The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

05 April 2006

Air America, CEO Danny Goldberg, Party Politics, New York, Los Angeles


After Just A Year, Air America CEO Goldberg Out

Exclusive To The Radio Equalizer

By Brian Maloney

After just over
a year at the helm of financially troubled liberal radio network Air America, CEO Danny Goldberg is on his way out. Still unclear is who, if anyone, will replace him as top dog.

The changes take effect Friday, April 7, according to an internal source.

Goldberg, a former record label executive overseeing rap, hip hop and pop acts, joined the ailing network in early 2005.

He's also a partisan activist and lefty book author, contributing to many ultra-liberal politicians, including embattled Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA).

While exiting day-to-day operations at Air America, Goldberg will continue in a minor, contractually-based role, working one day a week from home. Through the end of 2006, he'll be paid $400,000 on an annualized basis for his temporary role as "Vice-Chair".

In addition, he'll receive $400,000 in deferred compensation covering 2005, $100,000 to cover 2006 travel and entertainment, plus ongoing clerical support. An initial share award representing 2% of the company will now become fully vested.

On a light note, if the company makes a profit in 2006 or 2007, Goldberg will be entitled to a share. And if the Radio Equalizer buys a lottery ticket with the winning numbers, we'll be entitled to a cash jackpot!

Until now, Goldberg was working under a contract with a 2010 expiry date, while its replacement runs out December 31.

In his new, hazily defined role as "progressive liason", he'll work out of Los Angeles during the summer. Air America is also expected to cover his costs for this "project".

Given the emerging details of Goldberg's new agreement with Air America, the Radio Equalizer wonders: will Danny merely serve as a paid partisan activist during an election year? This further reinforces Bill O'Reilly's theory that Air America is a political organization thinly disguised as a for-profit corporation.

So what happened? As Air America's financial situation has become increasingly precarious, relying on cash infusions from Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser, joined by Democracy Alliance contributors George Soros and Peter Lewis, management tensions have run high.

Recently, staffers have noted increasingly ugly conflicts between company "suits", especially between Goldberg and COO Carl Ginsburg. On several occasions, this executive-level row was apparent even during staff meetings. Until now, it wasn't clear who would survive the battle of the egos, but the latter has today emerged victorious.

Within the talk radio industry, we've long felt Goldberg was resented. Nobody likes a record peddler telling experienced insiders how the medium should sound.

What's next? Watch for the company to engage in more spin, as the Radio Equalizer again brings forward Air America's true state of affairs. For this announcement, a particular amount of effort has gone into planning a media strategy.

UPDATE: Goldberg pulls out of Media Matters forum also featuring Al Franken. Welcome Little Green Footballs readers.

UPDATE: Company issues evening press release confirming departure, AP picks up the story, spin looking pretty weak here. Check the main page for updates. Welcome Powerline readers, John Hinderaker has a really interesting take on this. Thanks also to Michelle Malkin.

Please check the main page for new updates.

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Graphics: David A Lunde for the Radio Equalizer. Visit his site today!


  • so i'm noticing that you don't provide any sources at all for this story. this leads me to believe that you're probably just making it up. you should check out my story "Rush Limbaugh Eats Babies." sure, I don't list any sources, but according to your standards, that makes it true.

    By Blogger hardcore conservative genious, at 05 April, 2006 13:14  

  • When did your internal source tell you this? On April 1st perhaps?

    Will be interesting to see if this does come to pass. Even if Air America's finances suck, there's plenty of rich lefties willing to bail it out, so all this talk of collapse is silly.

    Soros, for example, has 7 billion dollars. That means he can easily spend 70 million a year on whatever he wants and still increase his wealth.

    By Blogger madai, at 05 April, 2006 14:10  

  • Forget the TINFOILBOYS, I think your math is wrong... Has "Without the Ramones Know One Cares" actually been at AAr for a year?

    I think that time is actually light.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 05 April, 2006 15:21  

  • I hope your source doesn't dry up.

    400k for not doing anything? I only get paid 100k at work for not doing anything. Not fair.

    By Blogger tradersmith, at 05 April, 2006 16:05  

  • Clearly "Air Traitor" Radio is in its last throes. This just goes to show you that America doesn't support the moonbat lib traitors. As I predicted over a year ago, "Air Traitor"'s hatred of President Bush, and therefore America, would alienate them from freedom loving people in this country. Good riddance to their terrorist propaganda. Let freedom reign!

    By Blogger CITE, at 05 April, 2006 17:06  

  • Could anyone spare a bag of bricks to toss on the deck of the SS Airhead America???
    Does anyone belive it's not a not-for-profit venture, pardon me, except the Air America folks profit. I also read Big Al the commies pal was pulling down crazy cash as well.

    By Blogger Boone Towne, at 05 April, 2006 17:07  

  • I finally had a chance to listen to Air America the other day (better antenna), and I think I know what their problem is: Randi Rhodes. Now, don't get me wrong, as Ozzie's guitarist she kicked ass, but as a radio host she's atrocious. Her voice is so nasal and grating that I thought I was listening to "Koh-fee Tawk" on SNL. Not only that but she has absolutely no ability to focus on a subject; every segment is essentialy the same rant about "Bwoosh lies/Doob'yooMD's/Wepooblicans ah cowupt/Weepooblicans ah fahscist ehnd racist hicks/yadda yadda" bookended by a nominal but unexamined topic (pardon me--tawpic). Surely there are liberals out there who can focus on a topic for 2 whole minutes without running a rote repetition of the "Boosh lies" litany. Aren't there?

    By Blogger Chairman eDog, at 05 April, 2006 18:29  

  • Talk about timing! What should AAR's next CEO do next? Answer here.

    On the whole, not a positive business development. Now, in addition to the time and expense of having to find and pay a new CEO, AAR's management will have to continue the care and feeding of the old one.

    On another note, the latest news is that Goldberg has been promoted! Obviously a long-considered, carefully planned move with a replacement CEO already lined up.

    Sarcasm aside, they may finally be getting serious about running the business - they've hired a professional consulting company to oversee the search for a replacement.

    It would appear the COO isn't in line for the job....

    By Blogger Ironman, at 05 April, 2006 19:43  

  • At least Mr. Goldberg outlasted the run of the Baha Men, who had their only hit on Goldberg's label with "Who Let the Dogs Out?". A significant achievement for someone from the world of pop shlock if I must say.

    By Blogger @whut, at 05 April, 2006 23:34  

  • In OT news, some cute "liberal" removed my site ( as well as this site from Wikipedia:

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 05 April, 2006 23:41  

  • Alright, which charity treasurey are they going to raid to pay for this ego trip to LA. I think the Boys and Girls club is out of money for this fools.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 06 April, 2006 08:39  

  • Congrats, Brian!

    GREAT story!

    By Blogger frankenlies, at 06 April, 2006 08:46  

  • Great story. Typical of liberals. No one wants what they're selling anymore. Take it to North Korea or Cuba. Only markets left for them! And it's great to see them keep spinning their wheels and wasting their money in total denial. Wonderful!

    By Blogger jack no, at 06 April, 2006 10:46  

  • Now let's see...

    If I were to give up my love of evil corporate CEO's and senior managers who make huge bucks at the expense of the workers, and move to the 'progressive' side who support the little guy -

    I could pick up a job where I get $400K a year for working 1 day a week, plus $100K a year for travel expenses?

    By Blogger Lokki, at 06 April, 2006 11:10  

  • Danny Goldberg: CONGRATULATIONS! Enclosed is a check for your share of Air America's profits for 2006 and 2007!!

    Yes, Danny, that's what well be telling you...

    Thank you for your valuable contribution to our success!!


    Al Franken

    By Blogger mirthlink, at 06 April, 2006 11:24  

  • Danny leaving is a very good thing. Most Air America listeners have hated his decisions and are happy to see him gone. This is what Marc Maron said on his blog: "All I can say is Delay and Goldberg in one week has made this one of the best weeks I've had without drugs and I'm almost 7 years sober."

    By Blogger qw3rty, at 06 April, 2006 14:08  

  • Brian

    I love it. First you are a liar without sources and just making shit up. Then a very inconvenient thing occurs. An AAR press release. Any crow eaten or even a small mea culpa? No way why Its a good thing! NO make that A VERY GOOD THING! And as a bonus a quote from an Air America Airhead that makes him sound for all the world as if he is nostalgic for his drug induced stupor days. Of course listening Randi Rhodes would be enough to drive me to substance abuse too.

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 06 April, 2006 14:59  

  • The main problem with AAR isn't ideological. The main problem is that they had an inferior product.

    AAR just didn't have the talent they needed to run a national network. They should have hired people who had been successful before. They are out there; Ed Schultz and Alan Colmes might have been good choices.

    By Blogger Strabo the Lesser, at 06 April, 2006 15:36  

  • removing a CEO does not mean that the station is in trouble. in fact, it means just the opposite. it means that they are taking the steps necessary to get the company where they want it. Goldberg wasn't doing a good job, so they booted him. wow. i bet this is the first time that a CEO has ever been removed from any company in the entire history of the world. yeah, great job brian. you successfully read the Billboard Radio Monitor and re-wrote their article. you are such an amazing journalist.

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 06 April, 2006 16:07  

  • There it is again the second verse of the new amazing song that is climbing the liberal pop charts " Its a Very Good Thing." Its got a catchy tune and a beat you can dance to. Lets go with it.

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 06 April, 2006 16:42  

  • liberal outlaw,

    Billboard Radio Monitor was the first to carry AAR's official press release announcing Goldberg's "promotion." It appeared some 7 to 8 hours after Brian broke the story. I know because I linked to it several minutes after it appeared (see the comments above.)

    Amazed yet?

    By Blogger Ironman, at 06 April, 2006 18:33  

  • Brian,
    After reading your blog I had an unexpected reaction, I feel sorry for you. I intended to read you for laughs but this unfortunate glimpse in to your heart of hearts only fills me with sadness.

    By Blogger mark, at 06 April, 2006 22:49  

  • They should look no further for a new CEO amd let the President, Gary Krantz, run it--he is the only one on the management team with broadcast and network experience

    By Blogger t5man, at 08 April, 2006 14:37  

  • "I think (Air America) is in its last throes." Sound familiar? It's as if this blog is another Reich Wing Weapon of Mass Distraction. While we are compelled to look the other way, our government continues to implode. As the present trend continues (whether you choose to acknowledge it or not), AAR will be around long after President Bush is impeached and removed from office.

    By Blogger Homunculus, at 09 April, 2006 21:49  

  • A political organization thinly disguised as a for-profit corporation? Why is this a bad thing? Right wingers constantly distort the truth for the purpose of getting ratings and thus making money, as Al Franken has been very skilled at pointing out. Ann Coulter winning a debate? Don't make me laugh.

    Cuba and North Korea? Get real. The entire western, industrialized world is made up of socialist democracies EXCEPT for the U.S. Face it, the liberal viewpoint is the majority opinion of the West. IN the US, I might add, there are more registered Democrats than Republicans. Know the facts.

    By Blogger Laotzu00, at 10 June, 2006 12:29  

  • A political organization thinly disguised as a for-profit corporation? Why is this a bad thing? Right wingers constantly distort the truth for the purpose of getting ratings and thus making money, as Al Franken has been very skilled at pointing out. Being not for profit would lend itself to credibility in my view. Ann Coulter winning a debate with Al.. or anyone for that matter? Don't make me laugh.

    Cuba and North Korea? Get real. The entire western, industrialized world is made up of socialist democracies EXCEPT for the U.S. Face it, the liberal viewpoint is the majority opinion of the West. IN the US, I might add, there are more registered Democrats than Republicans. Know the facts.

    By Blogger Laotzu00, at 10 June, 2006 12:31  

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