The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

28 September 2005

Latest Developments


Plus, Hound's Faulty Scent, Spin Of The Week

Here's an idea for Air America's promotions department: merge host Al Franken with that giant squid making big headlines today. It'll do wonders for the network's faltering ratings, won't it?

With Frankensquid at the helm, the show could be funnier, honest and certainly more compelling. Maybe the Cartoon Network is interested.

While the monster sea creature grabbed all the attention Tom DeLay didn't get from the mainstream media today, Air America's CEO Danny Goldberg (say, Danny, what's your corporate exit strategy?) released an all-but-ignored statement.

Luckily, the Radio Equalizer is here to help (we wouldn't want Goldberg's thoughts to be overlooked), so here it is in full:

From Danny Goldberg, CEO of Air America Radio.

Recently, Air America Radio came under attack from the same cast of right wing media characters who have attacked the Network for ideological reasons from day one. A recent piece in the New York Post by John Mainelli states that “Air America is in...bad financial shape.”

On September 20th Bill O’Reilly on Fox News which, like the New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation said that Air America “could be on its last legs.”

This is untrue. Air America is in strong financial shape. Last week we started broadcasting from our new multi-million dollar studios. Several weeks earlier the Board of Directors of Air America’s parent company accelerated re-payment of a loan from the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club of $875,000 two years in advance of a previously agreed upon re-payment plan.

In the last several months, Air America has expanded its executive team to augment our efforts on the internet and in affiliate relations. The pretext for the latest smears is an initiative I launched last week called Air America Associates, in which I asked our listeners to support our programming financially and at various levels offer bumper stickers, tote bags, etc. as a way of thanking them. (We received thousands of responses, far beyond what we projected for the first few days).

Many of our listeners also listen to NPR stations and Pacifica and are used to supporting radio programming they like. I got the idea from the Nation Magazine’s program “The Nation Associates” which helps them fund investigative journalism. Like Air America Radio, The Nation is a for-profit company.

But the conservative propagandists have tried to make it seem like there is something unseemly because Air America Radio is both commercial—and a radio network, as O’Reilly said last night, “I have never seen a commercial enterprise ask their listeners for money—ever” This is also false. The modern model of the broadcasting business involves numerous revenue streams.

If anything, Air America has been late in fully building such an infrastructure which the “Associates” is a part of. For example, Rush Limbaugh’s Web-site offers his fans the “Limbaugh Letter” for $34.95 a year and a totally separate service called Rush 24/7 which includes access to archived programs at the cost of $49.95 a year.

The Limbaugh site also features the “EIB Store” which sells such items as $19.95 polo shirt which amusingly says, “My Mullah went to G’itmo and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” The Sean Hannity Web-site features a “subscription” to something called, “The Hannity Insider” for $5.95 a month. But no one tops the self proclaimed non-spinner Bill O’Reilly. Bill O’ offers a “premium membership” for either $4.95 a month or $49.95 a year.

He also offers a “Gift certificate” for $14.95. Products for sale on the Web site include:

-- Radio Factor diner coffee mug available in white or navy blue for $14.95
- O’Reilly Factor keychain for $7.95 “while supplies last.”
--Three different “No Spin” tote bags at $14.95 apiece
--Ten different hats at a cost of $16.95 each
--The “no spin” jacket for $79.95
--The “ Unisex Black Fleece” embroidered with “The Spin Stops Here” for $39.95
--Several bumper stickers including one that reads “Boycott France” for $2.50
--License plate frame for $18.95
--Three different “No Spin” tote bags at $14.95 each
--An O’Reilly Factor Gear Bag at $64.95
-- “Mens Garment Bag” for $64.95 (sorry ladies!)
--a “Spin Stops Here” organizer briefcase
--A “Spin Stops Here” pen and pad bundle for $19.95
--Two different designs of “Spin Stops Here” doormats for $49.95 and
--Two different “Rain Stops Here” umbrellas at $24.95(“Show everyone who protects you from the rain”)

Mainelli’s article also repeated another falsehood about Air America saying “More recently the 70 station left network has been suffering lower ratings.” His corporate cousin O’Reilly wishfully stated on August 17th said “Air America—nobody is listening to it,”

On Aug 3rd O’Reilly claimed that “Air America cannot support itself because of low ratings” and on July 26th O’Reilly said “The Air America radio network continues to fail with catastrophic ratings here in New York City. ” In fact, the ratings for the Bill O’Reilly radio show in New York were worse than those on Air America that he described as “catastrophic.”

In the key 25-54 year demographic which talk radio offers to advertisers, the Spring, 2005 Arbitron ratings showed that Monday-Friday from 2-4 PM when O’Reilly is on WOR-AM and which at Air America’s 1190 WLIB-AM contains the last hour of “The Al Franken Show” and the first hour of “The Randi Rhodes Show,” that O’Reilly had a .3 share and Air America a .4 share. O’Reilly had a cumulative audience of 75,400 and Air America had a cumulative audience of 89,300.

Inevitably ratings go up and down and vary from time slot to time slot and from market to market. Right wing bloggers have had fun cherry picking isolated pieces of ratings reports to distort the enormous enthusiasm Air America’s growing audience has demonstrated. At the vast majority of our affiliates Air America ratings are up.

On a nationwide basis the most recent Arbitron ratings Spring 2005 ratings book showed that our affiliates reach over three million people per week each of whom listens for an average of several hours a week. This is more than triple the amount of people who were listening when measured one year earlier in the Spring, 2004 book.

I do not intend to write something every time something like this happens. In the almost six months during which I have been CEO of Air America Radio, I have refrained, for the most part, from responding to the litany of attacks, lies, half-truths and smears from various members of the right-wing media.

In general, it seems to me that paying too much attention to these people only encourages them and that we, at Air America, need to get used to the fact that the spirited progressive opinions of our on-air talent and of our audience will attract the kind of mean-spirited smears that are endemic to contemporary political conversation. After having a near monopoly on talk radio for so many years, some conservative media types are literally freaked out at confronting robust, persistent and passionate opposition.

On Sept 26th, O’Reilly desperately claimed that “Air America’s basic flaw is that “Americans do not want to hear that their country sucks 24 hours a day.” Of course the talent and management of Air America have a love of our country which is what animates all passionate debate on political issues form the left, right and center.

It is an obsession with stifling debate—even at the cost of using lies and distortions, which is un-American.

We'll break this lovely work of art down, distortion-by-distortion, a bit later.

Meanwhile, we knew we could count on the liberal NewsHounds site to attack us over Tuesday's O'Reilly segment. Sure enough, they came through.

Right off the bat they call Malkin, O'Reilly and myself "pigs", but the only evidence provided to refute our points comes from Air America's own site. Here, the same article appears again with a watered-down headline and many reader comments.

Looks like this dog just won't hunt.

Our "Spin of the Week" award goes to MediaWeek, for this reworking of the truth:

Since Air America launched in March 2004, the network has signed 70 affiliates, but has not had an easy time getting a financial foothold, bouncing checks during the initial launch period. Recently, the network had to repay $875,000 to the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, which helped fund the start-up network.

Is a bank robber's loot nothing more than a "start-up loan" to fund operations?

Your Amazon orders help to support this site's efforts (or, if you could just direct us to the nearest Boys & Girls Club). Thanks!


  • Hi Brian:
    I see you're too embarassed to respond to the fact that I am publicly mocking your pathetic credentials, as such, I am reprinting my post from the previous thread in the unlikely event anyone reads this post.

    Incidentally, I regret someone beat me to the punch in commenting on your complaint that the author of the Time piece you boast about so proudly in your bio was actually a left wing hatchett man.

    Sweet lord, you are both the most desperate and entertaining thing i've seen in a long time.

    I understand why you are so proud of this Time article that you're mentioned in.

    It's entitled:

    Austin Nevada: Conspiracy USA, in the middle of nowhere where the highway is empty it all fits together.

    "The drive-time talk jock (out here it's always drive time) is the inflammatory Brian Maloney, who makes Rush Limbaugh sound like Alan Alda. Maloney tends to open his monologues with the question that prefaces most conspiracy rants: "Don't you find it interesting that...?" For Maloney, who preaches that President Clinton is an "agent of influence" for the Chinese, there seems to be no such thing as a meaningless coincidence or a truthful politician. When a caller nominates Charlton Heston for Speaker of the House, it is not a joke."

    It really does all fit together doesn't it. You loon. /laughter

    By Blogger SEDER, at 29 September, 2005 00:48  

  • Sederific!


    By Blogger WHT, at 29 September, 2005 01:08  

  • I don't know if this was intentional or not, but the Goldberg comment is at the HuffPo. Where did he originally release this? DU?

    Arianna gladly accepts comments, but they're moderated, so I posted my open letter.

    Those newshounds comments are something else. The GOP should print them out and include them in their own begging letters.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 29 September, 2005 01:13  

  • Air America has made history in MY hometown!. Check it yourself. AAR has achieved a first for the 680 frequency in Memphis. A Zero rating. Zilch. Nada. WWTQ did not show up in the latest Arbitron. THAT should have the advertisers pounding on the door...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 29 September, 2005 01:33  

  • Still waiting on that IP Address.

    Apparently, WHT doesn't get the message.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 29 September, 2005 02:23  

  • While the monster sea creature grabbed all the attention Tom DeLay didn't get from the mainstream media today,...

    I predict that a National Enquirer-style pic with Franken's head superimposed on a giant squid will be posted by one of your wing-nut loons in just a matter of time.

    No wonder you're a laughing stock, Baloney. Do you actually think anyone is going to do anything but laugh at this, you twisted wing-nut? And putting your head in the sand and pretending that Delay is not all over the news is one strategy... not a very good one but hey... you're an idiot.

    Our "Spin of the Week" award goes to MediaWeek...

    Actually, lying that a giant squid is pushing Delay's indictment of the front pages is a much better candidate. But I actually think your bio wins hands-down.

    This week Seder revealed that you've padded your bio with a Time Magazine article that unfavorably compares you to Rush Drugbore written by an author who you denigrate and dismiss.

    I'm also interested in the veracity of your claim to a nomination to a Payne Ethics Awards for Ethics in Journalism. I wonder if the School of Journalism and Communication at UOregon can shed any light. Maybe Seder could do a follow-up investigative report.

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 29 September, 2005 09:04  

  • one thing i wanted to say about your appearance on O'Reilly was that not a single one of you (Maloney, Malkin, O'Reilly) provided a single number to back up any of your claims. you never once mentioned any specific arbitron ratings to indicate that they were "on their last leg" and you never mentioned any dollar amounts when talking about their "financial troubles." where are the numbers? you can just get on tv and make factless claims. that would be like me getting on television and telling everyone that you posed for playgirl. its called "false light" in legal terms, and it is an easily provable case. given the massive amount of trial lawyers aligned with us democrats, i'd suggest you watch what you say.

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 29 September, 2005 09:30  

  • still over 1300 rightwing personalities on the radio, and one leftwing radio network...leftwing biased...hhmm?

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 29 September, 2005 11:26  

  • You want numbers? Let's look at the numbers!

    From the Spring 05 II Arbitrons:

    Number of "AAR Stations" w/ a 4.0+ share: 1

    BUT ... It's KUMU in Honolulu, which is the Rush affiliate there that also happens to carry Franken. Needless to say, it's not a mystery as to who is carrying the station.

    Number of AAR Affiliates w/ a 2.0+ rating: 2

    KLSD (San Diego) 2.1
    KPTK (Seattle) 2.0

    Number of AAR Affiliates w/ Less than a 1.0 Rating: 21, including 8 with No Measurable Rating.

    Number of AAR Stations that, from Summer 05 I to Summer 05 II:
    Increased: 9, which include "Fake" AAR Affliate Honoluu. Most gains are of the Boston variety, WXKS and WKOX each gained 0.1 shares to go to 0.5 and 0.3 respectivly.

    Stayed the Same: 11, including
    Flagship WLIB (NYC) with a pitiful 1.0 rating and
    WCAA (Riverside)
    KOMY (Santa Cruz)
    KTXX & KRPT (San Antonio) which remained at 0.0 Rating.

    Dropped: 12 including "model affiliate" KKZN in Denver and
    WDTW (Detroit),
    WARF (Akron),
    WWRC (Wash DC),
    WWTQ (Memphis), which went from middling ratings to 0.0

    In fact, if you multiply the ratings by population size and add them up, you would see a drop of over 50,000 listeners on average, going from 880,759 average listeners in Spring 05 I measured markets to 828,890 in Spring 05 II.

    How is a drop of 52,000 average listeners NOT bad news for the network?!?

    --the other Bryan

    By Blogger BF, at 29 September, 2005 11:32  

  • I'm still waiting for a the big star that was compared to Rush Limbaugh in Time Magazine to join the USO Tour, you need help Maloney? The AFE office is located at the following address:
    Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE)
    1225 S. Clark Street, Suite 413
    Arlington, VA 22202-4306....1-800-458-0868. You don't have to be an entertainer or a musician, servicemen and women just like seeing people come to the warzone to say thanks. Do you really support the troops? are you anti-american or just anti-military? You can also find out how to sign up by asking Al Franken

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 29 September, 2005 11:41  

  • SSG Jeffrey Peskoff:

    Thank you for your service to our country.

    Are you able to provide some personal insight into how US servicemen and women in Iraq are being forced to purchase their own body armor? What are your thoughts about the reimbursement scheme that is yet to become operational? What are your thoughts about how Donald Rumsfeld and other senior Pentagon officials opposed this reimbursement scheme?

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 29 September, 2005 13:10  

  • PHil M:

    I was in Mosul, Iraq from April 2003 to March 2004. We didn't receive the new vests until October 2003. These vest were issued to us through normal supply channels. I had no clue that other units were not able to get vests and were being made to purchase them themselves. If servicemen were forced to spend out of their own pockets for flack vests, and Rumsfeld and other senior officials were opposed to reimbursing the servicemembers, I wouldn't be to surprised. I have always been opposed to civilian leadership that have no military background or past.

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 29 September, 2005 15:49  

  • We think Al Franken should spend his free time writing another book. And we've got the perfect title.

    By Blogger California Conservative, at 29 September, 2005 18:25  

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