The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

11 March 2006

San Diego, Cleveland, Jerry Springer, Air America


Air America Fan Wrongly Canned? Plus: Springer Troubles

(Updated with new story)

After making news across the country, we wonder: can it really be true a San Diego County woman was fired over her car's Air America bumper sticker?

In a suit filed against her former employer, that's exactly what Linda Laroca contends: a KLSD-AM sticker was her undoing.

Excerpted from the North County Times:

Woman sues for alleged firing over talk show bumper sticker

By: TERI FIGUEROA - Staff Writer

VISTA ---- A San Diego County woman is suing her former employer, accusing her manager of firing her on the spot when she saw the woman's car had a bumper sticker advertising a progressive talk radio station.

In a civil suit filed at the county courthouse in Vista, Linda Laroca is targeting both her former manager, Beverly Fath, and the company she briefly worked for last year, Advantage Sales and Marketing, Inc.

Neither Laroca nor the defendants could be reached for comment Wednesday. Laroca's attorney declined comment.

Laroca, who was hired by the company as a sales representative, is seeking lost wages and damages for wrongful termination for violations of both public policy and the state labor code. She is also claiming state constitutional violations and emotional distress.

According to Laroca's suit, the bumper sticker in question read only: "1360 Air America Progressive Talk Radio."

In her Feb. 21 claim, Laroca asserts that on Oct. 8, three weeks after she started working for the marketing company, Fath called her on a Saturday and requested they meet at a nearby grocery store parking lot so Laroca could pass on some documents Fath needed.

During the brief encounter, Laroca charges, the manager pointed to the bumper sticker ---- the only one on Laroca's car ---- and remarked that it was a new sticker and called it "that Al Franken left-wing radical radio station."

Laroca alleges in her suit that Fath then told her, "The country is on a high state of alert. For all I know, you could be al-Qaida."

A stunned Laroca laughed nervously at the statement, the suit alleges, and then was dealt "the final blow" when Fath fired her on the spot.

At KLSD-AM, meanwhile, the suit is proving a free publicity bonanza, one the station is all too eager to exploit. Nor are liberal websites overlooking it, either.

Hey, why bother with nasty details such as the other side of the story? We don't know a thing about this women, but her claims must be legit, right?

Here, Alternet lefties dive in head-first:

You reap what you sow. For fifty years a central element of the right's strategy has been to demonize liberalism, a constant and rich part of America's political culture since the country's founding. The result is … brainwashed psychos like this Fath woman.

It's even worse at the lefty Sploid (excerpted here):

Woman fired over Air America sticker

[We love both our listeners!] (Radio Equalizer note: oddly, this line was embedded under an Air America graphic at Sploid)

A San Diego woman got fired for having a bumper sticker on her car advertising a liberal talk-radio station, and now she’s suing her boss.

Linda Laroca claims that her bumper sticker – which read "1360 Air America Progressive Talk Radio" – made her right-wing boss go berserk.

Notoriously right-wing San Diegans have been outraged ever since a local AM station began broadcasting Air America in late 2004.

When the defendant responds to the suit, what will these websites and media outlets have to say? Our guess: it won't get so much as a mention in the press.

yesterday, Laroca made the rounds of liberal talk shows. Teri Figueroa of the North County Times has a new story (excerpted here):

During interviews Friday, Linda Laroca said her former employer later told her the comment about the firing was a joke, and asked her back to work.

Laroca, alongside her attorneys, made her first public comments about the suit during an appearance on the Stacy Taylor show on KLSD, 1360 AM, a local affiliate of the progressive talk-radio network, Air America.

Laroca also spoke later in the day on two syndicated programs: the nationwide Ed Schultz show (a part of the Jones network) and Air America's national Randi Rhodes show, with Sam Seder filling in as a substitute host Friday.

Laroca alleges in her suit that her former manager spotted the bumper sticker advertising Air America, told Laroca she could be a member of al-Qaida, and fired her on the spot.

Laroca said Friday that the woman, Beverly Fath, called Laroca the Monday after the weekend incident to ask Laroca why she was not at work.

Laroca said that when she told Fath that she had thought the former manager had fired her two days prior, Fath allegedly told her that the comments about the firing had been in jest.

Asked if she had mistaken her former manager's alleged comments, Laroca told the North County Times she didn't believe the woman had been joking.

"If she was, I didn't take it that way," Laroca said. "She wasn't smiling."

The North County Times has been unable to locate Fath for comment, and no one answered the door Friday at a home thought to be Fath's residence.

A phone call to the company was received with a "no comment," and the attorney believed to be representing the company has not returned phone calls from the North County Times.

Is Laroca's account accurate? Perhaps, but even if so, it doesn't put the left in a position to make blanket statements about conservatives. If she's serious about her suit, appearing on all of these radio shows doesn't seem especially wise.

In Cleveland, it's curtains for Air America's Jerry Springer. In his home state of Ohio, that's a tough break!

Ohio Media Watch had the scoop, later verified by All Access:

ALL ACCESS has confirmed a story first reported by OHIO MEDIA WATCH this morning, the dropping of JERRY SPRINGER's syndicated show from CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WTAM-A/CLEVELAND.

The station is replacing SPRINGER with a "checkerboard" of local fill-in talent while a permanent local replacement is sought; SPRINGER, whose CLEAR CHANNEL show has been offered alongside AIR AMERICA RADIO programs as well as independently, will continue the show for the rest of his affiliates. SPRINGER's show has been airing on WTAM for about a year in the 9-11:45a slot.

Since it's not like Clear Channel to dump syndicated programming for local hosts, what's the rest of the story? Could it be they finally realized just how awful Springer sounds on the radio?

Or, since former Clear Channel exec Randy Michaels owns the show, is somebody in the company trying to send him a message?

Thanks for your continued and vital Radio Equalizer support, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately order! Because this investigative work is taking an increasing amount of our time, it's needed more than ever.

Franken behind bars: Alternet, Sticker Wars: KLSD-AM, Linda Laroca photo: Waldo Nilo for the North County Times, San Diego County, CA


  • Having heard Springer on the radio, I can't say I'm all that surprised (he is better on T.V. if that's really saying anything.)

    From an AAR perspective, the loss of Springer's show on WTAM would mean the end of what may be the highest rated AAR program in any of its local markets, given WTAM's dominance in the Cleveland market (the station routinely maintains a rating share over 8.0). I don't believe Springer gets those kind of numbers anywhere else (or for that matter, any other AAR host, except possibly in Portland, OR.)

    By Blogger Ironman, at 11 March, 2006 08:48  

  • To All,

    Regarding Springer ('The Voice of Reason' for the very centrist Lefties at the DailyKos).

    This is worse than it sounds. WTAM was the highest rated station for Air America in the nation. It was the second rated station in Cleveland with a RadioAndRecords share of 7.9. It is the top rated station in Air Amercia's listing in a top 50 market.

    However, there is a bit of a caveat. The Air America website doesn’t mention that the only ‘progressive’ show on the station was that of ‘The Voice of Reason’ – Jerry Springer (uh, huh… The Lefts Voice of Reason is Jerry Springer). Actually, KTAM appears to be a sports talk station.

    So Air America will lose bragging rights to a very highly rated station – rights it should not have spun to its advantage anyway. That will not help Air America’s local ranking average (they rank about 21 on the local station lists for stations in the top 50); nor their average listener share (they rank a 1.1 in the top 50 stations). That one station provides 1/3rd of their national listener share – if spun properly to ignorant national advertisers. In fact, Air America has lost market share and station positioning since the Fall 2004 ratings period.

    Expect to hear more ‘advertising’ spots on the dangers of syphilis or something…

    By Blogger Boghie, at 11 March, 2006 10:49  

  • Brian’s Lies Watch – Day 16Post

    The anatomy of a lie:

    1) Rush Limbaugh, on his Feb 14 radio show, in talking about the Ohio Hackett/Brown Democratic Primary, said:
    a. “And don’t forget, Sherrord Brown is black” – this was not a lie, but a mistake
    b. He then said, “There’s a racial component here, too”
    2) Rush was then informed by listeners via e-mails that Brown was not black, and was, in fact, white. Paul Hackett was white, as well
    3) Therefore, there was no “racial element” to the story at all
    4) Rush “corrected” his mistake that Brown was black, but DID NOT retract or apologize for the “racial element” remark

    He made up the “racial element” angle, obviously. This was Rush’s lie. His next lie:

    1) He said “I’m not gonna apologize, ‘cause I don’t think it’s an insult to be black”
    2) Of course, this is a lie, too, because he should be apologizing for making up the “racial component” of the story (the link on Brian’s page is about to disappear forever)

    Brian Maloney then reported on the story on Feb 20. He related the story as if the only element was the “error” Rush Limbaugh Made about Brown’s race.

    Of course, the real story was the “racial component” that Rush made up and then refused to retract.

    Hence, Brian lied as well.

    The elements of the story as I’ve stated above are incontrovertible fact.

    But don’t believe me, and don’t believe anyone else - Research for yourselves.

    By Blogger TJ, at 11 March, 2006 11:29  

  • AAR continues to circle the porcelain bowl in a clockwise direction losing stations and prgramming slots all over the country and TJ continues to beat his drum. Same sound over and over. Brain is a liar Brian is a liar. Seems like almost everything he has written about AAR has come true and the rest will soon be known. Lets face it guys you are losing and he is no doubt laughing at your ptitful little displays.

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 11 March, 2006 11:46  

  • This is the best Brian can come up with? Some jingoist fires a woman because she listens to the popular Air America radio shows, and all Brian can do is blame the victim!

    Do you really wonder why Americans are beining to view right wingers as if they just crawled out of a sewer?

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 11 March, 2006 12:51  

  • "Could it be they finally realized just how awful Springer sounds on the radio?"

    Unlike some talk show wannabes, at least he doesn't have a lisp.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 11 March, 2006 13:06  

  • What a bunch of ironic call letters--KLSD--sounds to me you have be on LSD to listen to Air America!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 11 March, 2006 14:30  

  • Is this the same Brian Maloney who blamed the loss of his job at KIRO because of his criticism of Dan Rather? Too f**king much.

    KIRO-AM disputes radio show host fired for criticizing Rather:

    By Blogger pbrauer, at 11 March, 2006 17:35  

  • KIRO-AM disputes radio show host fired for criticizing Rather


    KIRO-AM's general manager yesterday disputed allegations that the weekly "Brian Maloney Show" was canceled because of comments Maloney made about CBS newsman Dan Rather.

    Maloney said Saturday that he was fired for criticizing Rather's handling of challenges to the credibility of memos aired on "60 Minutes II" about President Bush's National Guard service.

    Station manager Ken Berry said that wasn't the issue.

    "The primary reason Brian Maloney's show was canceled is because KIRO's broadcasts of the Seattle Seahawks football games significantly reduces our Sunday talk lineup, and we felt the remaining time slots would be better filled by other hosts."

    Maloney's show aired for three years on the station, a CBS affiliate.

    So he was fired because his show sucked, and he has a lisp.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 11 March, 2006 18:59  

  • so - can anyone find anything describing why he doesn't work at 570 KVI in seattle, either?

    He was at KVI before KIRO

    By Blogger TJ, at 11 March, 2006 20:06  

  • Not to interupt your pointless whining about Mr. Maloney by commenting on the story, I wonder if this lady has a case at all.

    Anybody can sue for anything, but that doesn't mean they're going to win....

    I'm not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one on this site, but a quick google search under "California Employment At Will" came up with this case:
    Grinzi v San Diego Hospice Corp. (2004) 120 CA4th 72 -

    "Employee Was Not Protected Against Termination For Speech-Related Activities (pdf). "

    It makes good press for Air America (Small talk was important on the Titanic too - as it kept people's mind's off more depressing matters) but I don't think that it's going to recruit any viewers.

    I also think that the case is a loser... The employer has rolled over to avoid the hassle, but I'll be this lady won't ever get promoted, and if she loses this job, she'll never get another. Sueing your employer doesn't make you too popular.

    By Blogger Lokki, at 12 March, 2006 14:15  

  • Watching Tick Duck squirm is f'ing great!! He sounds like the five idiots on trying to make silk out of a sow's ear. Air America sucks, bottom line.

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 12 March, 2006 19:25  

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