The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

14 April 2007

Imus Fired, Mike Barnicle, WFAN, New York, Boston


Infamous Imus Suck-Up Yanked As Fill-In Host

Regardless of how one might have felt about the Imus firing, there was absolutely no way to defend or support CBS Radio / Westwood One's choice to temporarily replace him.

Infamous Imus suck- up and fellow white liberal racist fossil talker Mike Barnicle, also a known plagiarist, was scheduled to take over Imus In The Morning as of Monday.

But later, according to the Boston Herald's Jessica Heslam, Barnicle was scraped right off the side of the boat:

Westwood One, which syndicated the Imus show, has axed plans to offer radio affiliates WTKK’s Mike Barnicle, who was set to fill in for Imus during his initial two-week suspension.

The Herald reported earlier this week that Barnicle was forced to apologize in 2004 for referring to an interracial couple as “mandingo” on his show.

Westwood said in a memo obtained by the Herald that it will instead offer the New York sports radio show “Mike and the Mad Dog” next week. Barnicle will, however, fill in on WTKK.

The New York Times has further details:

Yesterday there was clearly no succession plan in place for Mr. Imus, but for the next two weeks, Mike Francesa and Christopher Russo, who are the co-hosts of the afternoon “Mike and Mad Dog” show on WFAN, will fill in, working from 6 to 10 a.m., tweaking their two-man act to have a slightly more national flavor. After the midday hosts, Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, expand their show to 2 p.m., Mr. Francesa and Mr. Russo will return to the air for the afternoon drive shift, from 2 to 6, which will be cut temporarily from their usual 1 to 6:30 p.m. slot.

Mr. Russo also said the program would be heard on all the stations that received “Imus in the Morning,” except those in Boston and Washington. A Westwood spokeswoman said she could not verify that.

Mike Barnicle, a frequent guest of Mr. Imus and the host of a talk show in Boston, was considered as an interim replacement, “but it didn’t work out,” said Karen Mateo, a spokeswoman for CBS Radio.

Aside from Barnicle's sleazy background, he has long struggled as a talk show host, turning in lackluster ratings and refusing to take listener phone calls. Instead, the program is loaded with guests.

At the Radio Equalizer, we've previously chronicled Barnicle's unhinged extremism here and here.

For undoing their ill- considered decision, CBS and Westwood One deserve praise.

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  • Mike and the Mad Dog's temporary gig is being picked up by some stations like WHJJ in Providence, while others go for other options ("The Fox" in
    Rutland, VT, for example, will have a local host playing music in Imus'
    place). WTKK feels they can just
    extend Barnicle to 6-10 am from his
    one hour current gig.

    Whether this will be permanent, who
    knows; it will surely be not much better than Finneran on WRKO, I know that! Maybe WTKK will move Michael Graham to mornings, then have the Barnicle hour followed by, I'd hope,
    Dennis Miller.

    But Barnicle for FOUR HOURS?
    Unbearable! And such a checkered
    record HE has, from "mandingo"
    to material stolen from Royko
    and George Carlin; putting words in people's mouths (claiming Dershowitz said "I love Asian women, they're
    so...submissive"; claiming a gas station owner in Boston used a racial slur).

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 14 April, 2007 13:48  

  • I'm with you on that Racoon,4 hours....someone hand me some knitting needles to shove in my ears.I think his show is one hour too long as it is lol.Graham's great,he could fill the AM drive but I don't know how they fill the rest of the morning.I wish TKK had tried to get Depetro(sp?) I liked listening to his show,it always entertained

    By Blogger stonecutter, at 14 April, 2007 15:29  

  • If I were these companies I would be more worried about staying in business after the hypocrisy of last week. Have you ever heard of “don’t bite off the hand that feeds you”? Somehow the sponsors forgot who keeps them in business.. I guarantee you at this moment there is an unlimited number of groups digging through the background of every sponsor, station and person involved with this decision and will expose over the next month the bigotry and hypocrisy of this last week. It might serve the overpaid ceo’s good if they review the definition of “double standard” so next time if they survive this time they don’t offend and screw 80% of their income producing customers.. Hence the outcry the last 2 days of this trivial yet extremely outrageous and dangerously STUPID decision of MSNBC and CBS.

    By Blogger Sue, at 14 April, 2007 15:38  

  • Hopefully this will open debate about the use of degrading rhetoric in rap and in talk radio.

    Gary Baumgarten
    Host, News Talk Online

    By Blogger Gary Baumgarten, at 14 April, 2007 19:00  

  • New issue of Newsweek, which you can read online, has a lot about Imus including a web-only
    feature called the Shock Jock hall of shame. Among those the mag "honors" is WTKK's
    Michael Graham (then with WMAL Washington DC) and WHJJ's John DePetro (then with WRKO)
    as well as Opie and Anthony of WAAF/WBCN, etc. Others include Rush, Stern, the Greaseman,
    Savage, and Bubba the Love Sponge

    Newsweek hall of shame

    Randi Rhodes (joked about killing Bush) not included

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 15 April, 2007 14:09  

  • prolly because she didn't

    don't let the facts get in the way of your fifteen minutes, cliffie

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 15 April, 2007 15:23  

  • oddly enough, i didn't see ANY liberal talkers on that list

    good on us

    now that the natural order of things has been established, let's all get back to work

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 15 April, 2007 15:35  

  • Is Imus conservative? How about Opie and Anthony? They did conveniently
    forget Randi Rhodes...lots of shock jocks on TV, too, and some are moonbat conspiracy theorists like
    Rosie O'Donnell (see petition
    at grow)

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 15 April, 2007 23:58  

  • As usual, Hash is wrong. Rhodes did make the threat and the left cheered.

    Hash you are garbage.

    By Blogger PCD, at 16 April, 2007 09:59  

  • hysterical, still shrieking about Randi Rhodes

    she used a comical Mafia senerio about killing Bush

    not hate speech

    America hates Bush, therefore trashing the degenrate pressident is not hate speech

    only a loser like PCD, would be offended by that

    he takes Bush over America

    PCD=enemy combatant

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 16 April, 2007 10:48  

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