The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

04 May 2005

Zorn: I'm Still Waiting

Roadblocks, Misleading Info

Trib Columnist Still Seeking Radio Equalizer Refutation

Can Air America deliver the goods? Can it show where your Radio Equalizer's data is incorrect on liberal talk's weak performance?

Not only is Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn still waiting for that rebuttal, so it can quickly be published, it's also reported he hasn't exactly been treated honestly, or fairly, by their management.

He's twice referenced the Radio Equalizer, on AA's weak nationwide showing, but has yet to see proof I'm wrong. Today he repeated that challenge.

What are they waiting for? Can they deliver original, hard copy Arbitron data showing Air America succeeding, where I claimed it wasn't?

The funny thing is, Zorn's clearly a liberal, who would like to see Air America have a chance to succeed in the Chicago area.

Read his account of dealing with their politburo nyet-sters:

Air American officials were angry at me for the skeptical (yet supportive!) tone of my Tuesday column, even though most of the people I interviewed for the story threw roadblocks in my way, gave me incomplete or misleading information and didn’t have a good answer to the huge, obvious question of the national ratings picture.

It’s pretty safe to say that most of them knew, on Monday, that the liberal talk radio network would be debuting on the AM 850 frequency in Chicago on Thursday morning. Here is a link to the signal-coverage map, a portion of which is pictured above to the right.

Yet officials seemed to be hoarding this information, keeping the truth from me in order to leak it first to others.

“Nothing right now,” Harvey Wells told me Monday afternoon. He’s the Newsweb Corp. vice president who will oversee the new WCPT. “Nothing to report. We may have something in a few days. Don’t get ahead of yourself.”

Tuesday morning, then, he fired off an e-mail that began, “I must say that the column this morning was somewhat disappointing,” though he attached a press release suggesting that he had been far less than candid in our chat:

WCPT debuts at 8:00 a.m.(Thursday) with the Jerry Springer Show, via Air America Radio...at11:00 a.m. is the Al Franken Show from Air America Radio…. At 5 p.m. is the Ed Schultz Show…via Jones Radio Networks Incorporated. Rounding out the broadcast day is the Randi Rhodes Show from Air America Radio...In addition…WCPT will air several other shows including “Morning Sedition,” in early mornings, as well as programs hosted by Robert F.Kennedy Jr., former WLS-AM host, Mike Malloy, singer-songwriter, andGrammy Award-winner, Steve Earle.

I also received a call from an Air America Radio official who felt my characterization of the network’s ratings was unfair given what she’d told me about certain dayparts and demographics in New York City. But the story – or non-story—about AAR is that listenership is reportedly in the horse latitudes all across the country. I offered to post rebuttal figures and interpretations of ratings (it’s an art!) and will do so when those come in.

Okay, this isn't exactly the Aurora Shopper, it's the Chicago Tribune we're talking about, does Air America really want to tick off one of the country's biggest newspapers? Especially when there's no good reason?

What's their problem? Check his site again later for updated details.


  • AAR will never release the real numbers. You can gauge their succes by the excessive amount of public service announcements and local commercials the stations that carry AAR are playing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 May, 2005 22:07  

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