Libtalker Randi Rhodes Exits Show, At Least Temporarily
Rhodes, Syndicator Duke It Out Behind The Scenes
*** NEW: When Callers Throw Curveballs ***
For the second time in less than a year, libtalker Randi Rhodes is off the air, at least for now. Locked in an apparent battle with syndicator NovaM Radio and its chief executive, the infamous Sheldon Drobny, The Randi Rhodes Show is temporarily without its host, as fill-ins cover on short notice.
Coming just one day after it became clear that fellow "progressive" host Rachel Maddow had given up her radio program, this has been a tough week for the still-fledgling libtalk format.
Rhodes is currently heard on 28 stations across the country and most importantly, on XM Channel 167.
At Randi's official message board, a producer has posted this note:
Randi says she's sorry, she can't be on-air today.
She wanted to let you know this is a Nova M issue and nothing of her own making.
Nancy is kind enough to fill in today. And *cross fingers* we'll be back tomorrow.
During today's broadcast, substitute host Nancy Skinner has repeatedly mentioned the "last-minute" nature of today's fill-in assignment, while Rhodes listeners speculate over at another Internet message board regarding her fate. Her website is still being updated by someone, perhaps Rhodes or a producer, with today's entry talking up Obama's supposed "success" in office.
Last April, Rhodes departed Air America under fuzzy circumstances after calling Hillary Clinton "a big f***ing whore" during a stage performance in California. Rhodes was an outspoken Obamist during the primary season.
This development comes on the heels of continuing rumors of financial troubles at NovaM, as Drobny fights to maintain a liberal radio network that competes with rival Air America, which he also co-founded more than five years ago. The newer operation has generally functioned as a fallback outfit for "progressive" talkers once they've left AAR.
In 2005, Michelle Malkin and your Radio Equalizer teamed up for a series of investigative pieces on Air America, with a special focus on Drobny and his wife / business partner Anita Drobny. Since then, this site has also covered his failed push to retake control of that network, as well as attempts to expand NovaM's reach.
What's next for Rhodes and NovaM is anyone's guess, but the network's survival most likely hinges on its ability to raise more operating money amid a brutal advertising climate. Just today, dealing with the same harsh reality, Air America announced a reshuffling of its sales team.
FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site.
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