The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

15 October 2007

WABC's Curtis & Kuby Cancelled, Don Imus Hire, Ron Kuby's Goodbye


Expecting To Be Sacked, WABC Host Says Goodbye

Because outgoing talkers rarely get the opportunity to say goodbye to longtime listeners, Ron Kuby decided not to take any chances this morning. Instead of waiting for the Don Imus- branded ax to fall, the Curtis & Kuby co-host wished his WABC fans well near the end of today's program.

In another brilliant Radio Equalizer film production, here's a YouTube version of the host / mob lawyer's adios:

Thanks to mumbling crustmeister Don Imus's new deal, Curtis & Kuby need to find a new home. In New York City media circles, rumors abound as to where they might end up, with some having Curtis Sliwa remaining with the station as midmorning host, while others believe the team will remain intact and move to morning drive on rival WOR.

The latter option would be a great fit for both WOR, which has been wisely beefing up its lineup in recent months, as well as the pair, who consistently beat Imus in the ratings for many years.

That's not to say Curtis & Kuby's WABC tenure has been free of bumps in the road. Though both are said to be friends, Kuby once testified against his show- mate in court during a sensational Gotti mob trial. And while they did best Imus (never particularly hard to do), their own ratings had sagged this year.

Kuby, the liberal half of this left - right tag team, is known for representing and defending various sleazebags.

Regardless of their imperfections, Curtis & Kuby are being replaced by inferior programming in the form of an aging Don Imus, who before being fired earlier this year had struggled to generate ratings for many years.

Even if he somehow delivers numbers this time, which seems less likely than ever, it's doubtful that skittish advertisers will return to his program.

That's why the Drudge- fueled hype should be disregarded: Imus has about as much of a future as Harry Reid does as Senate leader.

The oddest irony is this: as once-stodgy WOR works to bring in a younger, more advertiser- friendly audience, WABC is moving in the opposite direction, striving to be the new voice of New York's nursing homes and senior centers.

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. FREE HOWIE: Part Two, coming to a courthouse near you!

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  • Boyce has to be insane. I work from home and have eight tuners tuned to WABC in the mornings for Curtis & Kuby.

    Imus? Not a goddamned chance. His schtick was old when Howard Stern kicked his ass all over WNBC.

    By Blogger TC, at 15 October, 2007 14:22  

  • Phil Boyce has lost his touch. first he tries to prop up Monica Crowley as the next Laura Ingraham. pffffttt. No Sale.....

    Imus is a has-been never-was; give him a few months before he gets fired again. I wish fervently that Curtis + Kuby move on to WOR.

    Damn. i'm going to have to listen to NPR in the mornings now...shait...

    By Blogger Artez'n Home and Arts - Brooklyn NY, at 15 October, 2007 15:24  

  • Mr. Maloney,

    I find your portrayal of Imus as being inferior seems a little harsh. Almost 40 years on radio with excellent ratings and you say this? And you don't believe Drudge, Newsday. Guess you don't have very good contacts then.

    The I-Man is returning with Charles McCord and Bernard McGuirk. It doesn't matter how you portray the man or how you puff up Curtis and Kuby (They will be fine). Imus is commanding 10 Million Dollars annually. Not bad for and inferior radio host.

    And TC I feel your pain. I have listened to C and K and they are enjoyable. But they just have too many interruptions for my taste.

    I guess you will have to change your tuners to a different station.

    48 days 14 hours to go.

    Bruce from Florida

    By Blogger Bruce, at 15 October, 2007 15:28  

  • Oh one more comment to TC. Howard Stern did have better ratings then Imus. So good in fact he was ex-communicated to satellite.

    He cannot live under the Federal Communications rules. And if Sirius Satellite had known then what they know now, they never would have paid Stern that ridiculous amount of money. Karmazin is kicking himself.

    Phil Boyce has no control over what Suleman's decisions are. He works for him, not over him.

    By Blogger Bruce, at 15 October, 2007 16:14  

  • Allah Akbar! God Is Great!

    Hush Hush. Flush Flush.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 15 October, 2007 20:42  

  • Phil Boyce likely had nothing to do with Imus coming to WABC - Citadel President Farid Suleman is reportedly an Imus fan, having worked with him at CBS.

    Imus was lower rated than Curtis and Kuby, but billed more. In that respect, he could be a good deal for WABC, at least for a few years. Plus, Citadel wants a syndicated morning show, so this will work out well for them as well, at least for a few years (I mean, how long is Imus going to stick around anyway?).

    By Blogger Sign Of The Times, at 16 October, 2007 10:45  

  • Imus audience numbers had been severely constrained by the terrible programing surrounding him at WFAN. Given the limited talent at the FAN it is amazing Imus had any audience at all!

    With WABC the Imus audience will graft onto the power lineup and vice versa. Imus and WABC rocks!

    By Blogger channelXRFR, at 16 October, 2007 11:54  

  • Wabc rocks? If you are an Anti-American wing nut, who loves to attack poor families on S-chip. Choke and die, right wing freak
    In good news
    WABC dropped a full ratings point, 1.0 full drop!!! and im hearing Limbaugh and Hannity killed their ratings. Talkers magazine seems to be correct after all.

    mock the right
    expose the right

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 16 October, 2007 12:04  

  • WABC dropped a full ratings point, 1.0 full drop!!!

    Where are you getting your data? Per, they dropped 0.8, which, while substantial, isn't a full point.

    BTW, I checked out Hartmann. He's a good speaker and relates well to his audience and callers. And, he came across as less preachy than Rush.

    And speaking of AA hosts, why hasn't anything been said here about what happened to Randi Rhodes? Agree or disagree with her, what I hear has happened to her (Drudge has a link presently) is a disgusting turn of events.

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 16 October, 2007 12:43  

  • I heard about the attack on Rhodes. Do they know anything furthur, was it a stalker or just a radom act of violence? Hartman's car was supposedyl recently shot at, luckilly he was not in it, I heard this on a blog

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 16 October, 2007 12:55  

  • While I hate listeing to curtis I liked listening to ROn Kuby. I am however, surprised that they are being replaced by Imus. Imus is really boring and I don't think that this will be a good decision in the end. Even Curtis is easier to listen to than Imus. I wonder what they are thinking. THis will not be a good decision. I am sure that Kuby and Curtis will resurface at WOR and the ratings for them will be much better than Imus. Not hard, Imus is incredibly boring. Who wants to hear an elderly man be a shock Jock.

    THere is new line-up on WWRL, i suggest that people turn to a new show with MArk Riley and Richard Bey. Real Talk radio with intelligent dialougue. Try it out in the morning.

    By Blogger Catwoman50, at 02 November, 2007 01:20  

  • I'll follow Curtis and Kuby to whatever station they go... WABC is the only AM radio station I listen to aside from traffic reports sometimes- and it's over. Once Curtis signs off for the last time I'll never go back to 770... And I kind of like the other hosts but the station must be punished.

    By Blogger Joe, at 02 November, 2007 07:16  

  • I didn't hear about this cancellation until today. I can't believe it's happening. I'm kind of upset Curtis didn't walk when they told Kuby not to show up today but I guess he's been there longer.

    Either way I'll follow Curtis and Kuby to any station they go to- as for WABC it's over- I'm done- I kind of liked some of their evening shows (aside from Bob Grant) but now that's done with too- the station must be punished.

    By Blogger Joe, at 02 November, 2007 07:18  

  • I am so sorry to see Curtis & Kuby in the Morning go. Loved them and hated them at the same time. Always had fun and a laugh. But I I never had fun listening to Imus. He was not funny or amusing in any way to me! I am 40, maybe I am too young or too old to get is humour!Any way I aways respected him until his racist comments!!

    By Blogger fergie, at 02 November, 2007 08:28  

  • I will never listen to Imus. He is such a bore. I heard some of his rants and I beleive the man has lost touch with reality. The statement that got him fired I think was overblown. You would hear much worse listening to rap and hip hop. Not that any of that talk is good. I think Imus was taking a page from rap music when he made his stupid comment. Why was anyone surprised that the man would make a stupid comment. Duh!

    I listened to Curtis and Kuby (And Curtis and Lisa before that) for years, though lately a bit less. I got tired of Kuby's anti-Bush jabs. My radio is always tuned to WABC so in the morning at home I listen. On my commute I used to listen but now tune into music to start the day on a calmer note.

    By Blogger Frank, at 02 November, 2007 08:42  

  • This'll be great. . . Citadel is giving Imus WAY too much money for a show that is doomed to failure. Imus is just plain unlistenable; unfunny, uninformed, a racist, a misogynist, and a has-been creep. WABC will lose listeners and advertising income, the red ink is going to flow, and Citadel will have to ultimately sack Phil Boyce, the ersatz "promise keeper".

    We are about to watch the self-immolation of what was once a great radio station. This stuff will be taught for decades to come in Communications Media classrooms as a case study in "how to blow a dominating daypart"!

    By Blogger weh, at 05 November, 2007 10:37  

  • First WABC brings in snooze-fest Bob Grant, then they can Curtis & Kuby to bring in yesterday's news, Don Imus. It is sad to see WABC self-destruct like this.

    By Anonymous Rob C., at 05 November, 2007 17:41  

  • Shocked and saddened by the end of Curtis and Kuby. I am conservative and yet truly enjoyed what Ron brought to the table. I may not have agreed with him, but his comments were always well thought out and articulated. IMUS????? I have always found him mean spirited and not a bit entertaining. I won't be listening anymore to WABC

    By Blogger c1294, at 05 November, 2007 20:21  

  • I am shocked and saddened by the change from Curtis and Kuby to IMUS! IMUS always struck me as mean spirited and I never found him entertaining or informative. As a conservative I most often agreed with Curtis but thoroughily enjoyed Ron's well thought out and articulate comments on everything!

    By Blogger c1294, at 05 November, 2007 20:25  

  • WABC must be administered by unqualified programmers. Curtis and Kuby were great together with Kuby providing all the insight and information, humanity and humility, vocabulary and volume on all subjects. I will follow Kuby anywhere!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 07 November, 2007 18:56  

  • Citadel must be crazy, I was afraid when the mouse house sold the station that just this would happen! Curtis and Kuby were my morning coffee, the only thing that got me going. I will follow them wherever they go, and can only hope that others will to. Imus? You've got to be kidding!!!

    By Blogger Alesha, at 12 November, 2007 18:39  

  • Let's get Curtis and Kuby on Satellite Radio. They'd be much better than listening to Wilcow.

    By Anonymous Mark, at 13 November, 2007 12:38  

  • un B LEAVE able - C and K were great radio: big mistake, management. Best of luck; you will need it.
    D Reed - NJ

    By Blogger Dana, at 15 November, 2007 01:22  

  • Goodbye ABC.
    C&K was best a.m. show in NY. I'll find a new home now until Rush. Would be a real coup if WOR signed C&K. They'll kick Imus' butt in the ratings fr sure.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16 November, 2007 15:31  

  • Curtis and Kuby were great-made you think - made you laugh. I'd follow them anywhere. ALR

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 November, 2007 18:55  

  • I was very unhappy to hear about this and I am sorry but I won't listen to any program that has to do with Don Imus. Curtis and Kuby are the best. Sorry but I will not be listening to Don in the morning.I always looked forward to listening to you guys in the morning and hearing about your family and little Anthony Chester.

    By Anonymous Susie, at 30 November, 2007 09:30  

  • I love Curtis, but I LOVE Ron Kuby. They both made you think (in different ways)and they cracked me up. George Weber added so much too. I loved the show. I hope they return on another station. For sure, I will listen. WABC made a big mistake on this one. I won't listen anymore. I had my radio set to WABC the whole day and listened to some people who I didn't particularly like because it was set for Curtis and Kuby in the morning. I'll find another station.

    By Anonymous Kathy S, at 02 December, 2007 12:03  

  • WABC--You must be nuts... Curtis and Kuby was the best, positively, radio show in the morning... I listened every day... I liked Curtis but I LOVED Ron Kuby (and I'm a Republican)!! Also, Warner Wolf, who was the best addition to the show you could have made, what is going to happen to him?? I will follow Curtis and Kuby wherever they go... How does John Gambling feel about Don Imus being the lead-in for him?? Can't see what you're thinking... Bad decision and I will NEVER want to listen to him... Carolyn Ward from Newton, New Jersey...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 December, 2007 20:15  

  • I am very disappointed.

    Curtis & Kuby were the best radio show in the morning.

    I will NEVER listen to Imus.

    Hope another station picks C&K up. Morning drives to work will never be the same.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 16:40  

  • Want to laugh? I just went to to listen to John Batchelor's show and they have a survey about Imus. It says "Are you happy that Imus is back on the air?" to me that would evoke a yes or no response, but look at the choices...
    1) Of course, are you crazy?
    2) I've never listened to him before, but I am now!
    3)Wait a minute, you've got Imus?

    Looks like they know that there is a problem and they are trying to color the answers. They know that they are up the creek and are trying to make him look good. Look at his picture... it's probably from about 15 years ago.

    I turned on the radio on Dec 3rd just to see what it was like and just as I had heard in the past, Imus is un-informed, constantly mumbles and is not entertaining. I wouldn't even hire him to clean the toilets at WABC. I've lived in this area for 50 years, born and raised in the Bronx and now live in Jersey and have many parallels with Curtis and although I've lost my Bronx accent I've experience many of the same things that Curtis has and I enjoy listening to him. Ron's point of view is very different than mine but I always respect his opinions and envy his brilliance. When I was in Junior High I marched against the Vietnam War and had long hair. As I got older I listened to Howard. When my children were old enough to understand what I was listening to I realized that Howard was inappropriate and I also realized that it was becoming the same old story. I used to respect Howard because he was loyal to his wife and kids but that ended and I lost all respect for him. I started listening to WABC and realized that there were other people out there who had outgrown shock jock radio. WABC has made some pretty irritating moves, but Imus will tear the staion down in ratings. I am really hoping that Curtis and Kuby will be able to do a show on WOR or Sirius.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 December, 2007 21:56  

  • You are so right, I haven't listened since they left. I'm sure I'm not what Citadel wants, owns home, 6 figure income, owns car. They are going for the throw up over my school books from partying all night, hope I make it to class in the morning crowd.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 December, 2007 02:49  

  • Curtis and Kubey were fun to wake up to. Imus is a prune faced dullard who pays his lackies to laugh at his inane jokes and stupid comments, he's BORING!
    Who the hell likes this moron?

    Don't you think this is an effort by WABC to be one step ahead of the Fairness Doctrine?

    Goodbye WABC, until El Rushbo, if I remember.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 December, 2007 09:16  

  • I've been WABC free (mostly) since Curtis & Kuby were kicked off.. One morning I had an early flight and still had a radio in my bathroom tuned to WABC and I heart Curts!!! Then I realized he's only for 1 hour... 4am to 5am... That's not going to cut it... now I don't listen to the station at all- it's just not worth tuning back and forth. It was easy since I just switched to christmas music after they left the air, now I listen to 880 for news/traffic and my CD's for music.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 07 January, 2008 11:18  

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