The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

13 January 2006

Bob Grant, MA GOP and Talk Radio, Weatherman Takes To Web


Radio Legend Signs Off, Springer Fluff, Tip Jars Of The Stars

Even for those not particularly familiar with the broadcast legend, it was quite a moving send-off for WOR/New York's Bob Grant this evening. Saying goodbye after decades of trailblazing talk radio entertainment, Grant was praised by some of the industry's biggest names, including Howard Stern.

In a particularly fascinating radio moment, Stern revealed just how much he had influenced his own career. In addition, Howard credited Grant for the development of the modern conservative movement, calling him years ahead of nearly everyone else.

Stern wondered why Grant hadn't become a major national star along the lines of Rush Limbaugh and praised him for his independent brand of conservative politics, seemingly free from partisan influence. He also found agreement from Grant in the idea that talk radio hosting is addictive and the domain of serious control freaks.

Just as significant: the Radio Equalizer felt we were getting a rare look at the real Howard Stern, free from his dirty, childish act. It would be great to hear more of this Stern sometime.

One thing's for sure: even at his advanced age, Grant still sounds better than much of what's on the air today. Perhaps we haven't yet heard the last of him.

While there's still no word on what will replace Bob Grant, there's no reason to be encouraged, given WOR's deterioration toward even more infomercials and pointless fluff programming.

Speaking of fluff, here's a particularly disturbing piece on the supposed "success" of Jerry Springer, actually a chronic underperformer in Air America's lineup.

Springer is horrible on the radio, but this story by Rick Bird in today's Cincinnati Post probably accomplished one thing: driving Air America host Sam Seder bonkers.

From the piece:

It would seem radio is Springer's new love. Or, a case of rediscovering an old one. His first regular media work came on radio, doing commentaries for WEBN-FM (102.7) in the late '70s and early '80s.

He came on the air here one year ago on Martin Luther King Day as the station launched a new progressive talk format. By April his show was picked up by the nearly two-year-old liberal talk network, Air America, and is currently running in 49 markets, including such major ones as New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Atlanta and Miami.

"I love it and I didn't know that I would. I wish I would have started this when I was younger in life," said Springer, 61, with a laugh. "It's a lot of work. You've got to be sharp every day and be up to date. The people who call in don't call unless they are knowledgeable on the subject."

Don't quit your day job, Jerry.

According to the Cape Cod Times, Republicans in the Massachusetts State House may be small in number, but they're learning to become more effective in rallying public support.

How? A key part of their new strategy involves talk radio programs throughout the Bay State:

As the vote on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants approached this week, state Rep. Jeffrey Perry figured his side didn't have the votes.

Since 2002, state Rep. Jeffrey Perry has represented Sandwich, the only Cape town that voted for President Bush in 2004. Perry helped defeat tuition breaks for illegal immigrants this week.

Which, of course, isn't unusual for Perry, a Sandwich Republican and opponent of the bill. As one of just 20 GOP members in a House of Representatives with 140 Democrats, he's used to being outnumbered.

So Perry, 42, one of a circle of emerging Republican leaders on Beacon Hill, decided to take his message to a more receptive audience - talk radio fans.

For days, he slammed the tuition bill as unfair and illegal on radio shows statewide. And by Wednesday morning, lawmakers across the state were being bombarded with calls and e-mails from constituents.

By 4 p.m., even those who said they would support the bill - perhaps mindful of the election year - began to shift.

By 7 p.m. the bill failed, 96 to 57.

For Perry, a second-term representative who had carried the conservative flag on the airwaves and the House floor, it was a huge political victory.

When all else has failed, public shaming turns out to be the only effective tool for countering the Dem's corrupt Bay State stranglehold.

After the bizarre recent firing of Channel 7- Boston weatherman Todd Gross, one wouldn't imagine the print media might pick on him over a petty "issue", but today's Boston Herald pounds Gross for having a tip jar on his website:

Are things so bad for ex-Channel 7 weatherman Todd Gross that he has to forecast for spare change?

Apparently so. Because in these stormy times for Todd, his Web site has instituted a “Tip Jar” where fans can brighten his day — financially.

“Please donate via the ‘tip jar’ to keep this alive and totally free!” says the Gross site. “I am dying to make this the best weather spot on Earth, but need YOUR help!”

And Todd-ophiles who choose to duke the arrow-loving weatherdude can click on the Tip Jar link where they are informed: “You have chosen to tip the author of ‘Todd Gross New England Weather.’ The minimum tip is $2.”

Well! That would barely cover Todd’s hairspray bill back in the day. But the ex-TV weather titan says it will prevent him from charging for access to his site.

Even though this site chose not to have a tip jar, relying instead on reader support of advertisers, the Herald must understand that websites are time-consuming and have costs associated with them, as well.

I sure don't think the Herald's reporters work for free, why should those of us on the Internet?

Since Gross was one of the Hub's most experienced weathermen, it's hard enough to understand why he was let go. Why a newspaper would level this attack over his website makes even less sense.

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Photo of Rep. Perry: Dan Cutrona for the Cape Cod Times, Todd Gross: Boston Herald library picture, Mike Adaskaveg


  • Hey Baloney, here's some Air America Phoenix news:

    In short, Communicom will be changing the format of KXXT but not until AAR finds a new home in the Phoenix area.

    The person looking for that new home is KXXT general manager Bob Christy because he think Air America is "worth saving."

    By Blogger Mr. Kite, at 14 January, 2006 17:12  

  • key quote from phoenix aar story: "This station never made a ratings book, prior to last fall," he says. "We broke even in nine months, which is pretty amazing in radio."
    So much for the massive financial trouble brian has been harping over.

    By Blogger Justin, at 14 January, 2006 18:05  

  • This blog is obsessed with AAR!

    That's good because it rules! Jerry Springer is my least favorite host (still better than all the bloviators on the right) but why would Sam Sedar care, Randi is the one who blasts him!

    By Blogger Lifa, at 15 January, 2006 21:33  

  • Stern did do a good tribute to Grant. How did you hear about it? Do you subscribe to Sirius? If people who don't normally keep-up with Stern want to read a text summary from time to time or investigate a specific show, go to MarksFriggin Daily Show Highlights. A friend of mine has a fledgling radio forum.

    By Blogger Arte, at 18 January, 2006 07:12  

  • You may remember two of Bob Grant's more famous callers to his show, Frank from Queens and John of Staten Island.

    They have been doing their own talk radio show for the past 7 years, "The Right Perspective." It is now heard on shortwave WWCR 3.215 Mhz every Friday night at 10pm EST.

    You can also hear the show over the Internet at and catch full archives of the show at

    By Blogger Poster, at 26 February, 2006 01:23  

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