The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

08 December 2006

Ed Schultz, Liberal Talk Radio, Madison


Schultz Thinks Managers Doomed Madison Libtalk

As "progressive" talk radio continues to lose stations, one after another, we're seeing an increase in finger- pointing, as hosts and their defenders refuse to take the hit for the format's increasingly dire position.

Today, it's libtalker Ed Schultz jumping into the act, faulting local management for the failure of a FM outlet in Madison. Claiming the sales and programming departments didn't do their jobs, Eddie seems to be on the warpath in this Capital Times piece:

Big Ed: Ad sellers failed 'The Mic'

By Rob Thomas

When he first heard the news that Clear Channel was dropping the progressive talk format in Madison, radio host Ed Schultz assumed the station wasn't really serious.

"When I heard about this, I thought it was a radio stunt," Schultz, known as "Big Ed," said in a phone interview from his office in Fargo, N.D. "I thought that maybe the management was trying to figure out how much passion there is in the community for the format, and bring visibility to the format."

Now that he knows that it's not a stunt and that WXXM/FM 92.1 "The Mic" will switch to Fox Sports Radio affiliation at the end of the month, taking him off the air in Madison, Schultz is blasting station management for the decision.

"Our job is to get ratings," he says. "Not only our show, but other shows did what was expected of us. It was poor sales management and poor market management, in my opinion. It makes no business sense, and it makes no operational sense either.

"The Mic is not a heritage station," Schultz says. "The Mic has no tradition other than to continually fail with different formats. The Mic was given a pulse. The Mic was given some life and a heartbeat. And they killed it."

But Clear Channel managers have their own take on the situation, as the piece continues:

Jeff Tyler, Clear Channel Madison vice president, said that progressive talk outlets around the country have been struggling with advertising issues, and that the financial status of Air America, which filed for bankruptcy, is also a factor.

"There are many advertisers, local and national, who have been at conflict with the programming or stay away from controversial programming that has led to less than reasonable results," Tyler said in an e-mail Friday. "Our sales team successfully sells the overall top talk station in the market (WIBA AM 1310) and it ranks in the top 5 in market in revenue. There are obviously similar sales struggles with other progressive talk outlets in the country, including what the base network Air America Radio is currently going through with their bankruptcy. This is leading to other stations and ownerships dropping the format or modifying the lineup."

And here, there's more to the story, it turns out:

WTDY-AM/1670 "The Pulse" originally broadcast Schultz's show when he debuted in 2004, but station manager Glen Gardner says that station is unlikely to take Schultz or any other nationally syndicated radio shows back.

Gardner says the station is happy with focusing on live, Madison-based talent and is reluctant to carry syndicated hosts like Schultz that larger radio companies can lure away.

"What ends up happening with syndicated programming, because we're the small guys, we're the local guys, we don't have the clout of 1,300 radio stations," Gardner says. "We put a show on, we popularize it, we spend money promoting it and then a company like Clear Channel comes in and uses its corporate power to take the show."

Regarding the move from The Pulse to The Mic, Schultz says Clear Channel led him to believe that if he moved his show to a Clear Channel station, the company would be able to deliver other markets for him.

"We moved the show away from the AM station over to The Mic, and now Clear Channel drops the format," Schultz says. "I think that's dirty pool. Now, the station that we left, I don't blame them a bit for telling us to take a hike. If it were me, I would give them a long-term commitment. I definitely want to be in the Madison market."

Beyond Eddie's lack of diplomacy in dealing with a company that still carries his show on many of its stations, he just isn't doing himself any favors with this public ranting and raving.

That's because The Mic gave libtalk ample time to catch on in a market where it should have been readily embraced, by local advertisers as much as listeners. If "progressive" radio could make it anywhere, Madison should be at the top of the list.

There's no conspiracy against "progressives" here: if it were showing promise, there's no doubt The Mic would have remained a libtalk outlet far into the future.

The Mic image: David A Lunde

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  • Most radio talkers complain to their audience when a key radio station either cuts the hours of their broadcast, plays their show on tape delay, or whacks the show all together.

    Trying to portray Ed Schultz's comments as an example of outrageous conduct demonstrates what a insincere, divisive hack you are Maloney.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 08 December, 2006 17:42  

  • Actually, they're usually more inclined to keep their mouth shut. Blasting the company is not smart.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 08 December, 2006 18:37  

  • Listen to the sick bastard at Clear channel:

    "there are many advertisers, local and national, who have been at conflict with the programming or stay away from controversial programming that has led to less than reasonable results," Tyler said in an e-mail Friday.

    So speaking truth is "controversial"?? 70% of America agrees with this "controversial" talk, hence the filthy GOP lost their power today after the congressional session ended. Somehow running a degenerate like Savage who is indeed a HATEMONGER is fine???? The media is indeed a bunch of disgusting hypocrites. They desire a muzzle on the truth and any outlet called "progressive" is simply a truth outlet, which the ass kissing media wants nothing of. They desire monopoly, and any broadcast exposing the corrupt White House disrupts their quest for monopoly.

    Anyone who spouts "liberal media" is a mental retard.
    I'm so damm fed up with the right wing complict media, my head wants to explode, but than again, WE WON, and the complict media could not stop the will of the people.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 08 December, 2006 18:51  

  • Hat tip me Maloney.

    I admit it was a guess when I said "most radio talkers". However, I was listening to Bill O'Reilly's show a year or two ago when a key New York station reduced the hours they broadcasted his show from 3 to 2 hours. Bill was indignant and asked his listeners to call in to the station to complain.

    One of your idols was engaging in that "outrageous conduct" Maloney.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 08 December, 2006 19:14  

  • Clear Channel is a truly evil coporation. (Most things out of San Antonio, TX, are--I lived there for years and I can vouch for that.)

    Great quote from their C.E.O., Lowry Mays in 2003:

    "If anyone said we were in the radio business, it wouldn't be someone from our company. We're not in the business of providing news and information. We're not in the business of providing well-researched music. We're simply in the business of selling our customers products."

    I daresay, however, they are very involved in suppressing leftist speech.

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 08 December, 2006 19:15  

  • As "progressive" talk radio continues to lose stations, one after another, we're seeing an increase in finger- pointing, as hosts and their defenders refuse to take the hit for the format's increasingly dire position.

    Since the AAR bankruptcy filing AAR has lost five stations which account for less than 1% of the networks ratings. Hardly, a "dire position."

    By Blogger barooosk, at 08 December, 2006 19:27  

  • Congress plans to hold hearings as to why the radio networks handed their stations over 24/7 to fringe anti-government extremists who were allowed to lie without challenge for 15 years, eventually taking over and wrecking the government. I'm told ABC's president will be put under oath, and the Fox bully boys may be confronted with their more loathsome lies in a carefully staged perjury trap.

    Kathleen Hall Jamison of the presitgious Annenberg School of Commmunication at the University of Pennsylvania, has studied the lies of right wing talk radio for 15 years and will testify about "false certainty," which is where millions of listeners believe very strongly "facts" which are not true at all simply because they heard them on the radio. When the public hears how filthy the GOP agitprop operation is, there will be at a minimum a demand for balance on talk radio.

    Hill staffers were informed about the GOP dirty trickster Waddlin Brian Maloney and will make at least a basic inquiry into who has been funding his monomaniacal disinformation effort to undermine the first and only liberal voice on network radio, Air America. Hopefully he will also be brought before Congress so we can hear the pasty, pudgy chickenhawk spew enough lies to earn him a ticket to Federal prison where his soft pasty white flesh will be quite popular.

    By Blogger gregrocker, at 09 December, 2006 00:54  

  • elmonica; that useless podcast kid, and dumb clucks like metrodorus:

    What--and where--do you live your lives for? If not for foraging in Maloney's comments, acting like you're smart-or even posessed of clue--where do you morons breathe through your noses, eschewing you mouth-breathing existence?

    You, sirs, are the gayest crap Creation created. If Brian shut this site down, you would all be toast.

    By Blogger TC, at 09 December, 2006 06:21  

  • thanks greg. That was the funniest thing I've read all week.

    By Blogger BF, at 09 December, 2006 10:37  

  • South Park groupie,

    It is obsessive-compulsive behavior. The same unhealthy behavior that drives Maloney to write this divisive, idotic blog every day even after the novelty of liberal radio has worn off and the Dems have kicked the Republicans asses

    I truly hope Maloney shuts this site down. Or at the very least I hope he finally makes the move to hosting it elsewhere so he can implement greater account control over trolls like me. I would like nothing more than Maloney to deny me posting privileges.

    Please Maloney. Make it your new year's resolution. I am losing my fraken mind.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 09 December, 2006 15:21  

  • Scott Fybush has much to say about
    the loss of prog. talk in Boston
    in this week's NorthEast Radio Watch
    (this blog is mentioned/credited
    with spotting the "Rumba" ad).

    A domain name speculator, no doubt,
    recently registered the URLs and,
    perhaps to try to sell to Clear
    Channel. isn't
    available because that belongs to a station down in Florida.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 11 December, 2006 01:03  

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