Tuesday, June 03, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Air America taps Ron Kuby as permanent afternoon host

Fresh from the press release:

Air America Radio today announced that former WABC New York morning drive host Ron Kuby has been chosen to host the 3-6 pm ET show starting Monday, June 9th.

Kuby will be the permanent replacement for Randi Rhodes, who departed the network in April. Since then, the time slot has been filled by various guest hosts.

While co-host on WABC news/talk radio from 2000-07, Kuby’s morning show consistently placed in the top ten for listeners in the highly competitive New York City market.

"We're glad to have such a highly experienced and popular radio personality such as Ron on our network,” said Charlie Kireker , chairman of Air America Radio. “Considering his history of strong ratings, entertainment value and thought-provoking opinions, he will have wide appeal to audiences, affiliates and advertisers nationwide.”

“I am delighted to be joining Air America 's powerful voices in these challenging times,” said Kuby. “We'll have the news, analysis, opinion, calls and hopefully a few things that listeners haven't thought of yet, or don't want to think about.”

In addition to his accomplishments as a radio personality, Kuby is currently a guest anchor for trial coverage on TruTV's "In Session." In his spare time he is a practicing civil rights and criminal defense attorney with a long-standing commitment to social justice. For over two decades he has represented numerous controversial clients in some of the most high-profile criminal and civil rights actions in the United States . Kuby earned his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1983 and was associated with civil rights lawyer William M. Kunstler, of Chicago 8 fame for 13 years.


Brady Bonk said...

This is a good get, though it will certainly annoy the Sammy/Marc fans (myself included). Why not go all out and take on the full Curtis & Kuby Show? They had good ratings until ABC inexplicably sacked them. Why add another one-man one-mic show when you could change it up with an already proven program?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I guess.... so as long as Kuby doesn't try to grandfather in Curtis Sliwa.

FSL said...

This is the first time in - well, maybe forever -- AAR has made a move that makes sense.

That said, I don't think anybody should expect to open champagne any time soon. (1) Ron is a name in New York; the rest of the country doesn't know him and the show he did with Sliwa was very much a New York show. (2) He's up against Randy Rhodes. Will he take stations and listeners away from her? Not likely. Will he expand the liberal talk franchise by bringing in new listeners and stations? Again, not likely. (3) Can he got it alone? Curtis and Kuby was a true pairing of opposites (not like Colmes as Hannity's straw man). Kuby without Curtis could be Ebert without Siskel. In both cases, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

Me? I'd put Ron back on in the morning; Bill Press is OK but he's vulnerable to good competition. I'd pair Kuby with somebody representing a contrasting personality and a contrasting shade of the leftward spectrum. We've spent the last six months learning that liberals don't agree on everything and liberalism has more than one flavor. That could be the basis for some good radio.

PS: I'd also move Lionel back to evenings, where he has a proven track record and where AAR has been spinning its wheels.

toniD said...

Don't know this guy. Never listened to him. Could care less about him. I'm not a New Yorker.

Sam didn't get it so I could care less. Cancelled my AAR premium

progutopian said...

So they blew it again. As a formerly very loyal listener I really thought that they would put Marc or Sam on. This is a slap in the face to all of the loyal listeners who have been around since the beginning. I will definitely not sign back up for premium now. Maron's following could have won a few stations from Randi but Kuby doesn't have a chance outside of New York.

mmrules said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mmrules said...

Or..Better yet..

Mark Green You Suck ! !


NYLefty said...

Kuby's a good choice. Seder and Maron may appeal to "young people," but not enough young people listen to AM radio or political talk shows to make a Seder or Maron show profitable.

Kuby appeals to an older (but not too old) audience, which is the demographic that listens to AM/Talk radio.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think they missed a huge opportunity to court all of the new young voters that were brought into the process through the Democratic primaries. Not to mention that the typical desired demographic for advertising dollars is a younger listener...
They definitely blew it again. Sam Seder and Marc Maron are both great and deserve shows. AAR is becoming an old NY guy's network. I hope that Sam & Marc end up somewhere on the airwaves... as for AAR, they are becoming less and less important as time goes on...

Barry Schwartz said...

I guess I'll be canceling my premium service, but I won't pretend that my preferences are universal facts.

Many people who are paying for AAR podcasts will be paying for Nova M podcasts instead (currently Randi and Malloy, _maybe_ one day Sam). But perhaps there will be plenty of listeners for AAR anyway.

Barry Schwartz said...

Hmm, actually, I have to decide whether Hartmann podcasts are worth it. Probably not.

will_in_chicago said...

First, good coverage as always, LTR.

I am somewhat puzzled by this move. I think Kuby will bring in some listeners in the New York market, but I wonder if AAR plans to seriously compete with Randi Rhodes for the 3 PM to 6 PM slot. It does seem likely to annoy fans of Seder and Maron.

So far, I am not impressed. It is also unlikely that I will here Kuby. WCPT AM 820 carries Thom Hartmann on delay. I can listen to Randi on Nova M Radio on my computer or perhaps listen to Guy James at the Head On Radio Network.

Well, LTR, any thoughts on what this move means for AAR and its future direction?

NYLefty said...

Jay Marvin, the morning host on the AAR affiliate in Denver, put it this way on radio-info.com:

Good move on AAR's part. Kuby is a real pro. They need more people like him and Lionel. Radio should be done by radio people.

BTW, the only listeners that most advertisers are interested in are people between 25 and 54.

Jill said...

This is the last straw. I've been a premium subscriber since day one, and I'm cancelling.

Air America has once again thrown their most loyal listeners under the bus in favor of chasing listeners who may or may not come. They learned NOTHING from the Lionel debacle.

Air America is supposedly trying to be a national network, but is picking up a bunch of New York guys instead of keeping the two guys -- Maron and Seder -- who have already shown that they can play nationally.

That's the end for me -- I'm done with them.

Missy said...

I hope Sam and Marc go to Nova M. I'll cancel my subscription to Air America in a heartbeat if they do.

AAR mangagement could screw up a wet dream!!!

FSL said...

Will in Chicago:

Interesting point. Maybe Air America has decided to focus on New York in PM drive and let Randi have the other markets. Or maybe management is so New York-centric they are oblivious to what the out of town stations are doing.

The big question should be why anybody should care what Air America does. The only shows they have with any kind of traction are Hartmann and Maddow and AA needs them more than either of them needs AA.

As LT and others have said, Seder and Maron do have a devoted following, which is about the only audience base AA has left. Now Air America has alienated their last friends out in radioland.

NYLefty said...

I don't buy all this talk about Air America's supposed "base."

Those of you who push this idea are talking about a relatively small number of mostly young, computer-savvy people who frequent message boards such as this one. No radio network or radio station could survive with such a tiny group of listeners.

BTW, Lionel is a Floridian who isn't even carried in New York and Ron Kuby sounds far less "New York" than Randi Rhodes.

nancydanaellie said...

AAR is also loosing my premium membership. Thom and Rachael are available on Green 960 and I've become a NovaM and Young Turks member. Both are great! I've urged AAR to try Marc/Sam in late night or early morning slots to no avail. I agree that Bill Press is vulnerable. I find him boring. Sam and Marc would be a great move. Of course, this would assume AAR is trying to recover some lost territory they've blown with the Randi fiasco... no sign they really care...

I assume Sam and hopefully Marc will end up at NovaM and further whittle away at my once beloved network.


pjs said...

This is almost as huge a coup as signing Lionel. As I remember the radio experts saying, "it's all about the clearances."

mmrules said...

What are you pjs and nylefty smoking ?

It's turned your brains to mush..

Lionel a huge coup ? ?

Are you serious or in need of medication ?
His numbers are purely pathetic !

Don't mean to get personal but,that's crazy talk !

FSL said...

Lionel was doing pretty well in audience numbers and clearances when he was with WOR (and the WOR Network), up against Malloy, Colmes and Hendrie in late night.

Hiring him made sense at the time. What didn't make sense was putting him on in mid-morning against Stephanie Miller. He can't get numbers because he has almost no clearances. No PDs in their right minds are going to drop Stephanie for Lionel.

The big mistake was not AAR signing Lionel, it was Lionel signing with AAR.

Glad you didn't mean to get personal.

pjs said...

Hey, mmrules, that was sarcasm. Every time AAR does something like this, the 'experts' come out and say what a great move it is, and how the latest great 'get' proves that the new AAR management is 'serious.' And every time, the ratings are lower for the shows that were replaced, and fewer stations carry the new content.

That said, "dude, you got any pot?"

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