The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

29 April 2007

Buddy Cianci, Rhode Island Corruption, Talk Radio


Cianci's Release Could Further Damage Medium

Why has talk radio suddenly become a dumping ground for sleazy felons and other washed- up politicians?

With the impending prison release of notorious former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci (shown left in photo with Boston Mayor Tom "Mumbles" Menino), Northeast talk stations may continue the troubling recent trend of hiring hosts from the ranks of convicted felons.

Who says crime doesn't pay? So much for cleaning up the sleaze- ridden radio business.

According to the Providence Journal's Mike Stanton, Cianci's early release could mean a faster transition to the airwaves, depending on whether an agreement is reached:

Although Cianci’s five-year sentence for racketeering conspiracy doesn’t end until July 28, plans are for him to be released from prison in Fort Dix, N.J., on May 30, a longtime associate said yesterday.

Cianci will be sent initially to a halfway house in Boston, the Coolidge House, but he will probably be back in Rhode Island soon after, living in home confinement in East Greenwich with his nephew, Brad Turchetta, a Warwick orthodontist and son of Cianci’s sister.

Under government rules, Cianci will have to show that he is working before he can move to home confinement, and he will have to wear an electronic ankle bracelet until his sentence expires on July 28.


Cianci, 66, will return to a different world than the one he left after his 2002 conviction for racketeering conspiracy. There is a new mayor in City Hall, one who has criticized Cianci’s corrupt regime. New high-rises are sprouting downtown.

And Cianci’s longtime national radio foil, Don Imus, is history.

Will Cianci be replacing Imus on local talk radio?

“We haven’t had any talks with Buddy, but we hope to have lots of talks with him after he’s released,” said WPRO station manager Paul Giammarco yesterday. “If Buddy wants to be on the radio, we want him to be on WPRO.

“Buddy wants to be relevant, and he wants to find a place where his voice can be heard, whether it’s radio or television or the movies.”

Giammarco said that station officials have devised plans to shift WPRO’s current talk-show lineup, which includes Cianci nemesis John DePetro in the morning and Dan Yorke in the afternoon, as well as syndicated host Rush Limbaugh at midday, to make room for Cianci.

“There’s room for everybody — the whole gang,” said Giammarco, who declined to elaborate.

Officials at WHJJ, which recently fired Arlene Violet and is down to just one local talk show, could not be reached for comment.

Talk radio “would certainly be a natural spot for him,” said Artin H. Coloian, his former chief of staff, who declined to comment on Cianci’s employment plans. “I’m excited about his coming back. I think he’ll be as dynamic a champion of the city as he ever was.”

Others who have had contact with Cianci say that he has been working as a prison librarian at Fort Dix and writing his memoirs.

At least in this case, Cianci had some level of popularity with the public, unlike convicted felon Tom Finneran, a former state legislative leader and Democrat Party insider who recently took a similar job in Boston.

But make no mistake about it: Cianci is a crook. And even from a ratings and revenue perspective, it's hard to make a case for Buddy. For one thing, advertisers are not especially keen to associate themselves with known criminals.

And beyond that, there are other problems: he's now 66, has been out of the public spotlight for some time and is likely out of touch with local and national issues. Clearly, Providence has moved on as well, with growth and revitalization that is no longer associated with Buddy's brand of civic corruption.

Beyond just Providence, this pro- felon hiring trend is damaging to talk radio as a whole. Can't we do better?

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  • Brian,
    When will you correct your mistake about Soros funding Media Matters? It just is not true. Are you not man enough to admit a mistake? Or do you just ignore the truth when inconvenient for your argument.

    From Media Matters:
    On the April 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly attacked Media Matters for America, saying that "the vile Media Matters outfit is denying receiving funding from any of [progressive financier] George Soros' outfits," and claiming, "Well, that is a total lie." As evidence, O'Reilly noted that the Tides Foundation donated over $1 million to Media Matters in 2005, "[a]nd just by coincidence Soros' Open Society Institute [OSI] donated more than a million dollars to Tides in 2005." He added: "Figure it out."

    But O'Reilly's conclusion that Soros donated $1 million to Media Matters through the Tides Foundation is false. OSI's donations to Tides were earmarked for several specific programs, and Media Matters was not included on this list.

    As Media Matters documented, on April 24, O'Reilly unveiled a chart that purported to expose a "complicated political operation" in which "Soros and a few other wealthy radicals who help him are funneling money into the political process" by funding Media Matters, which "feeds its propaganda to some mainstream media people." As previously indicated, Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization.

    By Blogger Justin, at 29 April, 2007 18:14  

  • Yeah, it's kinda like felon G. Gordon Liddy having a show or notable underminer of the Constitution, Oliver North.

    By Blogger John, at 30 April, 2007 00:08  

  • conservatives are not held accountable for their actions, according to the bush crime family

    it is only liberals who can expect to be excoriated for their thought crimes, and nonexistent financial malfeasance

    under this corporatist brand of fascism, conservatives pledge loyalty to company and party only

    allegiance to country quickly falls by the wayside, and no further explanation is warranted nor dared

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 30 April, 2007 06:47  

  • Justin,

    Go back to Soros and tell him NO SALE. Only the Kool-aid drinkers are buying your pabulum.

    Hash, The Liberal Mafia still operate from the shadows. As soon as a light is shown on their true actions, they scurry for cover. The left regularly ducks accountablility for their own actions.

    By Blogger PCD, at 30 April, 2007 08:52  

  • Oh, Hash, to correct more of your misinformation, I am not employed by the government or education establishment. I am not a member of the Teacher thug guild.

    The only habitual theves are the Democrat party and the Liberals who set up scams like AlGore did with his carbon offsets company.

    Stop projecting your proclivity to steal from your neighbors, Hash.

    By Blogger PCD, at 30 April, 2007 09:10  

  • PCD
    O'riley is giggling all the way to the bank at your expense. O'riley understands say "Soros" and the 28%ers will froth at the mouth.

    Ohhh look, PCD is frothing "soros soros soros soros soros".

    PCD, you trust Bill O'riley, you have no CREDIBILITY

    your simply a usefull idiot. O'riley, Limbaugh, Hannity all know they can feed you anything, and you will lap it right up. You are a useful idiot, the 28% the RNC mouthpieces count on to keep their careeer alive.

    how does it feel to be used?
    soros soros soros soros soros soros bu bu bu clinton soros clinton soros


    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 30 April, 2007 09:33  

  • MoPoop,

    Wipe the manure off your lips. You said nothing and proved that you are the idiot. I haven't watched or listened to Bill O. For weeks. But, you my boy, still have your lips firmly sealed around Soros' gas pipe.

    By Blogger PCD, at 30 April, 2007 09:51  

  • PCD:I haven't watched or listened to Bill O. For weeks.

    woah!!! You have not watched him for weeks!!!! He is the only retard connecting Soros to Media Matters, you are not even a good lair. He started the lie

    soros soros soros clinton lib lib soros lib lib clinton soros soros

    usefull idiot

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 30 April, 2007 10:02  

  • As usual, MpPoop, you are wrong, stupid, and inbred intellectually if not otherwise.

    Take you lips off of the Soros' propaganda pipe.

    By Blogger PCD, at 30 April, 2007 10:18  

  • soros soros soros soros

    Completly irrelevant

    keep on trusting Bill O'riley
    soros soros soros soros soros soros
    soros soros soros soros soros

    desperate con projection has got them no where except becomming hated by 80% of this country

    keep on blaming soros, clinton soros, pelosi, clinton, soros pelosi, Reid soros soros soros


    Media matters would not EXIST, if the right did not LIE n a daily basis on the TV and radio

    this is why media matters exists

    this is why you hate it and cry soros soros soros soros
    who nerver even gave $$$ to MMFA

    if you want to whine about something, whine about who on your side represents you
    they resulted in Media Matters.
    soros soros soros


    As Bush vetos the fund for our troops on mission accokmplished day, I'm sure the Soros Soros soros whine will bring back America to your side!!! I like that strategy

    Normal American: Bush veto funds for troops who disgusting

    Right wing hack: soros soros soros media matters soros soros

    Normal American: what about the troops?

    Right wing hack: soros soros soros soros soros is a liar, media matters is a lie soros soros soros

    you are witnissing right wing implosion of the highest order

    i guess soros has taken the place of clinton

    soros soros soros !!!!

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 30 April, 2007 11:48  

  • WHJJ was a conservative talk station which switched to Air America. The
    ratings plummeted and the program
    director said, "The Air America Experiment is over". Now the station,
    owned by Clear Channel (which dumped
    Air America in places like Boston),
    is all conservative as far as I know:
    Quinn and Rose, Glenn Beck (started today), Helen Glover (only local host), Sean Hannity, Mark "Get off the phone you big dope" Levin,
    O'Reilly, etc.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 30 April, 2007 13:11  

  • "Oh, Hash, to correct more of your misinformation, I am not employed by the government or education establishment. I am not a member of the Teacher thug guild...."

    oh, in that case, you would be correcting your own misinformation, not mine

    but rethugs always lie (especially to children, especially when they prey on them, as we continue to witness in an almost weekly basis from washington)

    most americans do not consider redistribution of wealth from robber barons to be "stealing from their neighbors", as you will still learn

    you simply need to pay back americans what you have stolen from them, and take your medicine

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 30 April, 2007 16:39  

  • Hash,

    Soon socialists like you will be running for you lives. No one is going to take your crap. You are nothing more than a thief. You are the one who is going to pay.

    You liberals prey on children all the time. Remember it was Liberal Democrats who raided the coffers of the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club to the point that it had to close. You are going to pay for that Hash.

    By Blogger PCD, at 30 April, 2007 16:53  

  • oh fudgie i don't think so
    because your ass will be in handcuffs
    and your students will teach YOU
    lessons you never imagined learning

    the roof is on fire, fudgie

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 30 April, 2007 19:28  

  • Hash,

    As usual, you are not only a misinformed liar, you are delusional. I have not said anything of the sort as far as my employment. In fact, I've said nothing of my employment. Stuff that up your coffee nose.

    You are the one we will see in the newspaper pictures hanging from the neck from a flag pole.

    By Blogger PCD, at 01 May, 2007 08:54  

  • nah, i wouldn't bet on that happening, fudgie

    i think you need to go back to gumming your matzoh meal and be a good little boy, fudgie

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 01 May, 2007 16:25  

  • Hash,

    I am not in the habit of eating Kosher food. You are wrong again, but that is the usual with you.

    By Blogger PCD, at 02 May, 2007 08:41  

  • you won't be getting ANY kind of food, where you're going to wind up

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 02 May, 2007 10:17  

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