But first: the news is Randi will be back on KPTK May 11 at 6p. She will be live.
Or... so says the small print on the KPTK website. Randi, apparently busy moving to Washington DC, has not checked in online with listeners yet: her website still has her "sorry, we've been fighting with Nova M" message.
Randi's has a new contract with Premiere Radio Networks which built its primacy in media on the extreme success of Rush Limbaugh. It is a subsidiary of the corporate megalith Clear Channel.
This goes to what we always say about Rush: "He's only an entertainer." Like conservatives, we liberals have high (and foolishly unrealistic) expectations of our "entertainers." Much of right-wing expectation i around personal morality and purity of message; and many of ours are anti-corporatist, and selling-out to the man. Especially no-bullshit firebrands like Randi.
Did she sell out? The answer is yes, but selling is what radio is and does. Here's what a commenter wrote to Media Week, Friday:
There is not a single liberal or conservative talk radio host who's syndicated or aspires to it who'd NOT do unnatural acts with barnyard animals for the opportunity to sign on with CC. Whether it's Sean Hannity, or Randi, or Mike Malloy or the deplorable Glennn Beck: they're all entertainers looking to create ratings, sell soap, and add stations that will bolster their careers and therefore their paychecks.
Political activists note: Randi Rhodes is no more dedicated to changing the world than is Rush- they have the same goal (self-promotion), same style (confrontational) -- just a different flavor to their politics. (The difference is that we have political leaders, and haven't appointed Randi as our Party Chairman/spokeshole, as they have with Big Pants).
In radio it's sell-out or get out. Air America was created to counter all this, and we can see what a roaring success that is.
Clear Channel Communications may not be a household name, but the Texas-based multinational is responsible for more of why radio sucks than any other single entity.
It's the world's largest radio broadcaster, concert promoter, and billboard advertising firm. It's a major player in American television and Spanish-language broadcasting. has faced Department of Justice investigations, lawsuits for inappropriate business practices, and for monopolistic behavior and violating anti-trust laws.
The radio teat is almost dry, so now CC is divesting, selling off properties and turning the remaning properties into low-overhead, cash-generating robo-stations, with the good jobs being replaced by radio machines, underpaid help, and their beamed-down Premiere Networks stable of talkers... which now includes Randi Rhodes.
They're not the only ones doing this, but they're the worst.
It's the way of the world, and has been going on for a long time; but the recession has speeded up the process, and terrestrial radio, long the ubiquitous community medium, has fewer and fewer anchors to the communities they supposedly serve.
If you're a listener, Randi Rhodes loves you, truly. But just know: the man she has striven so hard to work for, considers you a market niche he hopes might be filled by Randi's flavor. If she can't make herself more than a flavor of the month, she'll be dropped for the raspberry ripple.