The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 October 2005

Monday Updates


Deals With Two Companies, Sheldon's Mouth, More

Since May, we've had a lot of fun examining Rev. Al Sharpton's would-be, could-be talk radio career. Because announced plans never seem to pan out, it's mostly involved a lot of head-scratching.

With a new deal now reportedly signed, the Sharpton saga takes an especially puzzling turn: he's apparently a talk radio two-timer!

That's right, with the Boston Globe's Clea Simon revealing his new agreement, he's got a bit of a mess on his hands:

QUINCY -- Two powerhouses of urban radio are teaming up to launch an African-American centered talk radio network, the cornerstone of which will be programming hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Baltimore-based Radio One, the nation's seventh-largest radio company, and Reach Media, which owns and syndicates the highly successful ''Tom Joyner Morning Show," aim to roll out the network after the first of the year.

Radio One owns a controlling interest in Reach Media. The ambitious plan was discussed yesterday by Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins III during an interview at the new WILD offices at Marina Bay.

WILD-AM, which will carry the new network's programming, and its sister station, WILD-FM (the former Hot 97.7 WBOT-FM), underwent format changes on Oct. 20.

Both are owned by Radio One. If all goes as planned, the fledgling talk network will begin broadcasting on as many as 10 of Radio One's 70 stations, including AM outlets in Baltimore, Detroit, Miami, Cleveland, Washington D.C., and a handful of other cities.

The programming would also be offered to stations not owned by Radio One.''When we look across the landscape of formats that are missing," Liggins said, ''black -- African-American -- [talk radio] is one that is really underrepresented."

While programming has not been finalized, Liggins said that the as-yet-unnamed network will provide programming from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All well and good, with one small problem: according to Inside Radio and other sources, he still has the deal with Chicago-based Matrix Media, signed in May. That program was supposed to have begun some time ago, but never got off the ground.

Look for lawyers to quickly rack up hours, as Matrix and Radio One battle over which has exclusive rights to Two-Timin' Sharpton Radio.

Worse, nobody even knows if Sharpton has what it takes to survive in radio.

Another liberal always
good for a laugh is Lyndon LaRouche-following, Air America Co-founder Sheldon Drobny, said to cause considerable Al Franken unease due to his loose cannon-like qualities (though Franken resembles him a lot more these days).

What now? Drobny makes this outlandish claim in the leftist Buzzflash:

Sheldon Drobny, a founder of Air America and someone who "helped prosecute and defend white collar crime offenses for 38 years including experience with Mr. Fitzgerald's office in my home town Chicago," questions the prosecutor's independence and focus.

"Essentially Fitzgerald indicted Libby for preventing his prosecutor from proving the underlying crimes he was investigating by using a baseball metaphor in that Libby "threw sand in the umpires eyes," he writes.

"That part is patently absurd….... Those of us who know about prosecutors and Grand Jury investigations would tell you that Fitzgerald, using a baseball metaphor, threw the Bush cabal a "softball." And using a football metaphor, he "fumbled the ball."

Thirty-eight years as a prosecutor and defender in white collar crime cases? Which Sheldon Drobny personality is this one? His claims get more outlandish by the day.

Sure enough, BuzzFlash lefties don't bother to question this assertion.

Even some of Al Franken's supporters (read the comments below the article) think he was a day late and a dollar short with this Huffington Post piece.

Singer-songwriter-Air America weirdo Steve Earle is still pushing his bizarre off-off-off-even-further-off-Broadway play about executed murderer Karla Faye Tucker.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Texas singer-songwriter Steve Earle's play Karla opened off-off-Broadway last Sunday to mixed reviews. Earle, a longtime opponent of the death penalty, wrote the play about Karla Faye Tucker, who in 1998 was executed in Huntsville.

First staged in Nashville three years ago, the play now has a limited engagement at 45 Below Theatre, in the East Village. The play begins with its protagonist's lifeless body on the gurney.

Tucker (played by Obie winner Jodie Markell) arises to find herself in purgatory, where she recounts the story of her life, the gruesome pickax murders of her ex-boyfriend and his new flame, and her death-row conversion to Christianity.

The hard-living Earle, whose latest album and Air America radio show are both titled The Revolution Starts Now, has frequently discussed his own drug addiction and prison stint. He has said in interviews that in Karla his theme is "forgiveness."

What's so great about Earle's "hard living"? Would you want to meet this guy in a dark alley?

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Sharpton's A Real Card by Pete at IHillary. Steve Earle photo: AP.


  • I'd be glad to encounter Mr. Earle in a dark alley, and so would my friends, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.

    Phantom Driver
    Proud Father of an American Soldier

    By Blogger meesterjoneser, at 31 October, 2005 16:58  

  • Drobny offers an update in which he admits he's not an attorney. However, it might be possible for non-lawyers to be a certain type of attorney, so some might think he can't even get that right.

    The last sentence of the second para reveals a bit of that loose cannon quality. Read it in a Tommy Flanagan voice.

    The other, forgotten Air America scandal involved Al Sharpton: he was in the speeding car driven by Jarrett Maupin, who co-hosts a AAR Phoenix show with his son. The latter is a "Mini" version of the Rev. They made some really scurilous accusations after that incident.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 01 November, 2005 00:50  

  • "Slim Shady" Sharpie is playing both sides against his bank account in the middle?

    What was it that cop in Casablanca said? Oh yeah: SHOCKED!

    By Blogger TC, at 02 November, 2005 12:46  

  • Phantom Driver,

    Haven't you gotten the Memo? According to Michelle Malkin, only liberals say venom like you wrote. Such a shining example of conservative discourse.

    By Blogger Robert, at 02 November, 2005 22:36  

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