Even the struggling liberal talk stations beat the Miller affiliates. In seven markets where they compete, the lib talk station beats the Miller station in four of those markets, loses in two, and ties in one.

    Now remember, these 11 stations are the only markets that WW1 has announced prior to the launch. We will have to wait until Monday to find out what the other 69 markets look like. We don’t expect it will be pretty.

    It appears that Michael Savage is the big loser on the seven Salem stations that are adding Miller’s talk show. Savage is being dropped from four of these stations – KNUS in Denver, WDTK in Detroit, WNTP in Philadelphia, and KYCR in Minneapolis and moved to less desirable time slot on KRLA in Los Angeles.

    It will be interesting to see what incumbent right wing talkers get the boot on the other 69 stations that will be adding Miller’s Show on Monday. We will attempt to answer this question as the news leaks out next week.

    While we are not big fans Dennis Miller, we remain open-minded about his upcoming show. WW1 has avoided the hard core right wing talk format offered by other syndicators like Premiere, ABC Radio Networks, and Talk Radio Network. They favor a more moderate stable of talkers including Imus, Tom Leykis, Jim Kramer, Don & Mike, Jim Bohannon, and Larry King. The only bonafide conservatives syndicated by WW1 are Bill O’Reilly and Lars Larson.

    In any case we’ll take a straight trade of Dennis Miller for Michael Savage any time. Even with a player to be named later.

    Maron Severs Ties With AAR

    It appears that Marc Maron’s "on again off again" relationship with Air America Radio is permanently "off" according to an announcement released by the former AAR talker today.

    The announcement (see below) seems to suggest that Maron will have nothing to do with liberal talk radio network and his former friend and colleague Sam Seder. As we reported here, last week, Maron told the audience at a comedy club appearance last week in Tucson that AAR offered him Seder’s morning slot and that he turned it down.

    If such an offer was ever made we have not been able to confirm it from any other source.

    Here’s the text of Maron’s announcement:

    Here some sad news out of the gate. I will not be returning to Air America Radio. Today will be the last time I call in on Sam Seder's show. I will not be guest hosting any Air America shows in the future. This is all my choice. No conspiracy here. I'm just done with that company. My relationship with AAR is officially over. Thank you all for your support over the last couple of years. I've got to let go and move on.There are some things percolating at HBO. I have no real news about what or when or if but there is percolation.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Maron-Seder Controversy Continues to Simmer

    Last night we reported that Marc Maron made an announcement over the weekend that he was offered the morning slot on Air America Radio, but turned it down when he realized that he would be replacing his friend and former AAR colleague Sam Seder.

    The announcement was not attributed directly to Maron, but rather from an unnamed person who attended his stand-up comedy show at the Punchline in Atlanta.

    Now Maron has somewhat modified that statement. According to Blatherwatch, which originally broke the story, Maron now says that he was offered the morning slot on AAR and that he was told that Seder’s show was not being cancelled, but rather moved to evenings.

    Maron told Blatherwatch that "Sam did not know this." Maron told Sam about the offer and AAR’s plans to move his show."After thinking about it," Maron claims that he decided to turn down the offer "for a number of reasons."

    "One of the reasons that I turned down the offer," Maron claimed, "was my respect for and my relationship with Sam."

    Maron has good reasons to be reluctant to rejoin the AAR program line-up. First he was fired by former CEO Danny Goldberg who reportedly did not "get" the comic’s humor. Then after Maron started an evening talk show on AAR's Los Angeles affiliate KTLK in early 2006, the show was never picked up for syndication by AAR despite assurances to do so from the network.

    Still no comment from AAR on the controversy.

    Is Seder Out at AAR?

    As we sign off for the night, we have reluctantly decided to report the rumor that Sam Seder will be the first AAR talk show host to be canned by the Green team.

    The report of Sam’s demise first appeared earlier today in Mike Hood’s usually reliable Blatherwatch blog. Later in the day it showed up in the equally reliable Liberal Talk Radio blog, and then, the story was covered by usually unreliable Radioequalizer.

    At this point, we checked Majority Report blog, where dozens of comments appeared on today’s blog entry relating to the above referenced reports. Since most of these comments were posted by Sam Seder fans, the tone was one of disappointment mixed with resignation.

    So what is all the fuss about?

    It seems that someone attending a stand-up comedy performance by Marc Maron at the Punchline in Atlanta this past weekend reported that Maron said that Seder was being fired and that he (Maron) had turned down an offer to replace him. Blatherwatch and Liberal Talk Radio claimed that they had received an email from this person, but neither blogger was able to confirm the "rumor" with either Seder or Maron.

    Needless to say, as of the close of business today, AAR has not made any announcement.

    Seder’s Show has not done very well in syndication. In the West Coast, he is up against the popular Stephanie Miller Show and on the East Coast, Seder has lost coverage to Bill Press and several local market talkers.

    However, it would seem that a decision on the future of Seder’s Show is a bit premature. In a story in yesterday’s edition of New York Daily News radio reporter David Hinckley asked AAR’s new v.p. of programming, David Bernstein about his plans to review the liberal radio networks program line-up.

    "...As a product, it's too early to say if we're going in the right direction," said Bernstein. "It may be that in the end, we're already giving people exactly what they want. That's what I'll be looking at."

    On the job for less than a week, this is what one would expect Bernstein to say.

    As for the rumor in Atlanta. Who knows? Maybe Maron just made a bad joke.

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Lib Talk Faces New Morning Competition

    Just when liberal talk radio seems to be turning things around with the rebirth of Air America Radio and other signs of life, like the programming makeover at KTLK in Los Angeles, we learn of another development out of New York that may further undermine the format.

    The New York Times reports today that WNYC is teaming up with Public Radio International to produce a national morning radio program that will compete with National Public Radio's long-running and popular "Morning Edition."

    Also participating in the not-yet-named program are the BBC World Service, New York Times Radio and WGBH, the Boston public radio station. BBC correspondents and reporters and critics for The New York Times are to provide on-air reports for the live news program and take part in what is expected to be its more informal, conversational format.

    The goal of the new program is to expand the public radio audience by focusing on a younger, more multicultural listener. The WNYC/PRI venture appears to be jumping the gun on NPR which recently announced plans to launch a similar program – aimed at the 25-44 audience -- this fall.

    NPR is expected to announce this week that its program will have as its co-host Luke Burbank, a national NPR reporter who earned some followers last year when he served as an interim host for the cheeky quiz show "Wait, Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!"

    What this means is that liberal talk radio can anticipate even more competition to attract liberal and moderate radio listeners in the critical morning drive daypart.
    Morning edition with an audience of over 13 million listeners claims to be the most popular morning talk radio show in the country.

    Commercial lib talk offers a variety of morning programming from 6am to 9am. The syndicated talkers include the Young Turks and Bill Press in the Eastern and Central time zones and Stephanie Miller and Sam Seder out west. Some lib talk stations – like KLSD in San Diego, KPOJ in Portland, KKZN Denver, and WINZ in Miami – offer local talkers during morning drive. It is doubtful that the entire lib talk audience exceeds two million listeners.

    The WNYC/PRI and NPR ventures can be expected to actively compete for listeners that are now listening to local or syndicated lib talk. In many cities nationwide more than one public radio station carries "Morning Edition," and some are eager to find an alternative. Some smaller public radio stations don’t carry "Morning Edition" because of the hefty fees that NPR charges; others are adding programs on their digital signals.

    The two-hour WNYC and Public Radio International program, which is in the process of auditioning for a host and will originate from WNYC’s new studios, is planning to be on the air in the pre-9 a.m. hours by early next year.

    The New York Times article quotes WNYC Radio’s president and chief executive, Laura Walker.

    "There is a need for another program with a more conversational tone that would reach out to a diverse audience and reflect the changing America, including immigrants with a tradition of listening to the BBC, Walker said. "We have a vision of what we think is needed, and we think we are the right people to do it."

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Lib Talk Hits Unlucky "21"

    The on again off again status of liberal talk radio in El Paso seems to be off again. The Newspaper Tree in El Paso reports today that KHRO-AM 1650 will flip from Air America programming to oldies some time in April.

    This represents the 21st station to drop the format in a little more than a year. (See "Impact of Flips on Lib Talk Coverage" in the "Right Column") for more details.

    According to the report KHRO general manager David Candeleria will retain local talk in the morning and switch to oldies in afternoon and evening.

    Currently the station carries a morning three hour talk show called "El Paso on the Move"—co hosted by Paul Strelzin, a liberal and David Karlruher, a conservative.

    When the programming format is changed in April, both Strelzin and Karlruher will be given morning shows. Candeleria is negotiating with a moderate talker for a third show. The morning talk block will run from 7am to 12 noon.

    Candelaria calls the new format "Radio Free El Paso," adding that "El Paso is behind the eight ball when it comes to local talk."

    Apparently, some radio listeners think that El Paso is also behind the eight ball when it comes to lib talk. The Newspaper Tree reports that many fans of "On the Move" have expressed disappointment that the Entravision owned station is dropping AAR.

    After a two week lull, stations appear to be dropping lib talk once again. Yesterday we reported that KXDE-AM in Little Rock was flipping from lib talk to sports. (See Breaking News.)

    The new management of AAR would be better advised to spend their time trying to reverse the trend of lib talk flips than to battle with Fox and the Republican Party over presidential debate coverage.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Radio Veteran Named Top Programmer at AAR

    A key position on the new management team of Air America Radio was filled today with the announcement that veteran talk radio executive, David Bernstein, will join the network as vice president of programming.

    AAR, which has been criticized for not hiring enough people with a radio background, went with experience in bringing on Bernstein, who has been in the radio business for 32 years. His resume includes programming and news management positions at several top rated stations including WOR, WBZ, WRKO, WHDH, WPRO, WDBO, WAAF, and WTIC.

    Bernstein is currently the owner/president of Bernstein Talent, a consulting firm for radio talk show hosts. He is also an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

    "David is just the Rx that the doctor ordered," said AAR president Mark Green. "He has a successful track record of over two decades of building ratings and branding talk radio. Because his ability to work with high profile talent is unparalleled, David will be a vital part of Air America 2.0."

    It will be interesting to see how Bernstein fits in with struggling liberal talk radio network since most of his experience involved jobs with conservative talk stations.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    "Who's Right, Who's Far Right and Who Cares"

    We spend a lot time covering news about the emerging liberal talk radio scene. However, the fact is that over 90% of political talk radio is conservative. Furthermore, a survey conducted by Democracy Radio in 2004 found that for every one hour of lib talk programming there are 13 hours of conservative talk.

    One was reminded of the second class citizen status of lib talk at the recent Talk Radio Seminar in Los Angeles sponsored by Radio and Records Magazine. Conservative talk signage dominated the exhibitor space in the lobby of Marina del Rey Marriott hotel, conservative talkers and station managers were featured as speakers and panelists. In fact, the two keynote speakers were conservatives -- comedian Dennis Miller and former US Senator, Fred Thompson.

    It was a humbling experience for a reporter covering the fledgling lib talk genre. Now this observation it is not meant to be critical of Radio & Records or their editorial staff. They put on an excellent event. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to network with many talk radio industry professionals and to participate in several stimulating panel sessions.

    And I did get to meet several syndicated lib talk hosts including Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Bill Press, Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks, and Peter B. Collins. In addition, there was KTLK, Los Angeles' Mario Solis-Marich, late night AAR host Jon Elliott, and former WWKB, Buffalo host Leslie Marshall -- who will soon be syndicated. (more on these developments later.)
    Finally, there were recently unemployed lib talkers Enid Goldstein, formerly with KCTC in Sacramento, and Cary Harrison, who got canned two weeks ago by KTLK.

    I also got some valuable face time with several people who have been instrumental in the development of the lib talk format over the past three years.

    For example Stephanie Miller producer, Ron Hartenbaum, creator of the Ed Schultz Show and former head of Democracy Radio, Tom Athans, Jones Radio vp and general manager Amy Bolton, Tamara Karcev, the lone representative from Air America Radio, and Paul "Woody" Woodhull, part owner of the Ed Schultz and Bill Press Shows.

    We all attended the panel session on political talk radio. It was called "Who's Left, Who's Right, Who Cares." It should have been called "Who Right, Who's Far Right, and Who Cares?"

    The panelists included two talk radio hosts, right of center and immigrant basher Bill Handel --the morning talk host on KFI in Los Angeles, and syndicated conservative talker, Jerry Doyle.

    The moderator was another right of center talker, Jim Bohannon, who referred to Stephanie Miller as the "top midget in the room" when one of panelists had something nice to say about Mama.

    Also participating on the panel was Bill Hampton, former member of the college Young Republicans and producer of the Dave Ramsey Show, Phil Boyce, ABC vp for news/talk programming, Gabe Hobbs Clear Channel Radio vp for news/talk/sports, and Jones' Amy Bolton.

    Boyce’s claim to fame was having the prescience to launch the Sean Hannity Show on Sept. 11, 2001 and getting about a dozen local talkers canned, including Mr. KABC when he introduced the Mark Levin Show

    Handel, who recently threatened to kick the ass of female dj on KYSR, warned that the current overuse of labels such as "conservative host" and "liberal host" could cost talk radio some listeners because the focus is wrong. "Hosts, he stressed, "have to be personalities first, interesting and entertaining. He complained that too much of talk radio has fallen into a pattern of politics all day, morning to night, with just another host saying the same thing as the program before him."

    But the best member of the panel was Clear Channel’s Hobbs, who candidly reminded everyone that talk radio was a business and that following a political agenda is "best way to insure failure."

    "Politics suck," Hobbs said. "It’s our job to make it suck less."

    When Boyce claimed that he took five years to recover after firing local conservative host Bob Grant, Hobbs shot back that now a gm has to fix such a problem by the next quarter.

    There were no surprises at the awards luncheon. After sixty something Art Bell accepted his lifetime achievement award while his 20 something pregnant wife looked on, Rush Limbaugh was recognized as the best syndicated talk host of year despite another year of declining ratings and the other major talk radio awards were divvied up between number one talk station KFI in LA and number two talk station KGO in San Francisco.

    The next right wing love fest will take place in early June, when Talkers Magazine hosts the New Media Seminar in New York.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    LA to Host Annual Talk Radio Seminar this Weekend

    The best talk radio confab is not the well-known Talkers Magazine event held for the past ten years in New York City. If you want to catch the best, most informative, and well produced gathering of talk radio personalities and other industry representatives such as station managers and syndicators, you should plan on attending Radio and Records Talk Radio Seminar, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Los Angeles.

    Held alternately in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, TRS is the largest annual gathering of News and Talk radio executives, programmers and talents from across the country. Featuring 2½ days of intensely format-focused learning sessions to help you improve ratings and revenues, and an array of celebrity speakers from the worlds of both politics and broadcasting, TRS is an annual must attend gathering for a "who's who" of America's News/Talk broadcasters.

    This year's TRS will be held at the Marina del Rey Marriott near LAX in Los Angeles. The confab gets underway on Thursday at 3:30 pm with the R&R TRS Roundtable. A distinguished panel of industry heavyweights from management, sales, programming, research and technology will offer an updated "state of the format" and identify and assess the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead.

    On Friday the TRS will get into high gear with a morning appearance by Dennis Miller, who will soon launch a syndicated talk show and luncheon speeches by Fred Thompson of ABC News Radio and Chief William Bratton, of the Los Angeles Police Department.

    The TRS will wrap up on with the R&R Annual News/Talk Industry Achievement Awards Luncheon, which will include a rare public appearance from legendary late night talker, Art Bell.

    Attendees at the TRS will be able to participate in a wide range of seminars on such topics as "What Your Newsroom Needs to Learn", "News/Talks Internet Radio Future", "Who’s Left, Who’s Right, Who Cares," and "What? I’m Fired?"

    For a complete schedule of the TRS events and programs go the Radio and Records website.
    The best news is that it is 80 degrees today in Los Angeles and the weather is predicted to be beautiful this weekend.

    ***News Bulletin***

    New Management Takes Over at AAR

    The sale of Air America Radio to the Green Family was completed today. As suspected, Mark Green, brother of the principle investor, Stephen L. Green, will take a prominent role in the management of AAR. He will be president and his brother Stephen, chairman of the board.
    Scott Elsberg will stay on as COO and Terry Kelly’s, Progressive Radio Group and Rob Glazer’s Democracy Allies will be minority shareholders.

    "We’re obviously thrilled and relieved that the Green family will now take control of Air America and help take it to a new level," said Elberg. "We look forward to expanding our audienceand continuing to give a voice to the progressive movement in this country."

    "Air America is a great idea and iconic name, but it’s also been an underperforming asset with unrealized potential," said Stephen L. Green. "We intend to stabilize its structure, programming and balance sheet – and then to turn it around by next year. I’m a businessman used to making money and Air America will be no exception."

    "We plan on a two-step turnaround to make this great brand Air America 2.0," added Mark Green. "First, we'll make sure our programming stays informative, sharp and entertaining – so that it's appealing to a growing audience and advertisers alike. Second, we’ll be thinking outside the radio box by creatively distributing great content across many platforms in the next years, including the web, video, mobile and broadband. We intend to become a must-hear content site for all people interested in truth, justice and the Air American way."

    Green announced the his first initiatives as AAR's new presdent in a article today in Huffington Post. Those initiatives include a challenge to the New Hampshire Republican Party and the Editorial Page Editor of the New York Posts.

    Green stated in his Huff Po piece that he had contacted the New Hampshire Republican Party and the New York Post editorial page.

    "Since the Democratic Party of Nevada actually invited Fox News to host that state's Democratic debate," Green stated. "I asked if Air America could host the first Republican debate in New Hampshire, assuring them that "we too can be fair and balanced."
    And to Bob McManus, editorial page editor of The New York Post, I proposed that he come on Air America to discuss his views and that Air America commentators would in turn once-a-month write an op-ed on his pages, because 'it's better to exchange ideas than insults.' His 500,000 readers should hear from us and our 2 million+ audience should hear from him."

    The new owners will have to do a lot of thinking both inside and out of the box to turn around struggling AAR venture. Over the past year, 20 stations have dropped AAR programming and only two have signed on as affiliates. A month ago , their top talker and high profile spokesman, Al Franken, left to pursue a career in politics, and there are signs that some of the remaining affiliates, like KTLK in Los Angeles, are moving away from the AAR brand.

    The "Equalizer" Does not Provide Equal Time

    I read with some amusement this morning an article by Brian Maloney, who blogs as the Radioequalizer. Maloney is a right-winger, who seems to be obsessed with liberal talk radio. About 90% of the articles on his blog deal with lib talk and about half of these articles focus on Air America Radio and their former top talker Al Franken.

    Now that AAR is temporarily out of the news and Franken is gone, Maloney is looking for other lib talk topics to blog on. This morning it was another left of center talker that Maloney had it in for – Tom Finneran.

    The morning host on Boston’s mostly conservative talk station WRKO, Finneran has been the target of a least a half dozen articles on the Radioequalizer blog. In fact, Maloney has so much antipathy towards Finneran that he has actually created a blog to just attack WRKO’s decision to give the former Democratic state legislator his own talk show!

    Today, Maloney attacked Finneran, who made a made a bad joke about fellow WRKO talk show host, Howie Carr. Carr's conservative talk show is carried on weekday evenings on the Boston talk station.

    Last week, Finneran, who was interviewing Massachusetts Governor Devel Patrick, said that the two of them should take "Howie Carr for a ride," and "only two will come back."

    Patrick was the in-studio guest of "Finneran’s Forum" last Wednesday. The joke was prompted when Finneran and Gov. Patrick were commenting on a never-before-seen photo in the Boston Herald of 1976 Irish mob victim Richie Castucci’s final resting-place in the blood-soaked trunk of his Cadillac.

    Well, needless to say Carr was not very pleased about the joke. He was quoted in the Herald as saying "Real men don’t talk about putting people in trunks, they just do it." Carr also referred to Finneran’s legal problems. He was convicted of obstruction of justice and sentenced to 18 months of unsupervised probation.

    "I think the judge ought to send him to jail," Carr said. "That’s where he belonged in the first place and this just reiterates it."

    And this is where Maloney jumps in.

    He made the following comment on his blog today.

    "In your office, would it be okay to suggest out loud that a hated co- worker oughta get whacked in a mob hit?If you're looking for an early retirement, give this a try sometime. In Boston, however, convicted felon- turned- morning host Tom Finneran has done just that, with Howie Carr, the target of his affection, demanding jail time as a result of the on- air threat."

    It’s interesting that Maloney, who wants Finneran to be punished for making a bad joke, never had anything to say when several right-wing talk show hosts and commentators expressed similar death wishes over the air.

    Where was Maloney when Melanie Morgan, mid-day talker on KSFO in San Francisco and TR’s "worst talker of the week" said "its time to put on bull’s eye" on Nancy Pelosi. Morgan also said that she "would have no problem" with New York Times executive editor Bill Keller "being sent to the gas chamber" if he "were to be tried and convicted of treason" for the publication of an article about a Treasury Department program that monitors international financial transactions for terrorist activity.

    Or when Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

    How about when Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said that the Los Angeles Times editorial board wouldn't understand O’Reilly’s objection to legal representation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, until terrorists kill editorial page editor Michael Kinsley.

    Or when Clear Channel radio host Glenn Beck said he was "thinking about killing [filmmaker] Michael Moore" and pondered whether "I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it."

    I searched Maloney’s blog and did find any references to these death wishes.

    Also, I did not find any articles about conservative talk hosts who were convicted felons.

    There was no mention of convicted Watergate burglar, G. Gordan Liddy, who does a daily talk show for Radio America, or former talk show host and convicted Irangate conspirator Oliver North, or for that matter, convicted drug user and number one conservative talk host, Rush Limbaugh.

    No, Maloney’s outrage about Finneran’s legal problems is not expressed when talkers on the right hope that liberals or Democrats get whacked. Or when right-wing ex-cons get gigs as talk show hosts. The Radioequalizer is not an equal opportunity outrager.

    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    KTLK in Los Angeles Does Programming Makeover

    Updated, March 2, 11:35 pst. Updated portion in bold face

    It’s good news for Marc Germain, Alan Colmes, and Bill Press, but bad news for several Air America Radio talkers, local yakker Cary Harrison, WOR’s Lionel, and Jones Radio’s talk star Ed Schultz as KTLK-AM the liberal talk station in Los Angeles announced a total makeover of their programming line-up today.

    Germain, formerly know as Mr. KABC, who is a well known radio personality in Southern California, gets the coveted 3pm-7pm drive time slot, which puts him head to head with the John and Ken Show, the top afternoon talk show in LA. To make room for Germain, KTLK, moves the Ed Schultz Show, to 7pm-10pm, drops local talker Cary Harrison, who in now carried from 8pm-10pm, and moves Randi Rhodes from 3pm-6pm to 12pm-3pm. Also, Rachel Maddow gets bumped from 6pm-8pm to 10pm-12am.

    In other moves KTLK will be replacing Lionel, who was carried from 10pm-1pm with Alan Colmes, who get’s the 12am-3am late night slot. Insomniacs in LA, which is the number two radio market, will also notice some changes. Off the schedule are AAR talkers, David Bender, Marc Riley, and the Young Turks, replaced by Bill Press who will carried from 3am-6am.

    The only KTLK talkers that will not be effected by the schedule shift are Stephanie Miller, 6am-9am and Thom Hartmann 9am-12pm.

    The new line-up will take effect on Monday.

    This is probably the most significant shake-up of a liberal talk radio station since the AAR launch three years ago. Lib talk stations around the country will probably be watching the move and possible some them will doing similar makeovers.

    The big news in the shake-up for radio listeners in LA is the fact Germain has found a new radio home for his quirky show.

    We have just receiving a comment from Germain which includes some information about his upcoming show on KTLK:

    • He will be known as Marc "Mr. K" Germain on his new show

    • Lisa Goich will be his producer/sidekick

    • He will do a sneak show tonight (Friday) from 8pm-10pm

    I guess Cary Harrison doesn’t even get the chance for a swan song.

    Germain started his broadcast career in the mid 90’s when he was known as Mr. KFI. He moved his show to KABC in 1996. The show was very unique. He would start out by saying we don’t have guests, no topics, and no call screeners. The name of the show was "Ask Mr. KABC" and the callers were all over the map, usually not political types.

    Callers were required to ask a question. Often those questions were quite bizarre, like "how fast does hair grow?" Or "what is heavier – milk or cream?"Some of the features that he popularized were allowing callers to hang up on themselves, identifying the rare female callers, as "another KABC vixen," and his standard rejoinder when asked how he was doing – "better than most not as good as some."While the Mr. KABC show was not political it was clear that Mr. KABC was moderate to liberal on most issues.

    As the station moved further to the right about six years ago by first adding Sean Hannity and then Bill O’Reilly. At the same time they dumped liberal radio’s most famous host, Michael Jackson and completing their line-up with a conservative gay guy – Al Rantel and a conservative black guy – Larry Elder. (KFI already had the conservative Jewish Guy --Dennis Praeger.)

    Not everybody is happy about KTLK’s programming makeover. Supporters of "Harrison of the Edge," Cary Harrison’s nightime talk show have launched a website where Harrison supporters can tell KTLK management that they are not happy about losing his talk show and gaining a moderate talker like Germain and even more controversial lib talker like Fox’s Alan Colmes.

    In a post today on a blogger called "thepen" calls the programming makeover "a creeping right wing radio putsch."

    Citing the recent wave of lib talk station flips, the blogger says that the owners of KTLK are doing something different in Los Angeles.

    "Where they can't shut down an outlet entirely they are working to dilute it, to neuter it time slot by time slot, to pick us off one by one, as if we were too stupid to notice the difference. It's the Jerry Springer effect, and then when something like the Air America Radio bankruptcy takes place they jump up and say, ‘See, it doesn't work’."