The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

26 December 2005

Year End Silliness, NYC Radio Turmoil, Blogometer


Paper's Glaring Omission, Plus: WOR's Growing Mess

Let's hope we're jumping the gun a bit in questioning David Hinckley's account of "the top stories that made (air)waves in '05", which appeared in Monday's New York Daily News. Take a look:

WBLS (107.5 FM) brought in Paul Mooney, then Steve Harvey to challenge Jeff Foxx's morning show on hot WRKS (98.7 FM). Air America (WLIB, 1190 AM) brought in Jerry Springer, and Marc Maron left the morning show. WWRL (1600 AM) hired Steve Malzberg, then Steve Feuerstein as Karen Hunter's morning cohost. WWRL also brought Alan Colmes back, and Hot-97 moved Fatman Scoop to middays.

Program director Michael Saunders left Power-105 in the wake of a payola investigation. WABC launched a Saturday night oldies show, and WSKQ morning cohosts Luis Jimenez and Moonshadow released a raunchy movie.

No doubt the raunchy movie deserved to rank among the year's most important broadcast-related stories, but what of Air America?

A morning show change was deemed significant, but the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club scandal, where $875,000 in taxpayer funds were instead diverted to the liberal radio network, isn't even worth mentioning?

Since July 26, when the Daily News became the first major publication to mention the scandal, in a single sentence at the bottom of a buried item, the paper has just about completely blown off the story. That meant leaving it to the New York Post, Sun and our blogs.

Was the first mention a mere accident, for a story the Daily News clearly didn't wish to investigate?

Is Hinckley simply reiterating the paper's pro-Air America line? Or does he have something better planned for his two additional year-end columns, to be published this week? We'll be watching.

Let's hope he proves our suspicions incorrect, we'd hate to see the paper attempt to sweep away Air America's sleazy corporate behavior.

WOR's infomercial-like environment has apparently became so devoid of meaningful content that even one of the New York talker's "lifestyle" hosts can no longer stand it.

In an unexpected move, Rocco DiSpirito's food show won't be replacing the retiring political talker Bob Grant after all. Instead, DiSpirito has abruptly left the station entirely.

From the New York Post's John Mainelli:

Former reality-TV chef Rocco DiSpirito — whose WOR radio show was set to replace Bob Grant in prestigious afternoon drive time next month — has suddenly left the station altogether, The Post has learned.

Unbeknownst to listeners, DiSpirito's final midday show was Friday.

"When we started working on the new show, it became apparent that we had two very different ideas of how to move forward," DiSpirito told The Post yesterday.

DiSpirito, 39, says he wanted to do a "broad lifestyle and entertainment-style show," rather than just talk about food and recipes, which he had been doing at 11 a.m. since joining WOR (710 AM) in October of last year.

"It made sense to just part company," he said.

A station source says DiSpirito's sudden departure may also have had something to do with wisecracks he made about the wearing of fur while discussing a promotion involving a longtime WOR advertiser — New Jersey's Flemington Furs.

DiSpirito, a spokesman for the National Humane Society, downplayed the notion of fur firestorm.

While the fur controversy might have a role to play in his departure, it's hard to believe that could be the sole reason, as a simple apology can usually smooth over these situations.

Could it be WOR's infomercial-style programming has become so incredibly cheap and tacky that celebrity chef DiSpirito no longer cared to associate himself with it?

Thanks to the National Journal's Blogometer for including our Air America coverage in the Washington, DC-based political publication's list of the year's top stories:

Air America Radio has had money trouble since its inception, but this summer it was revealed that a former exec had funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to AAR to the detriment of a Bronx Boys and Girls club. While the NYC press largely ignored the story, radio talker Brian Maloney and Michelle Malkin followed it closely.

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Milk of Amnesia: Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer
Hey: Agent Tim Online


  • Shows how little that the radio suits think of anything but narrow infomercial broadcasting.

    Station officials wanted him to continue with talk of food and recipes while his vision encompassed a “broad lifestyle and entertainment-style show,” DiSpirito said.


    By Blogger @whut, at 27 December, 2005 18:05  

  • WOR: Bring back Jean Shepherd. (Yes, I know he passed re-runs :) )

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 28 December, 2005 04:42  

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