The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

18 January 2006

Reader Feedback On Boston, Seattle, Paul Harvey, Randi Rhodes


Oifig An Phoist

Lots of interesting letters! Here are a few recently sent to the Radio Equalizer:

Hi Brian,

I always enjoy reading your blog and the work you have done exposing Air America. I'm glad someone is taking them on since the "powers that be" just let them get away with all of the lies.

I came across your article on the Boston Herald bashing (former Channel 7 weatherman) Todd Gross and it prompted me to write my own piece about it.

Thanks again for all the good work.

- Al

Thanks, Al, it didn't appear fair to knock Todd's efforts to build a weather blog. It seems like a good idea to the Radio Equalizer.


Long time fan of the blog....a great source of news for the radio business.

On 1/1/06, the audio to Fox News was dropped by Sirius Satellite Radio. Fox continues on XM, Sirius' competitor. The contract ran out and Sirius chose not to meet the asking price of Fox.

This, as you would imagine, has outraged conservatives who have invested in satellite equipment. Many are pulling up stakes and leaving Sirius. With Stern coming to Sirius and exercising all those options, it seems like money that could have been spent on Fox is going to Stern.

I thought it might make an interesting story to cover on the Radio Equalizer. Best regards and thanks for what you do.

Tom McFadden
McMinnville, Oregon

Tom, I'm not sure what's going there, certainly seems it would be in the best interests of both parties to work out a deal soon.


Randi Rhodes is offering unpaid internships, ironic after she pummeled the President for the Davis-Bacon stuff. Here’s a message board post :


Air America Radio Network

The Randi Rhodes Show is looking for (2-4) bright, talented, and dedicated students to assist our show in daily broadcast operations. We are a nationally syndicated show that airs Monday - Friday 3-7pm est. This is your chance to dive into the broadcast media world and get a full understanding of what it means to work on a daily radio production. Duties would include host preparation, production work, research, news gathering, and other office work.

You will eventually define your own role with the show, and there are always many opportunities at Air America to continue on in some capacity after your internship is complete.


- must be able to work from around 12:30pm - 7pm each day (we're looking for daily interns, so as many days as you can work, the better)

- must be able to receive college credit as compensation

please send resume and cover letter to Tim at as soon as possible, and we'll be conducting interviews in ASAP. You can also call at 646-274-4898 if you have any questions. Thanks!!

This occurred on her Dec. 7 show, and repeated during her vacation. It's a long rant about the US being responsible for Saddam’s crimes because of aid in the eighties and how we don’t want him tried for gassing the Kurds because it would reveal our mistakes, which is true to an extent. However:

“[Saddam] thinks that retaliating against people who tried to assassinate him is legitimate business and [the trial of him] is stupid. And I hate to say it, but Saddam may not be wrong. (Pause) He may not be wrong”

You can hear it here (at 2:02:05).

Randi seems only interested in discussing American misdeeds, with no consideration given to our situation with Iran, to the point of pining for a trial of the US, instead of Saddam. Yet an assassination attempt gives Saddam, a totalitarian dictator who murdered his way into office, carte blanche to retaliate.

And while Randi could mean it's “stupid” to hold a trial in Iraq while military actions are still going on, it's clear when listening what she's really saying.

Here’s the transcript, ending with sarcasm equating America and Hussein, including a weird line implying the US shoots soccer players. I’m really not sure she knows what she’s saying all the time:

(Starting at 02:00:53) “That’s why Ramsey Clark is there. Ramsey Clark is there so that our history is not perverted. But what they would like to do is, they would like to try, see, one murder is enough to get the death penalty. It’s enough to get the death penalty here. Why wouldn’t it be enough to get the death penalty there? Of course it is.

So they just want one count of murder, just one, and you’ll never ever find out how he got weapons of mass destruction, why he gassed the Kurds, with whose weapon did he gas the Kurds, how did he get mustard gas, how did he get cyanide gas, which is what he used on the Kurds. How did he get botulism toxin, how did he get VX, how did he get anthrax, how did he get anything that he, how did he get the Bell helicopters that slaughtered all those people in the pullout of the Gulf War I.

He just wholesale, he just murdered thousands and thousands of Iraqis as we were leaving. Our troops came back scarred and ruined and told the story of the highway of death and how helpless they felt because they watched the slaughter and were told to stand down.

So, Saddam can’t stand trial because he’s too busy. He thinks that retaliating against people who tried to assassinate him is legitimate business and this is stupid. And I hate to say it, but Saddam may not be wrong. He may not wrong.

You’ve got a guy who for fun his son would feed people to lio-. Oh I’m sorry, that would be us. You have a guy whose son, if you lost the soccer game, would, no. You have a guy who opened up a place called Abu Ghraib where he tortured and sexually humil-. No. Damn it. You have a guy who brutally killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian-. Damn. Let’s get on to the trial of Tom Delay, something we can all wrap our brains around- money laundering. Sixteen after.”

You really have to hear it to get the full effect, especially the last part.

Thanks, Scott

Scott, thanks for helping me keep an eye on Randi, it's a full time job! Randi needs a drug test, immediately.

And, given her bloated budget, with plenty of money to rehire one of her buddies, it's hard to believe they can't find enough to pay the interns. What a sleazy deal.


I enjoy reading your Radio Equalizer blog. I also enjoyed listening to you when you were in Seattle. A few questions for someone that follows the radio industry:

I have a question for you about the programming at KVI, during the 9-12 time period when KVI runs the Tony Snow Show, except the last 15 minutes when they cut to Paul Harvey.

In the last week, they have left interviews with Vice President Dick Cheney and Massachussets Governor Mitt Romney midway through, just a sudden cut in and then we hear the pseudo-news of the Paul Harvey 15 minutes. The interruptions are extremely annoying. I actually either turn off the radio or change the station to KTTH.

I don't like the Paul Harvey commercial mixed with a bit of news. Now I remember listening to him in my grandparents kitchen in the 1960s. He deserves deference for his longevity, I guess, but I don't watch Lawrence Welk repeats either.

Anyway, my question: is it common to have a major show with important interviews be interrupted for Paul Harvey? Does he improve ratings? I know he drives me away from the radio. How many conservative leaning stations use Paul Harvey to disperse their audience?

Shari Carnahan

Shari, there are a lot of concerns about Harvey at the moment. First, he isn't there much anymore, due to health issues. There are serious questions about whether the segment could continue without him.

His son has taken over in the meantime, but Boston's WBZ-AM just dumped it for good. I agree, it makes little sense to cut 15 minutes from the end of a show for this anymore, but years ago, it had a huge following.

Brian, I’ve been dying to hear the Michael Savage co-host contest. I don’t get to listen to him too much anymore, but when I do, he never mentions it.

Is there any word on it? Has he dropped the idea altogether?

Tony Mack

Tony, it appears to have been quietly dropped. If this isn't so, hopefully, someone will let us know. All along, I had my doubts about Savage sharing the mic with anyone.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately order, help to support this site's efforts. Thanks again!

AAR Outhouse: Pete at IHillary


  • Hey Brian, I don't think the Air America flagship is sinking.


    NEW YORK – January 13, 2005 – Air America Radio announced today that its flagship station, WLIB 1190 AM made impressive gains according to the Arbitron Fall 2005 Survey. WLIB successfully increased its P12+ AQH Sum-Fall by 23 percent (27,800 to 34,300). The announcement was made by Vice President/General Manager of WLIB 1190 AM Scott Elberg.

    Randi Rhodes, host of “The Randi Rhodes Show,” beat WABC’s Sean Hannity in New York with a 3.3 share to Hannity’s 3.0 share in the Men 25-54 demographic (3-7 p.m.). In addition, Rhodes beats Hannity in the Men 25-54 (3-6 p.m.) demographic, receiving a 3.3. share to Hannity’s 2.9. Randi saw great success overall in the Fall 2005 book, with a 22% increase in P12+ AQH (50,100 to 60,900), a 6% increase in A25-54 AQH (32,900 to 34,900)and an impressive 59% increase with Men 25-54 (17,800 to 28,300).

    “The Al Franken Show” also showed strong signs of growth according to the Arbitron Fall 2005 Survey. For Persons 12+ he increased his AQH by 56%(47,700 to 74, 600); increased his share from a 1.4 to a 2.3; and increased his TSL by 53%. In the key demographic 25-54 “The Al Franken Show” increased its AQH by 36%(32,600 to 44,400) and also went from a 1.7 share to a 2.4; the show’s TSL received a 32% increase.

    Al Franken beat WOR’s Bill O’Reilly’s AQH/Share and TSL with P12+, A25-54 and M25-54 for his overall show and for their shared hour. 12n-3pm, Al achieved a 2.4 Share with A25-54, where O’Reilly’s affiliate WOR-AM achieved only a 0.8. With Men 25-54, WLIB also outperforms WOR with a 4.0 Share vs. WOR’s 0.4 Share. During the overlapping hour of 2pm-3pm, Franken reaches a 2.3 share with Persons 12+ where O’Reilly earns a 2.1. With Adults 25-54, Franken again has a 2.3 share, O’Reilly only a 0.8. Franken also defeated O’Reilly in TSL and Cume, with 1hr higher A25-54 TSL, nearly double A25-54 Cume (74400 vs 38400), and more than twice O’Reilly’s TSL and Cume with Men 25-54.

    Franken also had 1 hour higher TSL than Rush Limbaugh’s show heard on WABC with P12+ and 1 hour 45m higher TSL than Rush with A25-54.

    “Our fall success is due in large part to the hard work and efforts of our entire organization,” said Elberg. “Our exclusive place in the NY radio market has allowed us to reach an audience that has been underserved. I’m confident that we will continue to grow as we serve our audience and continue to deliver results for our growing number of advertisers. “

    Highlights for WLIB 1190 AM Arbitron Fall 2005 Survey include:

    Persons 12+ (MSu6a12m):

    · 17% Increase in Share Sum-Fall (1.2 to 1.4)

    · 22% Increase in TSL Sum-Fall (9h to 11h)

    Adults 25-54 (MSu6a12m):

    · 7% Increase in Share Sum-Fall (1.4 to 1.5)

    · 12% Increase in TSL Sum-Fall (10h30m to 11h45m)

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 18 January, 2006 08:34  

  • How convenient AA puts out their own press release regarding ratings. Could you maybe site a reliable source? They lie and cover up facts all the time, what would lead anyone to believe any of this? Especially with claims of them beating Hannity in any category. With Hannity, Mike and the Mad Dog and Michael Kay all sharing the 3-6 time slots, I don't believe there's any self-respecting man in New York tuning into Air America. Most people don't even know what station it's on. I know because I live here and I've asked around. No one knows!

    Ratings regarding WOR may be a little easier to believe since they're self-destructing. But, that's also nothing to brag about. It's like being happy your team won a football game because the other team never bothered to show up. If there was another legitimate outlet in NY for O'Reilly, his ratings would be far stronger than they are. It's a testament to his popularity that he's doing well at all considering he has no lead in, WOR does virtually no advertising and he is essentially carrying the station.

    Liberal radio will never work in NY or probably anywhere else. Conservative talk fills a media void. You can't find product and news like it anywhere else. Liberal radio just echoes the rest of the MSM and Liberal media is already an oversaturated market.

    By Blogger Dr. T, at 18 January, 2006 11:59  

  • Randi Rhodes is scum because she has interns?

    Oh, please.

    You know, having been in the radio business, that almost every radio show or TV show has interns. They've been a part of the broadcasting industry for decades. These are all college students who get college credit for their work. They can all afford to work for free for a BRIEF period of time. Only about three months.

    This is nothing like the Davis-Bacon scandal, where the poor and victims of Hurricane Katrina were being ripped-off. Get a grip.

    By Blogger Scott, at 18 January, 2006 12:08  

  • Hey Dr. T:

    They didn't "site" (by the way, the word is "cite") a reliable source? Arbitron is not a reliable source? They're only the most popular ratings service in the USA, going back decades, that's all.

    But, not good enough for you wingnuts. They're Air America, so they must be lying. Typical right wing daydreaming. Just be happy that Limbaugh is still kicking Air America's butt in the ratings...for now.

    And in case you didn't get the news, we debunked the idea that the mainstream media has a liberal bias. Just watch CNN, the Conservative News Network, and you'll get the idea. Never mind Faux News. Those are the people in Art Bell territory.

    By Blogger Scott, at 18 January, 2006 12:16  

  • Mr. T,

    You say the Liberal is Media?
    Is that because Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Brit Hume, Tony Snow, G Gordon Liddy, Dr. Laura, Michael Medved, George Will, Ollie North, Robert Novak, Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingrahamn, Peggy Noonan, William Safire, Andrew Sullivan, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, Bernard Goldberg, The Washington Times, Bill Krystsol, David Frum, Brent Bozell, Charles Krauthammer, David Horowitz, Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Fred Barnes, William Bennett, Lawrence Kudlow, Steve Forbes, Dennis Miller, Matt Drudge, Byron York, Fox News, Sinclair Broadcasting, Clear Channel, the National Review, The Heritage Foundation, The Hoover Institution, The Weekly Standard, The American Enterprise Institute, The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), The Cato Institute, The Club For Growth, The Federalist Society, NewsMax, TownHall, The NY Post, FreeRepublic.Com, any number of Christian Fundamentalist ministers, and the NRA

    Grow some balls and quit blaming things on paranoid fantasies of the "librul media".

    And if AAR is so damn inconsequential, why are all so obsessed about it?

    By Blogger Robert, at 18 January, 2006 13:33  

  • Although it's not new in the radio industry, AAR certainly cherrypicked specific demographics to crow their successes. For example, Randi beat Sean in Men who are 25-54. What about females? 18-34? overall (12+ audience)? One is only left to conclude that Sean won every other category.

    If you really study WLIB's numbers, they're really no big whoop. Is that 17% increase to a 1.4 all that impressive in light of the fact that New York City is one of the most liberal cities in the country? WABC scored a 3.4, which is usually on the low side for them. WABC finished in 10th place, WLIB 23rd.

    When the numbers are so small, any increase can be played up.

    By Blogger frankenlies, at 18 January, 2006 17:08  

  • "Although it's not new in the radio industry, AAR certainly cherrypicked specific demographics to crow their successes. For example, Randi beat Sean in Men who are 25-54."

    Like it or not, this is a key demographic for advertisers. This is huge for AAR.

    It's not only New York where Hannity is having problems. Ed Schultz is also kicking his butt in several key markets including Denver, Portland, and Miami.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 18 January, 2006 17:42  

  • Dick Tuck: "... in several key markets including Denver, Portland, and Miami."

    Hmmm. Let's see. Denver is market #22, Portland is #24, and Miami is #12.

    "Key markets"? OK. If it makes you feel better ...

    By Blogger frankenlies, at 18 January, 2006 17:55  

  • Dr. T, I must take a little bit of umbrage with you about O'Reilly carrying WOR. The station also airs Savage 6-9 and in some books outdrew WABC, Savage's former home.

    "Denver is market #22, Portland is #24, and Miami is #12."

    Those aren't key markets at least from where I stand!

    In terms of interns with Randi Rhodes? Want to join the liberal media like say NPR, there's a Production Assistant job available at WSHU--the NPR station in Fairfield, CT, whose News Director I once worked with at another NPR station, in Stamford.

    And robert, one needs to just look at the monopoly of liberal media held by big corporations like ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR. To take things globally, BBC and CBC for example. For print, ANY MAJOR NEWSPAPER except the Boston Herald, NY Sun, NY Post, Ft Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

    And doesn't Clear Channel own some Hot Air America radio stations like WAVZ 1300 The Voice in college town New Haven along with the more traditional talker 960 WELI--A Fox News Radio station?

    And don't get me started on Fox News as I think they are now right of center--NOT the conservative voice many jealous fools chide them for.

    There was also one name you forgot to mention in your professor-like tirade--USA Radio Network. If I had the PD position at a station, I would pick USA Radio. Being a conservative and unabashed patriot, they would be an alternative to the liberal bias of AP, CNN and CBS Radio. ABC is phasing iself out as many ABC radio affils have gone to Fox News Radio.

    And on some of the names like Bill KRISTOL and Laura INGRAHAM, I can see that government education has paid off for you!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 18 January, 2006 20:27  

  • Here are the fall Arbitrons from Radio and Records:

    They went from a 1.2 to a 1.4

    Check out the other markets while you're on the site!! AAR is hurting BIG TIME!!

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 18 January, 2006 20:58  

  • Please, who really cares about the ratings.

    Marc Maron on Conan O'Brien TONIGHT!


    Hope he takes it to the christo-fascist zombie brigade!

    Otherwise, talking 'bout his cats will also be OK.

    By Blogger WHT, at 18 January, 2006 21:52  

  • Patriot World -
    I like Michael Savage, but despite the minor success you cite, he's hardly carrying WOR. The 6-9 slot in NY radio is a slot that can't carry a station.

    Until Mark Levin dug his feet in, WABC was always shifting around hosts, trying to see who would stick.

    Mike and the Mad Dog ends at 6:30 and Steve Sommers who follows is a liberal-type in sports radio. So biased in his opinions and boring as well, the few people who listen don't take him seriously.

    ESPN Radio doesn't have a strong enough signal to have much of an impact anywhere in the Tri-State area.

    Then, there's the impact of sporting events, which is not such an issue in the Winter, but is up against two baseball games every night from April to, with the Yankees, usually mid-to-late October.

    As I said, I like Savage, but I listen to Levin before the baseball season. However, O'Reilly's in a much more competitive slot while Savage is up against no one. If O'Reilly was replaced by the restaurant guy or any of their other boring hosts (except for Savage) the station would totally collapse.

    By Blogger Dr. T, at 19 January, 2006 11:33  

  • Paul Harvey practically invented talk radio hosting, and as far as I am concerned, his show is welcomed any time he wants it.

    Obviously, interrupting key-leader interviews is problematic. In most markets I've heard him, he 15-minutes of news is generally 11:45 (ET) This 'news and commentary' segment will have to give way to the growth of talk radio.

    By Blogger Charlie on the PA Turnpike, at 19 January, 2006 12:52  

  • dr.T lets see. you like savage, listens to levin, but savage is up against no one... what'a moron!!

    By Blogger bob, at 20 January, 2006 00:04  

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