The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 August 2007

Carr Vs Entercom Litigation, Boston Globe, Talk Radio Salaries


In Talk Radio Suit, Boston Globe's Partisan Agenda Clear

Is the Boston Globe capable of covering any story without a political agenda, or one that serves the New York Times, its corporate master?

Today, both of those self- interests were stamped all over a mini- hit piece on Boston talk radio star Howie Carr, who is in the midst of a nasty legal battle against his even nastier employer, Entercom Communications. After growing tired of the miserable atmosphere inside WRKO-AM, Carr signed a deal with WTKK-FM, a rival station owned by Greater Media.

For background on the case, see the Howie Carr file at our other site.

When the station tried to block him from leaving, Carr filed suit against Entercom, which led to a countersuit from the company. And after the resulting public flap generated a wave of negative publicity for WRKO, the firm began to fight back on the PR front, as well.

That brings us to today's mini- hit piece against Carr carried in today's Globe. In just a few paragraphs, the paper manages to attack the supposedly hypocritical host, making clear he's a "conservative" earning a great deal of money, while serving New York Times corporate interests as well:

WRKO paid 'servant' Carr $790,000

Howie Carr has protested that WRKO-AM is treating him like an "indentured servant," trying to force him to remain at the station when he is ready to bolt to WTKK-FM this fall.

But indentured servitude never looked so good: The conservative talk show host made $790,000 in salary and incentives last year, according to industry executives who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

And, had he hit all of his bonus targets, he could have earned north of $900,000.

Anonymous "industry executives" know Howie Carr's salary? How? Outside of Entercom's corporate vault, this hasn't been public information, so even if an "executive" thought he knew the figure, hard copy verificiation likely wouldn't exist.

Of course, that points fingers right back at Entercom itself, an arrogant outfit that has been known to play dirty when under fire. (Yet another disclosure reminder: your Radio Equalizer has twice worked for the company in past years, including at WRKO)

It's not just a partisan shot taken here, it's also about business. With the New York Times owning a piece of the Red Sox baseball team, its pro- Entercom coverage has been raising eyebrows for some time. That's because Entercom holds the rights to air Sox games on its network of New England radio stations, including WRKO.

Most Boston Globe coverage of Entercom's legal battle with Carr and other recent missteps, including the hiring of convicted felon Tom Finneran to host an ill- fated morning drive show, has generally avoided including critics. For example, our own sister site, SaveWRKO, now generating thousands of daily page views and covered in several other Boston publications, has been ignored by the NYT- owned broadsheet.

In early 2006, your Radio Equalizer disclosed the salaries of Al Franken and several other Air America Radio employees. As a result, one could argue that we are no better than the Globe.

At the time, however, there was an investigation underway into taxpayer funds that were diverted from an inner- city charity to the liberal radio network. This site felt that Franken's relentless push for increasingly- bloated salaries contributed to the company's push to cover up its role in the scandal.

By contrast, the Globe is merely taking a cheap partisan shot at a conservative, while sucking up to its corporate parent at the same time.

RELATED: Media Nation adds up Howie's likely total wages.

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  • An earlier entry on Dan Kennedy's blog proclaimed Howie's Cape affiliate as "hate radio". But I
    couldn't find any trace of Mike
    Malloy, Rosie O'Donnell, or
    Ward Churchill on WXTK... :)

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 03 August, 2007 12:11  

  • (Yet another disclosure reminder: your Radio Equalizer has twice worked for the company in past years, including at WRKO)

    Now there is a disclosure rich in irony and irrelevance.

    Couldn't you have picked a different color and layout for your new site than that god-awful orange that Benson uses?

    By Blogger elmonica, at 03 August, 2007 14:24  

  • "Now there is a disclosure rich in irony and irrelevance."

    And it seems to be used frequently here.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 03 August, 2007 14:38  

  • Wow, amazing. Once more, Mr. Maloney, you reveal the "Through The Looking Glass" mentality that makes neoconservatives so fascinating.

    So, Howie Carr is probably like most major market talent that hired an agent to negotiate a contract that will net him about 3/4 a million dollars a year, no doubt hard fought for and reviewed by his agent, possibly a manager and an entertainment lawyer. A lot of high powered legal and career advice went into creating that opportunity for Carr to yak a few hours a day and make a very decent living that 99% of radio guys would kill for. You may be right. Entercom may be a tough company to work for but I'm sure Howie was very much aware what he was getting into before he inked the contact. And you want to side with his "indentured servitude" argument? Really?

    So, I'm sure that you aren't like most neocons who bash a soldier who decides he wants to leave the Army after one or two, possibly four or five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan but can't because of stop loss. You think it is totally unfair that a trooper has a change on viewpoint after confronting the fear associated with combat and decides to become a conscientous objector and wants to sever his contract. You are fully supportive of his desire to shed himself of this bad agreement that, not only precludes him of other more profitable career options but, alas, puts his life and family at great risk. You do support his right to shed himself of his "indentured servitude"... right?

    God, you make it so easy, Brian. I can imagine what it must have been like when you encountered a caller like me and were left befuddled on how to answer. Or, did you brow beat some poor call screener when someone like me slipped through and bitch slapped you like a tenderloin hooker? That's why you are, at present, stultified, career wise.

    By Blogger Dave Carroll, at 03 August, 2007 14:41  

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