The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

02 November 2005

Risky Business


Sinking Ship Attracts Rats, Talk Fatigue Rising

Given Air America Radio's
sleaze, scandals, disarray and overspending, who would be interested in working there? After all, constant paycheck worries must quickly get old.

Sure enough, though, the liberal radio network has found their new executive vice president for syndication from an even smaller, less stable "progressive" outfit: Democracy Radio.

Former CEO Tom Athans, husband of US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), has joined the sinking ship.

Beats doing nothing, one supposes.

While a news release claims his primary duty will be to develop syndicated and network programming, a Radio Equalizer tipster maintains Athans will actually be spending most of his time from their new Washington, DC office, raising sorely-needed funds.

Apparently, that's what nearly everyone is focused on now, it's a frantic race to keep the network afloat.

Working part-time until January, Athans will be paid $165,000 in 2006.

When there isn't any money, how much sense does it make to open a new office? Advice to Athans: on payday, get to the bank quickly and forget about the direct deposit option.

A new survey shows significant fatigue by talk radio listeners, tired of the same topics and hosts. Increasingly, they're simply tuning elsewhere, according to a Bridge Ratings research study.

Since we've been watching talk radio's ratings fall quite dramatically since the 2004 election, it's not a big shock, but does verify Arbitron's audience data.

Given such a large number of ill-advised recent programming decisions, made by novices entrusted with talk radio stations, it's no surprise the audience is abandoning this format.

Michelle Malkin provided an unusually candid look at the hate mail and vitriol directed at her, during an interview on Tuesday's O'Reilly Factor.

Bill also spoke more openly about the problem than I've previously seen. In addition, Air America's recent flaps were briefly discussed.

The left's hate does seem worse than ever, doesn't it? You don't need to look any further than my comments section below to get a good taste of the depths to which they've recently sunk.

To watch the video clip, click the above link, courtesy of the Political Teen.

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    NEW YORK – October 27, 2005 – Air America Radio announced today that “The Al Franken Show” beat “The Rush Limbaugh Show” for the first time in San Francisco and Portland, Ore., 2 of the top 25 markets, in the target demo of 25-54, according to Summer 2005 Metro. The two shows air at the same time (9am-12pm) in both markets.

    In San Francisco, the #4 Metro, “The Al Franken Show, “ heard on KQKE, came in with a11,400 AQH and a 1.8 Share. “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” heard on KEX, had an 8,500 AQH and a 1.4 Share.

    In Portland, OR, the #24 Metro, “The Al Franken Show,” heard on KPOJ, was ranked #4 with an 11,800 AQH and a 5.6 Share. “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” heard on KEX, was ranked #7 and came in with a 10, 400 AQH and a 4.9 Share.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 02 November, 2005 10:11  

  • LOL!!!!

    Thats not news, it's expected that Al Franken would beat Rush in, quite possibly, the two most liberal cities in America.

    What were Al's numbers in the other 23 cities compared to Rush?

    By Blogger Vindi, at 02 November, 2005 13:55  

  • Brian,

    Per usual, your analysis of AAR's financial situation is incorrect. According to an SEC filing for Piquant (the holding co. for AAR), the station just got more than $1.5 million in new investment from undisclosed investors (undisclosed in the filing, which is commonplace for a private company). So I guess they can open that office after all.

    By Blogger Justin, at 02 November, 2005 14:49  

  • Justin that is good news, now maybe they can pay back the $875,000 that they stole from the Boys and Girls Club

    By Blogger Vindi, at 02 November, 2005 15:06  

  • Justin, $1.5m doesn't cover AAR's operations for even a single month.

    $1.5m just means Rob Glaser took out his wallet.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 02 November, 2005 17:04  

  • Justin, what filing are you referring to? EDGAR's not showing it, the three listed aren't available online, either. You have to go to the SEC to get them.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 02 November, 2005 17:12  

  • Brian,

    you are right -- SEC doesn't put these filings (called regulation d filings) online via Edgar, but certain private financial info/service providers do (they scan 'em in). costs a lot but my line of work has a direct need for them.

    But to share: Filing shows $1.7m raised from a single investor, but that the overall deal is for $3.4m (probably spaced out over a predetermined time -- some now, some later).

    Now a question for you: Considering that AAR seems to have some willing sugar daddies (not to mention small ratings gains in most of the major summer books), why do you keep insisting that AAR is about to implode from financial instability. Do you have access to the company's private financial statements? Assuming that you don't, it seems irresponsible to continue predicting its downfall of financial ground. Ditto goes for folks like O'Reilly and Malkin, who make similar statements without any tangible financial evidence to back it up. Supposition is not fact, and I'd like to think that even pundits recognize the difference.

    By Blogger Justin, at 03 November, 2005 00:48  

  • Dick Tuck:

    I'm not gonna hold you responsible for the mistakes that Air America has made in their reporting.

    KEX is NOT in San Francisco.

    Just thought you'd like to know. I'm not expecting you to change a thing.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 03 November, 2005 03:21  

  • "KEX is NOT in San Francisco."

    KEX is 1190 AM in another liberal bastion--PORTLAND, OREGON.

    Liberals--gotta love how they just screw things up because of their hatred for this country!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 03 November, 2005 06:17  

  • See, the thing is that AAR did mention that KEX is in Portland (see paragraph 3 of the first comment), the problem is that they mistakenly put KEX in the second paragraph instead of KQKE.

    Again, I don't blame Dick for this, as he was taking from a press release.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 03 November, 2005 12:39  

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