The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

14 August 2007

Don Imus CBS Settlement, Radio Return, WABC


Why Possible Move Would Not Help NY Talker One Bit


Just minutes ago, Matt Drudge kicked off a fresh round of Imus speculation with word that his contract dispute with CBS had been settled for a reported $20 million payout to the fired fossil- talker. In addition, the site suggests the I-Man might land at Citadel's WABC-AM:

**Exclusive** Radio host Don Imus has agreed to settle with CBS for $20 million, and a non disparaging clause, legal sources claim. The move opens the possibility Imus will soon return to the airwaves -- on WABC in New York! Developing...

Though WABC has some potential slots that Imus could grab, it's hard to believe Citadel would be interested in pandering to the oldest segments of the talk radio audience at a time when AM news- talk badly needs to deliver younger listeners.

That said, WABC is hurting between 5am and noon- terribly. Morning drive talkers Curtis & Kuby have seen ratings lag the rest of the station's lineup for some time. In the most recent numbers, their 1.9 25-54 share was well below that of Rush Limbaugh (2.9) and Sean Hannity (2.6).

Especially ominous is that evening host Mark Levin is beating them in terms of average quarter hour listeners (AQH): 36,100 tune in during any 15 minute period, versus 30,700 for C & K. Given that very few people generally listen to the radio after 6pm, it's a shocking situation for WABC. Rush has 55,000 in this category and Hannity 45,400.

And turning in even lower ratings is John Gambling, who generates a mere 1.6 share and has a 28,000 AQH figure.

From the numbers, morning housecleaning by WABC's new owners seems likely, but Imus has seen better days and offers none of the qualities that Citadel ought to be seeking in order to build the station's future.

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. New: the WEEI situation is still heating up!

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  • We all look forward to the return of Imus and the continued "retirement" of Maloney.

    By Blogger elmonica, at 14 August, 2007 15:11  

  • The real story behind this is Sliwa's rapid and very noticeable decline over the air the past week and a half or so.

    It should be remembered that Sliwa is a punk who would regularly harass his fellow hosts by telephone when on the air, whenever he got the slightest bit paranoid about his inability to perform on program. Boyce runs a tight ship in terms of team solidarity, and one can only wonder what other threats and intimidation other WABC employees have been forced to endure silently.

    Kuby's prior contractual arrangements allow him to spend the most time possible with his beloved family, and contrast sharply with Sliwa's endless bipolar lifestyle on the road with his flamboyant, yet now irrelevant and flaccid "Guardian Angels" cop buff organization, where he trots his little trophy "Anthony Chester" like an infant boy whore, yet seemingly can never bring time to actually spend any nights home or actually contribute to his care.

    But Kuby's extended absences may (blessedly) have sounded the death knell for "The Rock", and bringing in second-string weekend guy and arrogant, snotnose Bush Crime Family bootlicker Mark Simone only bored short-attention-span challenged neocon fans deprived of their regular morning dose of tension-fueled conflict. The intriguing and enigmatic Jeremy Lichtman could only carry the show as far as his leash would allow.

    George Weber's disappointing lack of professional ethics and hit-or-miss journalistic standards coupled with extended commentaries on inconsequential news bits of little interest to New York commuters in the morning, coupled with Babita Hariani's increasing belligerence and obviously diminishing patience with her token position with WABC and Sliwa's boorishness, can only serve to drive away the few intelligent listeners left (and positively terrify their perpetually terrorized lemmings running for cover, out of sheer insecurity with the situation's unpredictability).

    As for Gambling's listeners, how much calamity-howling can these poor, geriatric dears take from constant guests like Peter King and "Jim" Kallstrom, before years of unmet expectations render their apocalyptic predictions a joke?
    Even the once-amiable, weekly Bloomberg massage-fest has become increasingly uncomfortable, as the mutual disaffection these two masters at crypto-identity grows more obvious with each encounter.

    Perhaps neoconservatism's death gasp has just become a bit louder, although Imus' installation would hardly constitute any meaningful upgrade in political ideology and potential for approachable dialogue.

    I wonder what our "free market" advocates will have to say about these developments? Surely the morning lineup's sponsors have been growing uneasy....

    Sadly, Sliwa's demons may have actually, finally exceeded Limbaugh's titanic dance with darkness and degeneracy.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 14 August, 2007 19:00  

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