The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

13 October 2009

EQ Follow-Up: 'Morning Joe' Canned In DC


'Morning Joe' Loses Key Affiliate

So much for 'Morning Joe' Scarborough's dreams of a Rush Limbaugh-sized radio contract. His syndicated program, launched after news of El Rushbo's unprecedented nine-figure signing bonus rocked broadcasting and sent a fresh round of pundits searching for their own timeslot, is in deep trouble today with the loss of a key affiliate.

WMAL-AM's cancellation of the midmorning program is a double-blow for the MSNBC talker, as the station is owned and operated by his syndicator, Citadel Communications.

That does not bode well for the show's future in other cities. It's a clear sign of deep concern at the corporate level and may suggest his future removal from WABC-AM in New York City.

Some listeners found Scarborough's positions confusing, especially as he alternated between more liberal views on MSNBC and somewhat conservative takes during the radio program, heard just a short time apart each morning.

During Scarborough's tenure at WMAL, station ratings suffered as the station sunk to 15th overall, despite much stronger showings from Rush Limbaugh (8th), Sean Hannity (10th) and Mark Levin that could not offset greater weakness in earlier dayparts.

In a good sign for local news-talk, WMAL has announced that his replacement will be Chris Plante, who had previously been canned to make way for Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski.

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

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