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May 09, 2006

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Comments

torr

I agree that Randi Rhodes' show should be cut down, she rambles and whines and is kinda annoying in anything but small doses.

I agree that Marc Maron has gotten better and better and deserves to have a daily show that is on every station.

However I disagree completely with your assesment of Al Franken and Majority Report.

Yes Franken covers a lot of the same issues and jokes frequently but that's because his show is intended to mainly be for the fence-sitter who would never listen to more than an hour or so of any talk radio a day. He's so damn reasonable and I love it. And if you think he has a huge ego you're just not udnerstanding his sarcasm. And I think the show got better when Katherine left, her NPR-style formal approach never sat well next to Franken. Frankly (no pun intended) they've gotta keep Al around because there's no one else in the lineup who the average joe has ever heard of, besides Springer.

And as for the Majority Report, it's my fav show on the network. It's good with both of them instudio, or with just one of 'em. They're hilarious and it's perfect for people in their mid 20s like me. However I bet Janeane will leave soon, she seems a better fit for Democracy Now network. And I think Sam is being groomed for the Franken slot after '08.

You failed to mention Rachel Maddow, she does a great morning show and I can't wait till she gets to move to a better timeslot where her show can be less todays-news centric. Mark Riley is also good and deserves a better timeslot.

Bill E. Ous

Rachel Maddow does an extremely fast-paced, witty 2 hours in the morning. I think she makes a gret morning host, but I suspect that Ed Schultz will be shoved in there in the near future (assuming he doesn't bump Randi Rhodes out of the afternoon drive-time slot). Give Maddow a cable TV simulcast!

Your Radi comments are spot on. Her 4th hour mostly seems to consist of takig phoe calls and burning down the last minutes. 3 hour show a good suggestion.

Jerry Springer: lame radio that sounds like he's teaching junior high students.

Sam Seder: self-deprecating, entertaining, most improved as he's soloed on TMR and guest-hosted for carious AA hosts. Even Garofolo (who's been away with acting gigs) seems aware that she pales when she's in the studio w/ him, which has led to here on-air suggestions that they only spend one of their 3 hours together, with each taking an hour solo.

Garofolo is strident and generally unfunny and uninformed. Lately she's taken to bringing in a Scientology-backed health group for uncritical interviews. Air America owners: push her out, please.

Mike Malloy: dark, rude, funny and often illogical -- as we see when he confronts his own listeners disagreeing with him about Israel or illegal immigration. Still, lots of fun, nasty times for those needing their Ids to come out of their stereo speakers.

Tim Buczak

Hi,

I really want this network to succeed. They are at a turning point much like Working Assets Broadcasting was a few years ago. They started out strong, but they need to be able to reinvent themselves.

Al Franken: Don't get rid of him, He's the only professional sounding one. He's funny and intelligent. Bring back the co-host.

Cut:
Randi Rhodes: She's was better before, but she's gotten me to turn it off during her show. I like the idea of 3 hours.

Drop:
Majority Report: Awful awful awful
Springer on the radio: I like him, but he's boring.
Mark Malloy: Over night, He's the bizarro savage. I turn him off because of the name calling.

Add to the line-up:
Thom Hartmann: He's brilliant. Add him to midday instead of springer
Mark Maron: Please, He was brilliant. I don't know how many times I spit out my coffee listening to him in the mornings. Replace him for Majority Report.
Peter Werbe: Add to overnight instead of Mike Malloy. Brilliant progressive. I love it when he subsitudes for folks.

To Consider:
Bill Press: Good satellite show on Sirius, consider him in the mornings.
Young Turks: Consider it as a replace Majority Report.

zach

I've heard a few shows where Garofolo was great and they've all been solo. On one episode that I have in mind, she had Devendra Banhart and Sander Hicks as her guests and she handled each very well. I think she would be great as the host of a two hour friday night talk show. She could have an in-studio musical guest and interview fellow celebrities about teeth bleaching (don't think that Franken doesn't drone on about that stuff too.) It would be perfect for friday primetime because she's never around more than one or two days a week anyway and she's horrible next to Seder. Neither should be on a radio show without a cohost who knows what they're doing. I would pair Seder with Dum Dum and Garofolo with Kenny G (that would teach them a thing or two about what it means to do PROFESSIONAL radio!)

The Contrarian

We all know why 'ol Rupert wants Hilary to become the Dems' 2008 Presidential nominee: It'll send FOX News ratings through the roof as the network fabricates - er - investigates all sort of Hilary-related misdeeds. GWB has not been good for the network's bottom line.

Greg Greene

Surprised no one else has suggested a potentially brilliant hire: Stephanie Miller. She brings the funny in a way no one on Air America ever has, w/ the possible exception of Marc Maron. Plus, she has all the on-air intelligence that Janeane Garofalo gratingly lacks.

Sam Seder, I actually kinda like, except when he starts rambling when he gets to a subject he doesn't know much about. If you cound sever him from Garofalo, he might merit a couple of hours of programming.

Springer? Unlistenable. Bah. And props to the people who say it's time to either get Franken another cohost or send him off.

Billy K

You forgot "Get rid of Springer." I love the guy and he tries hard, but he's not a radio host.

Have you heard Paul Hackett sub for Jerry? Hackett is great. Give that guy a show!

The Professor

You're right. I've already said it two or three times here, but it bears repeating-- GET RID OF JERRY SPRINGER! My god, the man may be boring as hell on the radio, but he doesn't appear to be stupid. Of course, Air America should know better, but by now Springer himself should have a grasp on the fact that his radio program is a waste of time for all concerned.

js

randi rhodes is the flip side of the same limbaugh/o'reilly coin. not that she is the antithesis of that format, which would be great, but she is a mirror image of those angry, annoying, monotonous monsters. i agree with just about all her politics (aside from her being a complete and utter apologist lapdog for what is essentially a mirror image of the republican right, the republican lite (democrats). she is horrible. i am surprised so many people like her. blecch! she turns me off from air america in a big way. amy goodman is where its at. also, jello biafra has a podcast now... "batcasts" at www.alternativetentacles.com. heres to a TRUE alternative.

Zen

Confused liberals taking jabs at confused conservatives. I hope neither wins.

Jill

Thank you for these articles. I've been an AAR listener almost constantly since its inception, and losing it in NY is going to leave a serious void in my home. Right now we have 3 radios tuned to WLIB in my house even as I write.

Of course I agree and applaud your view that Marc Maron should get a prime-time slot. He's shown that he is MADE for radio, and while I'm not as crazy about the Marc Maron Show as I was about Morning Sedition (mostly because the curmudgeonly Jim Earl isn't as good a sidekick as Mark Riley), he has a gift in this area and needs more exposure.

I have no problem with Randi Rhodes having 4 hours. She can be shrill, but she IS a radio pro.

Majority Report is awful, but that's mostly Janeane Garofalo's fault. Sam Seder is actually very good, and I think he should have his own show.

I just fear that this is going to be AAR's death knell. And frankly, Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz just aren't going to do it for me.

I may have to get XM Radio after all.

Joseph Goebbels

America must not lose the insigtful cutting(and yes humorous) talk of Air America.
Withoutthis precious resource of patriotic dissent how would America know that Bush is a Doo-Doo head?
A drunken,cocaine addled doo-doo head who is the Stupidest Man to ever graduate from Yale,
learn to fly fighter jets,get a Harvard MBA,beat Ann Richards, Al Gore and John Kerry.
Would America know his daughters are hypocritical little christian whores?
If not for AA who would know that BUSH LIED!!!!!!! YES BUSH LIED!!!!!HE IS A STUPID EVIL LIAR!!!!!! gODDESS BLESS AIR AMERICA!!!! For telling it like it is.

P.S. KILL WHITEY!!! CUT UP MEN!!!! WE'RE HERE! WE'RE QUEER ! GET USED TO IT!!!!!
And there is absolutely NO connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda despite what that CIA stooge Zarqawi says.

tom

Let's start at daybreak...

Get rid of Mark O'Reilly. I get it. He's a veteran. But he's awful. He's not good at delivering straight news, much less jokey bits. He is a bit killer. I would rather see Wayne Gelman get his own show. Actually, an early early Wayne Gelman show would be really cool.

Give Rachel Maddow a buddy. She is whip smart and easy on the ears, but she needs someone to bounce her thoughts off of. Her producers are not cutting it. Her strong showings on the Tucker Carlson show say to me that it would be really interesting if AirAmerica paired her with a conservative co-host. (Not Carlson, he's an ass)

Jerry Springer goes. What were they thinking???

I agree. Give Franken a weekend show. That's all he has the energy to write for anyway.

I love Randi, although she sometimes messes up her facts, and she screams down people she should be debating. But she is certainly not AirAmerica's problem right now, so cut her an hour or leave her alone, I don't care.

CUT THE MAJORITY REPORT!! It is PAINFUL.
They obviously can't perform together. It is SO uncomfortable to listen to them the issues get totally lost. Jeaneane only shows up half the time anyway. CANCEL THIS DOG. Give Seder his own show. He's good whenhe's focused. Garafolo's a waste.

THE SATELLITE SISTERS SUCK!! THEY SHOULD BE CANCELLED AND DIE. (they don't actually have to die. I just don't find them at all entertaining or informative. They are like relatives that I tune out during the holidays.)

BRING MALLOY BACK TO NYC!! I don't have the stomach for him every night, but I love the bastard. He's good. He's cathartic. I miss him.

Tom Hartman. GREAT idea, give him the Majority Report slot. Or give him O'Reilly's slot. Just make him a regular.

Speaking of regulars, GIVE LAURA FLANDERS a weekly show!!! She is AWESOME, MUCH better than most of her counterparts. I would love to see her take the Majority Report slot.

I would also love to hear more from RING OF FIRE. Kennedy and Pappantonio are great.

Other than that, maybe just add the Car Talk guys...

puffer

Indeed, Professor, thanks for your continuing thoughts on AA. I, too, want to see this network succeed if only because I worry about our country without it at this point. I more or less agree with all your assesments, though I've only listened to some of the shows in passing, some not at all, but I really like those that I listen to. I even subscribe to the podcast because I know that this is a commercial enterprise and I know there is a bottom line to be met.

I agree with other comments that these shows aren't necessarily meant to be heard in toto, but rather in chunks, and I find most of just fine for that. Yes, more than a half hour of Rhodes or Frankin can be challenging but in small doses they are interesting enough; and I always write the repetition off to the fact that they know a lot of people listen as such.

But Merrin, indeed, worth listening to regularly. And I think Maddow's show is just about perfect. A good alternative to NPR. She smart, funny, and seems to have a good team. A cohost is a terrible idea. And at 2 hours you can absorb to the whole show.

But thanks for writing these.

torr

Whoever just said that AAR should scoop up Bill Press has gotta be crazy. Have you heard his Sirius show? He devotes entire segments to American Idol multiple days of the week! And when he does talk politics it's always just the same old questions to a congress member, never any author interviews about in-depth issues.

Young Turks are pretty knowledgeable, but the production of the show is so low-rent it's not even funny. And having the ignorant female with them is just lame.

ortsed

1. Run Harry Shearer's Le Show on Air America! Make a deal with him somehow. AAR needs more comedy, not just uptight yabbering. And a show that has skits that are well done would be perfect. and Le Show needs more broadcasting!. http://www.harryshearer.com/leshow/

2. more humor in general. Majority Report can be good, but i get so dissapointed that it just isn't funny most of the time. just a lot of complaining.

3. more music and style.

4. better advertising. the ads they run are these loud-talking brash obnoxious daytime radio ads just like the most obnoxious ads from every other radio station.

educatedmetalhead

i think Dave WEmory would ft in perfectly with the rest of the mental ward at Air Ameica.

stew

Maybe hire a conservative like Hannity has Colmes and get real diversity of opinion which you folks are always yammering about. BTW, regarding David Brock, Christopher Hitchens described Brock in a Nation article as "incapable of recognizing the truth, let alone of telling it."
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020527/hitchens

Webster Hubble Telescope

I'm one of those "don't be hatin' fans of AAR, and appreciate all the hosts, even Springer to a degree.

What I also appreciate is WFMU. I don't know how I missed it but WFMU was the first outlet for Air America. Tom Sharpling provided a time slot for Sam Seder’s pilot airing of Majority Report in February 2003. Seder actually mentioned it last week on air, and I checked Sharpling's archives and yes indeed it happened, but (unfortunately) no actual recorded archive exists.

Paula

You are so right about AAR Broadcasting Thom Hartmann full time. I like Al, but one does get tired hearing the same show over and over again. Jerry Springer has to go, listening to him is like a non-surgical lobotomy, did anyone else hear when he inadvertantly argued Against the minimum wage? They must bring Maron back, with Jim Earl, hell get the whole gang together.
How's this bring back Morning Sedition as it was, dump Springer and put Rachel Maddow in his spot (where she was in the first place), Thom Hartmann in Franken's spot. Leave Randi alone, she gets on my nerves from time to time, but she handles wing nuts well. Majority Report with Seder full time and Garofalo segments, the dime-store psychology isn't bad in small doses, plus she has the courage to disagree with guests. Mike Malloy needs to be on the air in NY.

Aaron

A few thoughts from off the wall:

-- I always thought AAR failed to get all the bang for buck from the XM deal. It was a good idea to some extent because it traded the one thing AAR had to offer satellite: Exclusive Content. But they didn't get enough. They should have used the opportunity to set up a national headquarters in the Nation's Capital, to create an anchor show HERE and then syndicate the content to Earth radio, sorta like the O&A deal. I mean, don't you think an entire network dedicated to POLITICS ought to have a presence in WASHINGTON (not counting the affiliate here--you have to be inside the building at their headquarters to receive that signal).

-- I think AAR's ad staff needs to flex its imagination. Easy for me to say, I've never sold an ad in my life. It just seems to me that you could walk through a Whole Foods with a notebook and come up with fifty potential sponsors who would appeal to the typical progressive. Some of the ads they do run, I think, such as purported get-rich-quick or no-money-down schemes, can even be felt as offensive by some liberals. Don't take ads that might alienate your audience. Duh.

-- Your programming suggestions are spot-on. D. Goldberg ditched the best property AAR had to offer, Morning Sedition. The approach you referred to was interesting as hell, throwing a few people into a studio to see if they have the chemistry. Now, with talk that Janeane will leave the Report, the weekly lineup will only consist of one-talker-one-mic mental masturbation fests. Some of them you don't mind listening to them whack off, like Randi, while others, such as Jerry, it's just painful. Regardless, they're all just whacking off, and that gets dull after awhile no matter what. We need some sidekicks and some teams in there damnit jim.

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