The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

05 February 2009

Libtalker Randi Rhodes Exits Show, At Least Temporarily


Rhodes, Syndicator Duke It Out Behind The Scenes

*** NEW: When Callers Throw Curveballs ***

For the second time in less than a year, libtalker Randi Rhodes is off the air, at least for now. Locked in an apparent battle with syndicator NovaM Radio and its chief executive, the infamous Sheldon Drobny, The Randi Rhodes Show is temporarily without its host, as fill-ins cover on short notice.

Coming just one day after it became clear that fellow "progressive" host Rachel Maddow had given up her radio program, this has been a tough week for the still-fledgling libtalk format.

Rhodes is currently heard on 28 stations across the country and most importantly, on XM Channel 167.

At Randi's official message board, a producer has posted this note:

Randi says she's sorry, she can't be on-air today.

She wanted to let you know this is a Nova M issue and nothing of her own making.

Nancy is kind enough to fill in today. And *cross fingers* we'll be back tomorrow.

During today's broadcast
, substitute host Nancy Skinner has repeatedly mentioned the "last-minute" nature of today's fill-in assignment, while Rhodes listeners speculate over at another Internet message board regarding her fate. Her website is still being updated by someone, perhaps Rhodes or a producer, with today's entry talking up Obama's supposed "success" in office.

Last April, Rhodes departed Air America under fuzzy circumstances after calling Hillary Clinton "a big f***ing whore" during a stage performance in California. Rhodes was an outspoken Obamist during the primary season.

This development comes on the heels of continuing rumors of financial troubles at NovaM, as Drobny fights to maintain a liberal radio network that competes with rival Air America, which he also co-founded more than five years ago. The newer operation has generally functioned as a fallback outfit for "progressive" talkers once they've left AAR.

In 2005, Michelle Malkin and your Radio Equalizer teamed up for a series of investigative pieces on Air America, with a special focus on Drobny and his wife / business partner Anita Drobny. Since then, this site has also covered his failed push to retake control of that network, as well as attempts to expand NovaM's reach.

What's next for Rhodes and NovaM is anyone's guess, but the network's survival most likely hinges on its ability to raise more operating money amid a brutal advertising climate. Just today, dealing with the same harsh reality, Air America announced a reshuffling of its sales team.

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site.

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  • Old and irrelevant, and possibly too unstable to be unemployable.
    Gives out imperious "homework", while never completed own high school curriculum, only the basic skills test to graduate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 February, 2009 08:17  

  • Primadonna $$$ with a "Messiah Complex" trying to re-brand herself as "The Voice of The People" (Although your individual thoughts and opinions are not welcome on the RRMB - only praise!)
    For someone who wants everything to Go Green and be "The Voice of The People"... while she smokes (only to finance as a suppoter of SCHIP),wears fur (Doesn't look like Made In USA), recently obtained several $4K+ Inaugural gowns,had enough elective cosmetic surgery to "feel pretty" and required a car and driver to drive her around as part of her previos compensation deal - bet it was not a Prius!)
    Simply Too Old, Too Busy Blamestorming and possibly too Unstable to continue to be employed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 February, 2009 08:44  

  • mmmmmm con sheep said
    ves out imperious "homework", while never completed own high school curriculum, only the basic skills test to graduate

    Rush Limbaugh is drop out as well. Randi served her country, the pig man sold billboards.

    Randi's show is stale. Ron Kuby is far more entertaining, however unlike the pig man,Randi served her country after flunking in high school Rush dropped out to sell billboards for the loser Kansas City Royals

    who cares, you scum can have radio, we have America and America's support

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 February, 2009 11:42  

  • Old and irrelevant

    same can be said of the pig man, who's numbers have not grown in 15 years.

    Clear Channel needs to be shut down and the executive board arrested

    Rush is a money loser, crap demos, poor ad sales, yet the pig mangnet $50 million a year as 10% of CC gets laid off

    why is the pig man, paid so high for average numbers? There is an agenda and the new patriotic administration should look into arresting clear channel executives
    for treason

    Rush should be in Gitmo, for he is an enemy of America, and in a recent poll 20% of America thinks favorably of the scum.. it other words he is hated by patriots from coast to coast

    Rush is responsible for destroying the Middle Class,80% of this country would celebrate if the scum was fired. COns America hates you, and it's time you realize this

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 February, 2009 11:49  

  • Did Rhode$$$ really have plastic surgury? THAT "look" was on purpose?! haha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 February, 2009 13:16  

  • Rhodes went from having a highly listenable, informative program, to taking the absolute lowest road, which reached its nadir when she threw down blindly behind barky in the primaries, a huge mistake which cost her over half her audience...

    she has alcohol and/or substance abuse issues that, like the former president, she never really got a handle on, and i don't think there's ever been a time when her personal life has been in order

    her hatred for the republicans, all republicans, and her adoration of "the one", exceeded her own patriotism, as the months went on and her core audience became more and more "fringe", the causes she espoused and theories she pushed, supposedly for the "interests" of her listeners, became extremist to the point of ridicule

    worst all, the worst practice a talk show host can do is badmouth another on air...her personal hatreds and insecurities regarding her own on-air abilities became so comprehensive and legendary within the industry, even old supporters like thom hartmann took pains to distance themselves from her, and old buddy stephanie miller made it a point to avoid her, during the obama left-talk symposium, televised on c-span, so determined randi is to play the role of paranoid berserker

    her message board was at least well-regarded among the huffpo/kos, it's a boiling cesspool of rage, populated by a vicious remnant of out-and-out commies, radical homosexual activists, failed la times writers, mortgage grifters, and politicized drug users...

    nova m is in tatters, they have not been able to meet their bills for some time now, and randi's little passion puppy/pitbull/svengali/manzo was recently given
    the boot, so she and staff no longer have their "enforcer", to protect them...

    sadly, she brought it all on herself...better a more worthy industry professional with legitimate skills and a less hateful, racially divisive agenda should capture her audience, and, as maddow says, "talk them down"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 February, 2009 15:01  

  • Nancy Skinner showed this week during her Nova-M (fill in)that "Progressive" does not need to be hate-filled ranting ala Rhodes.
    Women are classy. Randi is decompensating ON AIR. That IS truly her "hard won" reputation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 February, 2009 19:55  

  • NovaM = sinking ship (read: Titanic)

    Randi Rhodes = Randi who?

    By Blogger Carl, at 07 February, 2009 02:19  

  • Her "Damage Control" efforts are now in effect...a "producer" is trying to quiet all the rumors and conspiracy theories.
    The only "Technical Issue" are the "technically" irrational and unreasonable CONTRACT DEMANDS by RR

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 07 February, 2009 11:20  

  • Is that "decompensating" - or "decomposing"?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 07 February, 2009 21:37  

  • She's no less of a "Voice of the People" than any of the other talkers from both the left and right who are earning and living lifestyles far beyond most "people". And trust me, Randi is no more high maintainance than the rest. There are real problems at Nova M...can you blame someone for wanting a paycheck?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 February, 2009 13:04  

    "Randi is posting a "Today's Show" page each day to establish a record that THEY were prepared to proceed with a show per contract requirements. Whether it's a true reflection of what's going on, we cannot possibly know, but it's clearly an effort to establish that she wasn't withholding her services.
    This is a contract dispute. Nothing else makes sense and is credible and is supported by the minimal evidence, and that evidence includes Randi's history and Drobny's"

    "There is absolutely no excuse for Randi to treat the people, who basically pay her mortgage (and her Mom's), like crap. For her or someone on her staff to not come on this board and give at least a simple explanation is terrible. This has already happened more than once and people keep going back and supporting her. Screw that. I have had it with the lousy subs and the "best of" shows only to top it off with no explanation of why we had to suffer through the above mentioned. John Campbell at least showed up last week to say she wasn't going to be on. Where is he this week????? Silence. Maybe they get a kick out of sitting back and reading this board..."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 February, 2009 19:52  

  • Rhodes has her grubby hands out wanting more money. And of course she lies AGAIN- blaming it on a "technical issue"
    Ever wonder why Rachel Maddow has never invited Randi Rhodes on her show? Remember Rhodes said she would never move back to New York unless she lived in Manhattan. She demanded and received a car & driver in her contract with Air America. Even after they were struggling to pay their bills. She couldn't stand the fact Al FRanken made more money. Now she spreading Bullshit rumors about him. Check out- "Democratic Underground" -"What's Randi Rhodes beef with Al Franken' and "Why does Randi Rhodes want Al Franken to lose" Because he's more famous than you- Randi Rhodes!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 February, 2009 21:17  

  • Randi Rhodes went AWOL from the Air Force. She never served 6 years.(Google- Randi Rhodes Goddess of gab). One of the reasons why she despises Al Franken is because when he appeared on Letterman he would never mention her name. That really pissed her off. According to that article (GOG)Rhodes and Letterman were friends. How come Rhodes never was invited on Letterman? Because the guy was an impersonator, not Letterman. And why does she always mock Limbaughs drug problem when she was a coke head for many years? Rhodes is one talented B.S. artist.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 February, 2009 09:24  

  • Nancy will be on Nova M from 3-6 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, February 10. As usual, you can stream the show at and call in at 866-87-RANDI

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 February, 2009 13:41  

  • Clearly you guys don't like Randi -- but she's the only talk show person I enjoy listening to. She may have her faults, but she's wicked smart and isn't in anyone's pocket.

    I hope she's back on the air soon - if they drop her, NovaM will lose my money too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 February, 2009 16:16  

  • Well, for starters, I love Randi. She is the ONLY reason I pay for XM Radio.

    She is talented, brilliant and thought provoking.

    I sadly feel the absence of The Divine Miss Mouth and hope she lands in a place where I can hear her signal.

    I need her brand of hope and sanity...nobody can fill her shoes.

    I wish her good health and happiness and hope that things are OK for her.

    It was sad to read the incivility reflected in the many comments above...I'd like to think that you will consider a higher road, and muster the courage to stop that nonsense.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 February, 2009 16:32  

  • you people suck
    never in a million

    malkin=/=Randi Rhodes.

    your malicious speculation is simply that, nothing more.

    Randi has staying power, so keep dreaming your useless, catty dreams as it won't happen.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 February, 2009 11:54  

  • Nancy will be subbing for Randi again today, Wednesday, February 11. As usual, you can stream the show at and call in at 866-87-RANDI.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 February, 2009 12:44  

  • Randi Rhodes is brillant at fooling her audience in believing she is "wicked smart." She reads Washington Post, The Nation , Huffington Post, Brent Budosky-The Hill ect. and repeats their thoughts and ideas. I've read clever comments on Huffo Post and great one liners on other sites and that afternoon or the next day heard Randi Rhodes say the exact quote.
    Most of these comments slamming Rhodes are from Dems. They finaly realized she is a fraud. Read the article- "My life as co host with Shock Jock Perry Stone" It reveals alot about Rhodes personality.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 February, 2009 18:56  

  • C'mon, El Rushbo didn't serve because he had a festering boil on his ass or something like that, I understand that most of us call this a nose. There's nothing wrong with taking some time off during negotiations. As Americans we should all wish nothing but the best for the founders of NovaM and Air America Radio.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 February, 2009 20:48  

  • oh, NO, the deranged bots from the randi rhodes loser message board are weighing in, you'd think those raid folks or the d-con people would invent a spray, so that we might be safe from their entitlement-ridden infestations...

    randi's hardcore fans are the ultimite parasites...they are literally disintegrating without her


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 February, 2009 23:25  

    Rhodes and WJNO are preparing to relaunch her show as a local program from the West Palm Beach studios of the Clear Channel cluster, according to sources inside Clear Channel knowledgable about the preparations.
    According to those familiar with the situation in West Palm Beach, WJNO has been making preparations for Rhodes to return to WJNO as a Clear Channel employee hosting a local show from their facilities. It is not believed her show will be syndicated when she returns.
    Rhodes seems to be doing her best to become the liberal counterpart of Rush Limbaugh: a deeply flawed spokesperson for an ideology.
    The whole transition from Air America to Nova-M leaves more questions unanswered than nailed down.
    Rhodes has depended upon the intelligence of her listeners... There comes a responsibilty when you appeal to the intelligence of your listeners to respect that intelligence when you speak about yourself.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 February, 2009 09:59  

  • Drobny's getting sued!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 February, 2009 12:45  

  • Nancy will be subbing for Randi Rhodes again today, Thursday, February 12. Stream the show at and call in at 866-87-RANDI. She's got a great show on tap today, so tune in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 February, 2009 12:54  

  • Whenever Randi Rhodes can put her ass in the seat…
    The new information confirms that Premiere (the Clear-Channel owned syndicator that distributes Rush Limbaugh) will not be involved in distributing the Rhodes program. It contradicts an earlier report that Rhodes will return as a Clear Channel employee hosting a local program. Radio & Records is reporting that the “technical” dispute is a contractual issue...
    Her studio in the West Palm Beach Clear Channel cluster is available and unused, writes a knowledgeable source, “Whenever [Rhodes] and Nova-M decide she can put her ass in the seat, it’s waiting for her.”

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 February, 2009 06:53  

  • I'm a listener from Stockholm, Sweden.

    Randi Rhodes is my favorite talkshow-host. She is great, and I learn something new every time, from her and listerners who calls in.

    Haven't you something more important to do than bashing Randi all the time? If you don't like her, don't listen.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 February, 2009 13:22  

  • At NovaM's about Randi page:

    To all of Randi's listeners;

    You are all correct - I have not had the option to disclose what has been happening between Randi and Nova M...
    You see, it's in her contract that she has total control, but, after Wednesday night, I want you all to know that Nova M has done everything we can to get her back on the air.
    All this is her choice; if she wants to tell you all what the issue is, then I hope she does, but I can't according to her contract rules...
    Thank you all for all of your support.
    Randi now has to make her decisions as to what she must do with her career...

    Anita Drobny

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 February, 2009 18:37  


    if i'm not mistaken, sean ryan is the gm at nova m....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14 February, 2009 16:22  

  • Wow. I'm amazed at the nasty comments posted by some in this thread. Old and irrelevant? I can't see what her age has to do with anything, and her show has been as relevant, current and in-depth as any talk show out there. I find it ironic that the messages posted attacking her level of education are so poorly constructed as to be almost incoherent. I hope she returns soon!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16 February, 2009 15:43  

  • Randi will be back. She made money for all her affiliate stations, consistently beating her cement headed conservative talk rivals in ratings sweeps. She was on 50Kw AM stations in huge markets like KTLK 1150 Los Angeles. As soon as she has another distribution deal she'll be picked up again. Liberal radio hosts like Randi, Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller are in big demand now.

    By Blogger jaiellojr, at 19 February, 2009 14:45  

  • What fantasy world do you live in Joe?

    Nova M was losing $100,000 a month. Randi's $600,000 a year salary didn't help.

    Just beacause Randi told you she was beating conservatives and lied about her ratings proves she is one loony liar.

    Rhodes listeners are just too naive.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 February, 2009 17:05  

  • I have been avidly listening to talk radio ever since I was 5 (Jean Shepard was on WOR back then). Randi Rhodes has a radio personality that keeps you coming back for more. And that means $$$ for any radio station. I am not liberal or conservative. I am pro America. No one that I have listened to on talk radio is more pro America than Randi.

    Wish I bumped into her during my bar-hopping days in NYC.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 March, 2009 15:22  

  • Randi you've already taken too much time off. As much as I enjoy your show it is time for me to move on.

    Out of sound, out of mind.

    By Blogger danowen, at 08 April, 2009 20:20  

  • Well her spaztisdict voice is on in LA. Probably the worst person on the radio.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 August, 2009 17:03  

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