Friday, February 13, 2009

L'Affaire Rhodes II: The Sequel

Something like a year ago, AirAmerica Radio attempted to consume its own young by forcing Randi Rhodes to accept a diminished contract. We all know how that went.

Since then, Randi's moved to the upstart Nova M syndicated network, where her show is, quite seriously, back and better than ever.

Over the last week, though, Randi's been missing. Nancy Skinner's been doing the yeoman's job of filling in. As the week's worn on, though, it's gone wierd, culminating in the following word from one of the Nova M powers, Anita Drobny (who helped found AirAmerica) which essentially answers nothing really:

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. But I can tell you this I have wanted her back on the air. She's an amazing talent and needs to be heard. 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
Co-Founder, Nova M Radio

Sigh. I'm trying not to read what I think is the handwriting on the wall here, but instead of despair, let me try a different tack.

The world of radio broadcasting is bright and shiny out front and this horrid miasma out back. Hosts are allowed to build fan bases only to have their "on-air" friend yanked from them because of some business decision that has little or nothing to do with the listenership.

We Democrats are better people. We should expect and demand from those who carry our combined message forward that they do business in a different way. That means, when the chips go down (like they may or may not be doing here) be as adult to us as our favorite hosts are when things aren't so emotional.

Be clear with us, be direct. If the current model won't support that, then change the model. We hold ourselves, as Democrats and liberals, as a group with a devotion to the actual truth (not Republican-brand Truth™) and as much transparency as possible.

Be straight with us as to why Randi is off the air and why she isn't back yet. Randi, I've listened to your program on The POJ from the beginning, when you taunted Teh Lars about the fact that you kicked his ass in the Portland market. If it's under your control to be clear, then be clear.

We're Democrats, and we're liberals. We are obliged to be behave better. If we don't, what's the point?

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