The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 November 2008

Obama-Supporting CBS Talker Rewarded With Program Expansion


Philly Talker's Barack Switch Pays Career Dividends

As Philly talker Michael Smerconish has revealed, it certainly pays to tow your liberal employer's party line.

Just two weeks after the formerly conservative talk host revealed he would back Barack Obama for president, CBS has rewarded him with the previously-elusive program expansion he'd been long been desperately seeking.

At the time, Smerconish actually had the nerve to predict his career would take a hit for making this supposedly courageous decision.

Instead, his dividend is a bit like your local grocery store's rewards card, only the payoff is 1000 times greater!

According to industry website DCRTV and other trade sources, Smerconish is expected to lead a new "conservative" lineup on a Washington DC talker, to be modelled after his Philly station.

DCRTV says WPGC-1580 AM has a huge, 50,000-watt daytime signal, with a puny 270-watt nighttime output:

1580 To Become "Big Talker" - 11/3 - Confirming rumblings first reported on DCRTV last week, we're hearing more rumors that CBS Radio plans to flip WPGC-AM, 1580, to a right-leaning talk format with Michael Smerconish, who does mornings on CBS's Philadelphia talker, WPHT, blowtorch 1210 AM. The Morningside MD station, which now relays urban PGC-FM since dropping "inspirational talk" last month, will be branded "The Big Talker" (graphic, right, from a CBS webserver), like the co-owned Philly outlet. PGC-AM will also carry Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck - the latter two had been heard on recently-defunct Bonneville talker 3WT. CBS has registered,, and, we're told. WPGC-AM has a strong 50,000-watt daytime signal, with a weak 270-watt night signal.....

Already, a beta website for 1580 AM - The Big Talker has been created, complete with a CBS favicon. It shows a lineup with Smerconish, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs and Dr Laura Schlessinger. Though DCRTV calls this "right-leaning", with Smerconish in morning drive, that won't be an accurate description.

As we've pointed out,
however, pleasing liberal CBS suits comes with a price, that of listener credibility:

Think about this: Smerconish works a CBS station in Philly. He'd like the company, a liberal outfit, to syndicate him nationally (despite ZERO industry interest in such a venture) and has threatened to leave WPHT if they won't.

In addition, his deal with fringe-leftist NBC outlet MSNBC is also running out and you know how they feel about conservatives. Could an Obama endorsement from someone in this situation be any more transparent?

But unlike the phonies your Radio Equalizer has known in the past who try keep their insincerity and dual roles quiet, Smerconish has compounded the sleaziness of his move by attempting to wrap it some sort of "principled" independence.

Sadly, that means he views the audience as too stupid to see through his moves. But they know they've been burned. He used them for years to earn a high salary in one of the nation's top radio markets. Now that bigger opportunities have become possible, however, he's flushed his listeners right down the toilet.

To those on the left who might be ready to welcome Smerconish with open arms, don't think for a moment that he won't burn you as well, should a profitable opportunity arise.

One might hope this stunt could backfire, but it's far more likely mainstream media execs will reward him for supporting their candidate. In terms of listener credibility, however, Michael Smerconish has lost it forever.

This is exactly why CBS is still struggling to figure out the talk radio format, decades after it took the nation by storm: to the network's corporate suits, it's about their own political views, not those of the audience.

As for Smerconish, this betrayal of his listenership should not be forgotten, particularly if he decides in the future that it is more profitable to switch back to the conservative camp.

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  • Cheap price for your country. Probably not to good as a POW either. I sure won't listen, never.

    By Blogger 10ksnooker, at 03 November, 2008 20:24  

  • Nothing about this is surprising. I am from the Delaware Valley & I am well aware of Smerconish's phoniness & opportunism. I followed his crusade against the free Mumia Abu-Jamal movement & felt he was great for supporting Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Danny Faulkner, the Philadelphia police officer murdered by Abu-Jamal. He proved he was a phony when he endorsed Obama. Everyone is well aware of Obama's ties to Bill Ayers & also that Bill Ayers is a huge free-Mumia supporter. Any credibility he had about wanting Mumia Abu-Jamal to pay the price for his crime was flushed down the toilet with his listeners. To those new listeners he will try to win over at his new gig, beware, this man will use you, then discard you like a cheap hooker when something better comes along. He has no loyalty to anyone but himself.

    By Anonymous LIBSTOMPER, at 03 November, 2008 20:45  

  • I'd love to hear Glenn Beck's view on this schmuck.

    Smerconish sub'd for Glenn a few times.

    Smerconish is a despicable individual.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 03 November, 2008 23:09  

  • Smurfconish turned his back on everything he once stood for -- two books, one on Mumia, the other on airport security -- for the sake of his ego. Let him get eaten alive in D.C.
    The best local talker in Philly is Dom Giordano, whose schedule gets shuffled around constantly. He's not a hard-right conservative, but he's a common-sense sort of guy who belongs in Smurfconish's spot (but I think he's also got a gig as a college professor, which precludes him from doing morning drive talk).

    By Anonymous bob, at 03 November, 2008 23:28  

  • I stopped listening to Smerconish when he started fawning over Obama months ago. This endorsement is contrary to everything Smerconish supposedly stood for and wrote about in his books. He has, quite simply, sold out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 November, 2008 09:54  

  • As a former listener of Mr. "Smurf-conish" (because he turned as blue as the trademark cartoon elf), this does not surprise me. I'm sure he is aiming to survive any Fairness Doctrine pogrom of talk show hosts. I am learning to love sports talk radio in the morning.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 November, 2008 13:02  

  • Like suicide, there were clues... Michael Smerconish is a phony conservative. When he first came on the air in Phila, he claimed to be to the right.....Bush 41 speech writer, etc.... After awhile, callers noticed his left-wise leanings, called in, and confronted him on it. He denied it, and soon, cut off callers who said the same about him. He has been heading left ever since, as his appearance on Clinton News Network and PMSNBC shows. He also appeared on Glenn Beck, and I hope that someone has set Glenn straight about him. Same with Joe Scarborough, who was a conservative, before PMSNBC. The media exposure reveals their true hearts..... are they mini Rushs, or CPINO's ........ Conservative Pundits In Name Only.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 November, 2008 14:50  

  • Great work Brian,

    The few times I heard this guy sub for O'Reilly, he sounded even more wishy washy than the leprechaun himself.

    This guy should go the way of Air America, the sooner the better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 November, 2008 01:59  

  • When this great nation was being formed, there were "discussions" of parties and grave warnings of the future, when the party becomes more important than doing the right thing. The future is now.

    While I disagree with his choice of Obama, it is perfectly in keeping with Smerconish's anti-bin Laden stance because Obama is the only one who says "Go after bin Laden and kill him".

    Unfortunately, he also believes Obama's lies about freedom and the Second Amendment.

    The bottom line is that there needs to be room in the party for multiple views. The Republicans did not lose because they were "not right-wing enough", rather they lost because they alienated more moderate, "common sense" conservatives.

    By Anonymous The Lone Wolf, at 10 November, 2008 05:39  

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