Sunday, April 06, 2008

Radio Daze go on and on

It's been a while since I posted about radio, talk radio specifically, and so I thought I'd catch up:

  • The I-Man rolls on: (streaming here) continues to add affiliates, as he approaches the one-year anniversary of making a poor joke on-air. While there have been casualties, coast-to-coast, with local -affiliate morning hosts getting canceled by his syndication, that is the nature of the business. Even if hadn't been fired, he could have caused the same problem had he not been renewed by the year or so he tripped up and was terminated.

    Curtis Sliwa, the voice of NYC's WABC/77AM survived after his 4 hour morning show was gutted. Instead of he and , along with news anchor George Weber, having the top-rated local morning show, Sliwa flies solo from 0500-0600 and then again from 1000 to 1145. Hardly worthy broadcast times for the veteran host, but compared to his colleagues, still has his job on WABC!

    I had lost track of George Weber, the long time morning news guy. His website had been stagnant during the weeks after Imus started, and apparently he was simply fired at the end of February (as some of you may have noticed, I've been busy of late, and have only just posted about this).

    Today I find out that George Weber just started as the weekend morning-drive on ABC Radio networks, and that he's joined the ranks of bloggers. While I have been a fan of Imus longer than Weber has been in NYC, I am glad to hear he landed on his feet.

  • Where have you gone ? That was the question I asked on Wednesday. As I've said in the past, I tend to listen to about 30-40 minutes of each day (mostly because their so-called NYC flagship has such a poor signal, I lose it it central NJ, about 20 minutes into my ride home).

    I find it interesting to compare what admitted Conservative talk radio host discuss (a la , , ) as compared to Liberal Progressive talk radio hosts. Of all of AirAmerica hosts, the only ones I can put up with are and Randi Rhodes.

    This week I noticed she was off air, and thought it was odd, since she had just returned from a vacation. Turns out, as you probably know, she was suspended indefinitely for comments she made during a stand-up routine she performed in San Francisco.

    I said I put up with Lionel and Rhodes because in my mind they're the only two on AirAmerica with any broadcast chops. While my own broadcast experience is limited, I do listen to over 5 hours of talk radio a day, so I have some cred in this area. That much said....

    On Friday, guest host Sam Sedar was openly discussing and taking calls on Ms. Rhodes' suspension. Several callers advocated complaining, en mass, to the AirAmerica management. While they are certainly entitled to voice their opinion, I'd recommend restraint.

    AirAmerica is a business, and while Ms. Rhodes wasn't speaking as an AirAmerica broadcaster at the stand-up event, she is still (principally) an AirAmerica employee. And, overall, their ratings suck. In NYC, their flagship has dropped their 1200-1500 talent (opposite Rush Limbaugh) for a local talk jock; that can't bode well for the home office!

    AirAmerica had every right to chastise Ms. Rhodes, to suspend her, for casting a bad light on their corporation. And they even have the right to fire her, but I do hope they do not do so.

    You see, while I am diametrically opposed to all of Ms. Rhodes' political views, we Conservatives do not wish to unduly silence the opinions of those who in opposition to us. That would be counter to the First Amendment (this is the principle argument against the so-called Fairness Doctrine).

    What she said was in bad taste, but that should not mean she should be fired. She had her wrist slapped, and now she should be back on the air. One has to scan this blog for my positions on the like of Trent Lott or Chris Dodd to understand this is not a new position for me.

    As a Conservative, I have to advocate for an equal playing field for those I agree with, and those I disagree with. While I have personally heard of Ms. Rhodes being satisfied with the Citadel firing Mr. Imus, I hope she isn't, herself fired.

    I understand AirAmerica Inc.'s decision to suspend her, but I do hope she comes back online, albeit a bit restrained, from making her company look bad. It is not that she isn't entitled to say the king is a fink! but that she could have exercised just a wee bit of decorum in doing so.

    Here's to free speech, and to Randi Rhodes returning to radio.

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