The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

08 May 2006

Randi Rhodes, Air America, WLIB, New York City


Rhodes: New York Flagship Or Else

Exclusive To The Radio Equalizer
By Brian Maloney

Like a pampered
rock star demanding hand-selected green M&M bowls in the band's hotel suite, Randi Rhodes sure isn't making things easy for Air America Radio.

During recent lengthy and emotionally- draining contract renegotiations, Rhodes, an afternoon drive host with the liberal radio network, has demanded nearly everything, including the kitchen sink.

Even when that's thrown in, however, Randi seems to want more!

One key sticking point, according to a reliable internal source, is her attempt to force Air America's hand on the critical issue of the network's future in New York City. As we exclusively reported in March, it faces the loss of flagship outlet WLIB-AM later this year.

Without a decent option for finding a new broadcast home in the nation's most important market, AAR's chances of survival are more uncertain than ever.

Over the course of several months, Rhodes and her New York-based attorney, Robert V Gaulin, have repeatedly demanded that her show must be heard on New York's WLIB, or else!

Each time, the network's response has been clear: we can't promise that to anyone.

Through this tactic, Rhodes seemingly wants to compel Air America to finally reveal the truth (at least to her) about where the network is headed, if anywhere. Unfortunately for staffers, they're far more likely to get critical company news from this website than AAR's notoriously dodgy management.

While that might seem like a reason for sympathy toward Rhodes, in our view, it's a completely outrageous demand of her employer. In the history of talk radio, we doubt many have had the nerve to require, as a contractual condition, a particular station carry their program.

If his show were to leave WABC for another New York affiliate, would mega-talker Rush Limbaugh demand his contract be torn up? It's not only extremely unlikely, but in practice, Rush has been frequently been forced to weather station changes in major cities.

In such instances, hosts have virtually no veto power over affiliation agreements.

For Air America, even if they would like to accommodate Randi's unreasonable demand, it's simply impossible. As for now, the best that can be made is a vague promise they'll continue to broadcast somewhere in New York City (if only there was a place to go), but could they ever hope to find an equally powerful station?

The end result of her stubborn refusal to concede even the slightest point has been a childish game of back-and-forth.

The big question: before it finally becomes fed up, how long will Air America Radio continue to pamper Randi Rhodes?

Thanks for your continued and vital Radio Equalizer support, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately order!

Rhodes 0.8: David A Lunde for the Radio Equalizer, WLIB in illegal immigration protest: mac.lachlan, creepy Rice image: AAR advertising campaign


  • I think Randi Rhodes wants out of ScareAmerica. She knows the ship is sinking, but doesn't want to be seen as a rat deserting the ship. That is why she's making the demands she is.

    By Blogger PCD, at 08 May, 2006 13:00  

  • For the love of...

    Brian - when you write something resembling a news story, you must "identify" a source. Even if that source is just "an source close to the negotiations" or some other code for "anonymous."

    You don't even say THAT. You really need to stay away from print.


    By Blogger Robert Spuhler, at 08 May, 2006 13:31  

  • Randi may be stupid, but she's not THAT stupid. She knows that (if rumored) WLIB is sold to Randy Michaels that he will put Ed Schultz on the air, whose show directly competes against Randi. That means Randi has to A) relocate or B) call it quits.

    By Blogger BF, at 08 May, 2006 13:39  

  • RS, this is what I indicated:

    "a reliable internal source"

    If you've been following this site since last year, it's pretty clear I have sources with first-hand knowledge of the situation. I'm not about to say anything that could put a source in danger.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 08 May, 2006 14:47  

  • Y'all need to spend more time sucking mAnn Coiulter's toes with Dick Morris.

    Randi Rhodes and Stephanie Miller RULE!

    By Blogger Jordy, at 09 May, 2006 15:20  

  • You screen your comments? What a pussy! We're only allowed to read comments from people that agree with you?

    By Blogger Jordy, at 09 May, 2006 15:23  

  • Mikeinsc is on this one--it's like saying Bush is responsible for Katrina--shortsided, irresponsible and out and out dumb. But that's the left for ya!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 09 May, 2006 23:03  

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