The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

08 March 2006

New York Post, John Mainelli, Billboard


As Defenders Step Out Of Line, Reporter Fights Back

Topping yesterday's nastiness emerging from media coverage of our Air America Radio investigation was surely the entertainment trade writers who turned against newspaper reporters daring to report on the company's troubles.

While their pro-Air America bias has long been obvious, publications such as Billboard's Radio Monitor actually went so far as to attack New York Post reporter John Mainelli, a longtime and well-respected New York City talk radio programmer, as well.

Since the foreign-owned Billboard, as well as other trades such as Clear Channel's Inside Radio, receive Air America advertising revenue, it's not terribly surprising to see coverage slant in their direction.

This nearly rabid level of Air America media defense, however, seemed to reach fresh lows:

The Post, in particular, seemed to offer a sensationalist slant to its reporting of the alleged loss of WLIB. Reporter John Mainelli wrote, “Air America is close to losing its New York flagship station, knocking Al Franken and his liberal colleagues off the air on the second anniversary. Losing its New York outlet would be a serious blow to the fledgling liberal radio network. Air America's options for a new home are not promising. All of the city's other strong-signal stations are spoken for, leaving only weak-signal ‘fringe’ stations that do not cover the entire city and suburbs.”

Danny Goldberg, CEO of Air America Radio, responded late Tuesday morning to “recent reports via the conservative media” in a staff memo in which he said, “Air America’s ratings in New York went up substantially in the fall 2005 book. Air America’s New York audience is large, growing and valuable. In every conceivable scenario, Air America will continue to be on in New York City.”

He went on to stress that Air America Radio is on track to be stronger still in the coming year and years: “Our audience is bigger, the total number of affiliates carrying our programming is greater, and the amount of revenue we are generating is increasing.

How did Mainelli feel about this characterization of his reporting?

We asked him, receiving this on-the-record response: "sometimes the truth is 'sensational'. Once again, Danny Goldberg attacks the messenger, but doesn't deny the message. In fact, he virtually confirmed it, by being vague about Air America's future in New York."

Funny enough, now that it's even more clear our reporting on Air America's New York City troubles was spot-on, we're not exactly receiving apologies from the network's serial defenders. We did, however, get a kick out of this Internet radio board posting:

It's obvious to me that the response from AAR is very carefully worded. They do not specifically mention WLIB, just that they plan to be on in the NYC market for "many years to come."

I just think it's funny that many people started attacking Brian Maloney and other whistle-blowers. I don't mean to get political, but it's odd that people who call the Bush administration secretive are themselves so secretive about their own dealings.

Watch here for more updates yet to come.

Thanks for your continued and vital Radio Equalizer support, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately order! Because this investigative work is taking an increasing amount of our time, it's needed more than ever.

The Radio Equalizer's graphics are provided by Pete at IHillary and David A Lunde.


  • I noticed AAR's website doesn't display the number of stations it has on the landing page anymore. I'm thinking it's because a whole BUNCH of leases are coming up in April and WLIB is just the tip of the iceberg. There is room on the dial for quality liberal radio, but AAR isn't it.

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 08 March, 2006 20:57  

  • Now this is sensational!!

    sorry chubbo Malonley, gotta repost:

    I noticed that you re-redid your bio and re-inserted your big mention in TIME Magazine. I thought I'd excerpt that story here, Senor Conspirator.

    Time Magazine July 7, 1997

    Mapped here under the big bold sky is America's Geography of Conspiracy....." 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, there seems to be no such thing as a meaningless coincidence. When a caller nominates Charlton Heston for Speaker of the House, it is not a joke."

    I'd like to see the faces of every reporter that quoted your unsourced info now.

    p.s. don't try to claim that I'm an imposter, Chubbo, you know it's real ly me and you know how jealous you are that I have a job (and will at AAR for years to come).

    By Blogger samseder, at 08 March, 2006 22:29  

  • Samseder

    Is it your shtick to post the same thing over and over again? For what purpose. Do us all a favor and put your name at the very top and that way we can just scroll by you without wasting even a nano second. You seriously need to get a life.

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 09 March, 2006 09:43  

  • this might be a little off topic, but i felt the need to bring up the fact that franken's book is still beating malkin's book. malkin is around 5,400th in sales, and franken is around 1,200th. not too bad. i mean, there's only about 4,000 books that people would rather read instead of michelle malkin. good for her!

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 09 March, 2006 10:26  

  • You are chortling about 1200! I think I saw an old aRchie comic book at 1105! Try reading something like Army of Davids. It wont rot your brain and a few other people are buying it.

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 09 March, 2006 10:31  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 09 March, 2006 11:14  

  • i wasn't boasting about 1200, i was just stating the fact that more people are interested in reading franken than reading malkin. it wouldn't matter if he was 100,000th and she was behind him - the point is that people put more stock into what franken says than what malkin says. you can't even argue against that fact because the numbers don't lie.

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 09 March, 2006 11:16  

  • I'm not sure that's the case, lidsville. AAR had only 5 stations on their first day, two of which were Chicago & LA (and we all know that story by now.)

    I think I remember the "other 2" being San Fran (KQKE) and San Diego (KLSD). The rest came on gradually, so I don't forsee a mass exodus on April 1st.

    Still, losing an Affiliate in NYC (along with 20-25% of your audience in the process) can't be all that good for business.

    By Blogger BF, at 09 March, 2006 11:20  

  • I really don't think that Air America cares that much about being on WLIB in New York as long as they are on some station in NYC.

    Since their funding doesn't come from advertising, the number of listeners doesn't really matter to them.

    This certainly seems to be the case here in Dallas. Air America started with a .5 market share and has since literally fallen off the charts. Almost all of their advertising time is filled with Public Service Announcements.

    However, Air America proudly proclaims that they're heard in the Dallas market.

    They will do the same in NYC.

    I think that the truth is that Air America doesn't really need anyone to listen to them; they simply have the need to say things. That is, they feel like they are revealing some "truth" about George Bush and his evil Republicans.

    It might be likened to the preachers that you see on street corners warning of the impending end of the world.

    Shouting the message is the important part - it doesn't matter if the world listens or heeds them.

    By Blogger Lokki, at 09 March, 2006 14:15  

  • I get a kick out of people bragging about how widely read or listend to Al Franken is. I actually heard the AAR schmucks bragging that Franken gets over 100,000 free downloads on i-tunes of his radio show and they went on to say that Rush doesn't get close to as many free downloads as Franken. The key word is FREE. Rush get's over a quarter of a million downloads of his show, but people pay for it, it's subscription based. Franken is giving his away, because no one would buy a download of his boring show. Adding to this is the fact that AAR is totally prepaid radio, it is the AM equivalent of an infomercial. All the time is brokered and like others have mentioned, it's ad time is covered with more PSA's than a week of Limbaugh or Hannity. AAR is a waste of watts, and their are only so many watts to go around....50,000 watts

    By Blogger Watts, at 10 March, 2006 12:49  

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