Saturday, March 31, 2007

The weekly "Sam Seder fired" rumor

Just a couple week ago, there were reported rumors of Sam Seder's demise at Air America Radio. And now, there's more.

After the close of yesterday's show, LTR has been inundated with emails wondering if Seder is indeed getting the axe. It started with one I got from Nancy Cunningham of Dallas Air America, a grassroots group. She was listening to the show via the "SammyCam" (his live video webcast) and heard something that could one think that the end is indeed here.

So, in other words, Seder has been fired almost as many times as Al Franken has quit to run for the senate.

From poster "mo lib" on Seder's blog:

With the Sammy Cam still on I clearly heard Dan Pashman say they will make a promo on Monday saying this is the last week of the Sam Seder Show. This sucks!

Sam will do fine without AAR . He's smart and creative. It's a real loss for the rest of us.

I hope he can stay on the radio. Maybe with Nova M. This is really sad news.

Adding more fuel to the fire, Seder allegedly posted an anonymous comment about wrapping up the show next week (taking off Tuesday and Wednesday for Passover), and that he is negotiating with Air America brass for a Sunday show. He also said management prefers "less substance" for the late morning time slot. Nothing has been officially announced.

Following the "Sammy Cam" revelation , other blogs picked up on it, including Brilliant at Breakfast and Morning Seditionists. And I was flooded with emails and Myspace messages pointing to this. But, as I usually do, I held off on sharing it, as I'm often a bit hesitant to throw rumors like that out there. Not to toot my own horn, but LTR is read by many people, inside and outside the radio industry. Staffers at Air America read this blog, as do radio station personnel and even some hosts themselves. With that comes a feeling of responsibility and accountabilty. And screaming "the sky is falling" whenever a shoe drops is a credibility killer. On vague rumors such as this, I feel the best approach is to sit back and see what unfolds. And since there is nothing official, and speculation is rampant in this case, I would say that this could be considered a 'vague rumor'.

So, let's take a step back and look at the whole picture. Sam and company left the cam on. Dan Pashman, one of the show's producers, was overheard on a 'hot' mic that they're cutting a promo announcing the end of Seder's show, and that he was moving over to produce Laura Flanders' show. Seder himself is allegedly planning to wrap up his show. What is going on here?

Now, I'm not saying Pashman is full of beans, but considering this is the last show prior to April 1 (APRIL FOOL!) I guess you could call me a bit skeptical. Pretty good prank, methinks. And, while I did not hear the whole exchange, it does sound way too convenient to throw this out at the end of the show.

Besides, who does Air America have in line as a replacement?

Is it legit? Is it all a put-on? Or a misunderstanding? Who knows? All I know is this is a rumor. Until something more concrete and semi-official comes along, I'm not ready to scream, "the sky is falling." And I don't want to give complete credibilty to unconfirmed rumors. At least not yet. Check back next week.

Oh, and happy 3rd birthday to Air America Radio. Yeah, they're still around.


pjs said...

Well, it was live-blogged over at the Morning Seditonists site, as it happened. Several people heard it, with the first entry being at about 12:02. I personally heard it. Pashman asked Sam the first time if he wanted to cut a promo saying it was his last week on Air America. It was low, and in the background, and Sam didn't appear to hear him (they needed to redo the Monday promo). Then Pashman came back again, and clearly asked Sam if next week he wanted to do a promo that would play for the final three days.

It could have been a set-up, I suppose, but it's a pretty obscure way to play a prank (I mean, better to “accidentally” have the mic open on-air than to rely on a few rather odd sorts who like to leave the Sammy cam up). And it’s normal for them to leave the cam on while they do the next show promos - and for hours longer, even.

I’ve left it running, and have seen it on until after the lights were out and nobody was left in the studio.

So, we’ll see, but I doubt it.

Melina said...

If Pashman and Sammy are capable of that sorta April Fool's joke, then I'd be very surprised.
Why would someone play a practical joke that would direct anger that the new bosses? It would have to be the worst joke ever...really...and it would have to have had the "ha, ha , fooled ya..." part pretty quick to work. I would like to thing that Dan and Sam are more talented than that.
Seems to me that ltr is a little unfamiliar with the real funny....
Seems to me that if radio hosts and all the rest are depending on ltr to explain it all to them, they might want to also look around elsewhere.
I don't consider something a rumor that was said by the host himself and his producer...ya know?


gregrocker said...

I would suspect it will be to clear a slot for Mark Green. His brother didn't put up his bamillions to just let him guest on assorted other shows. (Love how Bamillions sweet-talked Randi Rhodes in daily calls she describes led her to finally do live commercials!)

The conventional wisdom on Sam is that he never picked up in the ratings and time simply ran out on his catching-on period. Can your blog document this, or provide any window into what his (and Rachel's) ratings actually are/where?

Meanwhile a caller last week phoned into ED to lament his being banished to 7-10 pm which is preempted almost daily by sports. Ed said it was because they wanted him to pay to play. He bragged about all of his name-brand advertisers, but is indignant that KTLK wont' get off their butts to sell ads themselves. This is starting to be a pattern.


William said...

We will see if this is true, but Sam Seder is not carried live in many of the larger markets. I think that we will see some changes in AAR's line up, sooner or later.

Jill said...

I think gregrocker is right, that it's going to be Mark Green himself taking over the slot -- which means that the new boss is the same as the old boss -- running the thing as a vanity project.

And if I'm right, then they will have lost this very loyal AAR listener/subscriber for good....and probably many like me.

ltr said...

Okay, why do I get the feeling that people are about to stand outside my house with pitchforks?

I say this because I'vew gotten a few nastygrams and blog posts dissing this article. Some think I'm mocking the very people that read this blog. Rest assured, I'm not. Seriously. It's just that I check out the blogs, the boards, my email and everything else. And just like the kids' game of telephone, rumors and speculation fly like crazy on the tubes. For example, people still think the whole ABC blacklist thing from last fall is some kind of vendetta against Air America (FYI - their conservative counterparts have the same exact lists).

My objective in the approach to the whole crazy blog thing is to take a step back and look at the whole situation. I'm not afraid to be objective and even offer honest criticism once in a while. When I first started LTR in '04, I was rather quick to jump on even the vaguest of rumors. As this thing grew and more readers (including some of the very same people I write about), I felt it would be beneficial to all to be credible and responsible. Meaning that if it's a rumor, I'll disclose that. I chose not to be like, say, Perez Hilton, who can get away with throwing out all kinds of outrageous stuff in his Hollywood gossip blog (though he makes a hell of a lot more money blogging than I do - perhaps I should reconsider). I also choose not to go the Brian Maloney route and make up stories and spin so I can get punditry work on FOX. Quite frankly, I don't want to do TV. My goal, first and foremost, is to be real. And to be rational. I've never been one to believe in conspiracy theories and I don't go into panic mode at the drop of a hat. And that's why many of you are reading this very blog.

Anyone can blog. And anyone can write whatever they want. I could write that Sean Hannity is secretly selling low-grade marijuana out of the trunk of a beat-up Ford Escort and funneling the proceeds to Hezbollah, and if I make a good enough case, some might even believe me. But I don't want to go down that road. I'm trying to make this a credible blog, albeit with a little personality and humor.

I'm not trying to say I'm better than you all, or trying to be 'above the fray'. Anyone can go anywhere on the web to find and post all the rumors they want. I try to make this a place where people can find something a bit more concrete, albeit with the occasional strong rumor. I initially hesitated posting this current Seder rumor (and the last one with Maron) because I didn't feel right about doing it at the time. Not because Seder's holding a gun to my temple telling me not to. I just want to have at least a little bit of integrity, okay? We're talking about somebody's job, for cryin' out loud! Besides, jumping to the wrong conclusions without as much information as possible can be embarrassing, and I don't want anything I print to jump back and bite me in the ass. Take the Marc Maron thing a couple weeks ago. Now, not only are we messing with a guy's job, but also a friendship between Maron and Seder. How responsible is it to mess with that? I felt funny about posting that one and still somewhat do. But I had gotten tips on it, other blogs were about to write something on it, and I couldn't let it sit.

I'm not beholden to anyone. I don't kiss anyone's ass. I'm not a talking-points worshipping propagandist. I'm not whoring for anyone. I am what I am. This whole blog is a one-man band, created, designed and written by myself (though your emails and support are a big help). It's a hobby. And that is the route I've chosen for LTR. I believe in ethics, and I feel uncomfortable spreading rumors about someone's career and personal life. And being that this is something I do in my spare time, I also don't want to deal with backlashes, lawsuits, loss of credibility, etc.

Unless my newfound critics know the exact truth about what's currently going on with Seder, then I don't feel they're in a strong enough position to criticize what I wrote. I didn't hear the webcam exchange, but I got a lot of emails about it. That's why I chose to share this information with all of you.

Anonymous said...

If this is a prank, it demonstrates Seder's lack of talent and ability for radio.
If it's not true, it should be.
AAR: Save your money. Kill the show. Make a deal with Jones. Put Stephanie Miller on the network feed so the turnkeys and WWRL can take it (most everybody else already is).

Nancy said...

I damn sure heard what was said and then I WAITED on the blog to make sure someone else had heard what i heard -then I reported it to LTR so others who weren’t listening to the video feed knew what we heard.

LTR is reporting on what we HEARD not what is happening, no one knows that except Sam and Mark Green ( i guess )

Dan Pashman is going to Laura Flanders show - that was said ON AIR - Sam has also been suggesting that folks send in emails for his "newsletter " i always felt that was a way to get email addresses of fans to stay in touch with in case the whole new AAR didn’t work out. I do not believe they are working on a newsletter -

He has moved out of NYC and has to sleep in town during the week and be away from his family and I’m sure that’s getting old – he also said last week to Joe Conason that he would like to get the show moved so he could do it up in Hudson ( or where ever he lives now )

If this time slot, the old Jerry Springer time is the one mark green wants for his own show then I’m sure that will happen …

I know what I heard, I know others heard the same thing and LTR let everyone know – we will see this week what is really going on , thanks LTS for helping us stay informed !
If I hadn’t heard it myself I’d sure be glad you let us know! Thanks ,Nancy Cunningham Dallas Air America Radio Groups

zeek said...

If you dig through Sam's blog, this seems to be confirmed. LTR has the info but did not bother to add it.

Jill said...

If Mark Green is clearing the space for his own show, then we know that AAR will fail once again. This can't be run as a vanity project for spoiled rich guys to play with.

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