The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

23 April 2009

Randi Rhodes Returns To Radio Syndication


Libtalker Randi Rhodes Back In Radio Syndication

Not everybody gets
three shots at radio syndication, but for whatever reason, that's the fate of libtalker Randi Rhodes.

Late today, Premiere Radio Networks, home of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and many others, announced that it has signed Rhodes to a new deal involving nationwide distribution of her resurrected program.

Even within the still-fledgling and internally-competitive world of liberal talk radio, Randi is a controversial figure, especially as a result of a number of high-profile public flaps.

Between her bizarre "mugging" incident in the streets of Manhattan to her habit of airing disturbing prerecorded skits and record of extreme rhetoric, including calling Hillary Clinton a "big f--king whore", the former Air America and NovaM talker will prove a handful for her new employers.

Rhodes thinks highly of her own abilities, once comparing her "irreplacability" to that of the late Tim Russert on NBC.

During the past
five years, your Radio Equalizer has often seemingly been pulled into these conflicts, as libtalk insiders eagerly fed tips on Rhodes and her antics to this site, while others attacked her from the right. Moreover, Randi's attorney has even utilized yours truly to break news regarding her show, especially during the collapse of NovaM Radio.

In recent weeks, one person claiming inside knowledge of negotiations predicted that she would soon be signed by Premiere, but yours truly failed to take it seriously.

At least one station has already said it will carry the new program: East Bay Air America affiliate KKGN (Green 960) AM. Here, it has reprinted Premiere's press release:

LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2009 – Premiere Radio Networks is proud to announce that beginning May 11, The Randi Rhodes Show will join its lineup of nationally syndicated radio programs. Airing weekdays from 3-6pm ET, Rhodes will enlighten and entertain listeners with her trademark candid, incisive opinions, as well as her biting sense of humor, as she discusses everything from news and current events, to politics and hot topics. The Randi Rhodes Show will broadcast live from Washington, D.C., and will be heard on more than 25 affiliates including KTLK-AM/Los Angeles, Green 960 Online and Radio/San Francisco and KPOJ-AM/Portland.

“Right now, America needs a voice that reflects its hopes and concerns. It will be my privilege and pleasure to provide vital information to the public about everything that is possible in the 21st century, and also have a few laughs along the way,” commented Rhodes. “Premiere is an incredible family of radio pros, and is truly the most talented and experienced radio syndicator in the nation. I’m exited about this decision and Premiere’s enthusiasm for this partnership. It’s truly a dream come true.”

Premiere Radio EVP of Affiliate Marketing Julie Talbott stated, “Randi has carved a niche in Talk radio with her straight-forward approach, intelligence, wit and fact-driven content - qualities that attract audiences. We can’t wait to deliver The Randi Rhodes Show to stations nationwide.”

A Brooklyn native and former U.S. Air Force aircraft mechanic, Rhodes began her career in radio at a Country music station in Seminole, Texas. She enjoyed stints in Mobile, Alabama, as well as New York’s WAPP-FM, Milwaukee’s WQFM and West Palm Beach’s WJNO-AM. In 1992, she landed at Miami’s WIOD-AM, where she took over the station’s 8 -11 p.m. In 2004, Air America Radio began nationally syndicating her program, and she later joined Nova M Radio’s lineup in 2008. In addition, Rhodes starred in the HBO documentary Left of the Dial, and was named “Woman of the Year” by Talkers Magazine in 2007. timeslot and was ranked #1 in the market.

As for Premiere Radio's intentions, this remains a mystery. The company generally syndicates existing (currently on the air somewhere) programs with a track record of success, neither of which apply to Rhodes.

In addition, the current media environment is not favorable to left-leaning programs, as evidenced by MSNBC's plunging ratings.

That's why the move is likely to lead to criticism that hiring Rhodes may be a way of appeasing the Obama-led FCC ahead of a widely-expected crackdown on free speech in broadcasting. Rhodes was an outspoken Obama supporter, particularly during the primary season.

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site.

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  • NO WORRIES! from.."but yours truly failed to take it seriously"
    It may be an opinion,
    It WAS difficult to believe possibly a "Boyfriend"/"Legal Advisor"/"Daddy" can change things SO SO much!
    "Spin - Baby - Spin!"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 April, 2009 21:25  

  • As seen on Green 960 from John Scott earlier this week:

    Just one opinion here...This "stay tuned" for Green 960's Friday is a total listener tease and a joke! Maybe the "announcement" of the amazing "vote" results could were the set up for Randi Rhodes' return: "allegedly" by overwhelming demand????

    John Scott deserves an Academy Award for this "performance".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 April, 2009 21:43  

    I do not know if Randi Rhodes is coming back....Randi is on the bench, and this might be it.
    She is fighting with them over a contractual issue, and is apparently not coming back to Nova M unless they do some stuff for her. I am not assigning blame here, but the bottom line is: The show I made a deal with Nova M for is not available. And I may be prepared to move on, friends....I am tired of this circular firing squad I have to stand in. While Rush and Hannity and Mark Levin and Hedgecock and Savage chug along, full steam ahead, I am surrounded by drama, inconsistency, miscommunication, ego and a trail of wreckage of some very very bad decisions made by the networks who supply the shows to affiliates like Green 960... Let's think about some things for a moment.
    Here's what's happening: Randi is done at Nova M. I do not know when or if she will ever be back on the air. No one is really talking, and all I am seeing are a bunch of lawyer letters. It's BS.
    Let me repeat. She is not coming back, as you once knew her, and until I hear otherwise from somebody somewhere, that's it.
    With calamity and chaos and drama comes opportunity. Maybe that's why I'm not bamboozled. What can we do? Lots of things. There's always another idea, there's always another option, there's always another shining city on a hill to climb up to... You want to hear something positive and good once in a while, instead of this incessant drumbeat of Debbie Downer WAH-WAH the sky is falling. Of course, the sky IS falling or so it seems,, but we already know that. The Bitter Bus is already full, I want to get off....We need to smile, to have hope, to laugh, to emote something besides destruction and chaos and all bad news, all the time.
    Why should we be a cheap version of public radio, which most of you already listen to ?
    I think you're ready to be entertained...."

    Too Much Kool Aid John??

    Mr. Scott, your pathetic PT Barnum attempt to show-off your fake voting prowess and "scrubbing" of the anti-Randi comments are a total embarrassment to the WORD "progreesive"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 April, 2009 21:56  

  • Oh, darn...and I was hoping that she'd show up with Ed Schultz on MSNBC to bolster ratings and instead hasten the internal self-destruction of the cable network.

    I look forward to the blog fodder she'll produce.

    On a couple of more serious questions/points...

    Will her show be offered as a stand-alone or will Premiere Radio Networks force her upon stations already carrying Limbaugh & Hannity? I seem to remember in my radio days this being done with Limbaugh's show -- if you carried that show you were forced to carry other, lesser known shows as a package deal -- many stations got around this by recording the secondary shows and relegating them to the overnight hours.

    If her show isn't piggybacked with Limbaugh's show or Hannity's show and is offered as a stand-alone show, I wonder how many stations would be willing to carry her show. And how many stations in liberal markets may decline to carry her show because it's syndicated by a "conservative radio network"? I also wonder if some, Ed "Sgt" Schultz and Keith "Bathtub Boy" Olbermann come to mind, on the left (especially the extreme left) will accuse her of "selling out" to the enemy?

    Would a reason prediction be that she may start with her habitual unhinged rants and behaviors eventually leading her to "bite the hand that feeds her" by attacking PRN itself repeatedly? She'd done similar things elsewhere so it wouldn't be surprising if she did so sometime with PRN especially if she feels "untouchable."

    Only time will tell.

    One way or another, it's gonna be entertaining reading about her future screwups.

    Oh, BTW, what are the Vegas odds for how long she will be on-air this time around?

    By Blogger Carl, at 23 April, 2009 22:06  

  • Vegas Odds? DC is GREAT!
    She Has Something (Other Than Her Loyal Clients)
    "TO RIDE" certainly "paid off big for her", right Howard?
    Talk about a back door deal!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 April, 2009 23:16  

  • "...'selling out' to the enemy..."

    Are you kidding? Do you really think the left cares about consistency? For crying out loud, Janeane Garofalo is co-starring on "24"; that should tell you all you need to know about consistency from the left. It doesn't exist.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 24 April, 2009 00:41  

  • I KNEW Randi would be back! You right wing idiots get a bone chilling erection every time anything bad happens to a progressive talk show host. Randi Rhodes has been a success everywhere she's been because she gets high ratings. She's not going away and neither is the progressive movement. WE are on top right now politically and that just eats you righties up!Tough! It's our turn because your ideology and tom foolery didn't work! Ha! Ha! Ha! The laugh is on YOU!

    By Anonymous Deever Dave, at 24 April, 2009 02:49  

  • Carl
    Would a reason prediction be that she may start with her habitual unhinged rants and behaviors eventually leading her to "bite the hand that feeds her" by attacking PRN itself repeatedly?

    Howard Stern made millions by doing the same kind of radio, attacing the network he worked for CBS/infinity. Randi Rhodes, more unhinged= better radio. Imus was at his best when he was drunk and high on cocaine all day. He probably would not have a career today if it was not for his unhinged days.

    Carl, you revealed how unimportant and stupid your political views are, you admitted to listening to Rush, exposing how mis-informed you are . You should be embarassed to even listen to that piggy, most real Americans are

    By Anonymous CarlLovesRush, at 24 April, 2009 10:12  

  • A few examples of what some could view as remarks with a common theme:

    2005 Interview with Brian Lamb
    "I actually got on the air, and said I feel like I just got off the Amistad. I feel like I‘ve just been on the slave auction block. Now I know what it feels like to be auctioned off."

    2007 Broadcast
    Randi Rhodes tears into Oprah for her pro-Obama campaigning in Iowa, accusing her of using a phony "black preacher" voice on the stump. (Doesn't this broadcaster, also allegedly Jewish, when on air, sometimes speaks in accented Yiddish (phrases) when commenting about Jews?)

    San Francisco Apprearance Date March 22, 2008:
    "Aren't we all lucky to be here tonght....and be Black?"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 24 April, 2009 16:58  

  • I wonder how Randi feels working for the syndicator of the Devil Incarnate, as she refers to him.

    If she was true to her roots, she would have refused and tried to go with ABC/Citadel or something.

    By Anonymous Pirate Jack, at 26 April, 2009 04:37  

  • Real liberals are aware Rhodes is a FRAUD!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 April, 2009 14:16  

  • Randi DID NOT support on the radio Obama until it was mathematically impossible for Hillary to win, yet Hillary stayed in. At that point did you really expect her to endorse John McCain?

    Also Randi did not call Hillary a whore on the radio - it was at a fundraiser event in San Francisco and it as done as standup. She was not fired over it, it was used as leverage in her contract dispute against her perhaps, but she was not fired over that incident.

    By Anonymous YOUsTOOPIDaSSfACE, at 29 April, 2009 07:17  

  • Amazing how right wingers mis title themselves. "Equalizer"!! Oh, really? Why then spend so much time untruthly burning on MSNBC? Scared? Finally hearing actual disagreements with Bush doctrine which just about sunk this country? Try a little balance once in awhile. Might actually expand your audience.



    By Anonymous Pat, at 13 May, 2009 08:27  

  • Punk'd or failure to CHECK THE FACTS?,_KKGN&PCAST_CAT=News_%26_Politics&PCAST_TITLE=Randi_Rhodes

    Today, Randi Rhodes came on the air at noon (PDT) to breathlessly announce that the California Supreme Court had overruled Prop 8...congratulating "Howard" for writing the winning brief!!
    (Gee, you'd think she could at least check with HIM about the "BIG NEWS"!)
    After a little checking news websites for news unsuccessfully.....No NEWS....
    Fast forward to Randi returning from her first commercial break to sadly announce she had been was quoting a May 2008 article or perhaps it was April Fool's Day?. Apparently someone had "sent her" the original ruling the California Court came up with last year that first allowed the same sex marriages. DID YOU CHECK YOUR "HOMEWORK"?
    Thanks, Randi.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 May, 2009 18:47  

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