Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nova M(assacre)?

Following recent events at Nova M Radio, more is coming out as to what is going on at the fledgling syndicator and radio station operator.

Last week, the broadcaster announced the addition of a second Phoenix-area signal to compliment KPHX. And they announced the departure of program director/afternoon host Jeff Farias. Now, it appears there's more to the story.

Along with Farias, several other staffers have been let go, including CEO John Manzo, sales director Kim Macias and webmaster Billy Foster. No official explanation has been given for any of the departures.

Rumors have been swirling about, with Nova M reportedly claiming that Farias left on his own terms, according to a statement on their website. But Farias and others close to him are claiming that they didn't jump – they were pushed. What's going on here?

A lot of the internet scuttlebutt claims that it all started with a power play showdown between Manzo and owner Sheldon Drobny. The story (not confirmed, and denied by Manzo) goes that Manzo was let go and the other three, who sided with him, departed as well. A few supporters, however, have disputed this scenario.

Farias is not publicly commenting on the situation, likely due to legal advice, but Leonard Clark, a former contributor to Farias' show, has started a website and posted a few diary entries on Daily Kos here and here in support of Farias, and to help explain his side of the story.

Replacing Manzo at Nova M is Arizona radio executive Art Mobley. No replacements have been announced for the other former staffers as of yet, though the Air America shows of Rachel Maddow and Ron Reagan are currently airing in place of Farias.

UPDATE: Some more info gleamed about KPHX's new stablemate, KNUV (1190AM). And yes, it appears that Nova M will indeed purchase the station outright, in contrast to the current LMA agreement the company has with Continental Media to lease KPHX (1480AM). This all lends to speculation that Nova M may eventually relocate altogether to 1190 once the KPHX lease runs out. Again, that's all just speculation.

UPDATE II: John Manzo emailed me, and said that he is unable to offer comment at this time, which is understandable. He also informed me that he has not been hired by Randi Rhodes, which I had reported. That has been corrected. He did ask that I remove the article. I am unable to remove the complete article at this time, since the information is already widespread around the web, including some reputable trade publications and scribes. I have, however, done some rewording of the article, in respect to Manzo. And I will consider the request to remove the article, if deemed prudent. For right now, it will stay, albeit with corrections.

In addition, there will likely be other additions to this article, as some other people connected with the matter have emailed me.


FSL said...

The problem with talk radio is it is so political - and so are the people who run it, from the Drobnys to Phil Boyce, all of them, left or right.

Anonymous said...

Might add that in the thread mentioned on Unfiltered News Network, Sean Ryan leaked this out about KPHX:

"And such a shame just when The Drobny's buy a Great station with a much better signal during the day and an upgradeable signal at night plus the fact that we are simulcasting on 1480 as well as 1190 which will continue till 12-31-08. On 01-01-09 1480 will become a Christian Station and 1190 Nova M WILL BE THE ONLY PROGRESSIVE TALK STATION IN PHOENIX."

I had actually anticipated that KPHX would fold with the addition of KNUV. Too bad my blog was pulled by Blogspot, since I went off on the Radio"equalizer" there.

/Formerly known as Malmö_Blue

PS Equal Radio is dead, so you might want to remove the link to the site.

Ghostgrrrl said...

A friend of mine called the station recently to find out WTF was going on with Farias leaving so suddenly. He said that the guy he talked to was kind of nasty and said something to the effect, Oh, so how do you like your radio station being taken over? I've been wanting to call myself but the couple of times I tried it's been busy and I have actually had work so don't have much time lately.

ltr said...

Anthony -

Hey man, sorry for the loss of your blog. Sounds pretty extreme just for going off on the Tranquilizer. Hell, I've said nasty stuff about him too and I'm still around.

Best of luck to you.

And the 1480 thing makes sense.

ctk said...

do the drobneys then have a plan to change the audio steam for nova m? if kphx is going to flip to christian music, it's going to have a massive effect on their online listenership: the audio stream for nova m IS kphx.

will_in_chicago said...

I expect the stream will change to 1190 KNUV, which Sean Ryan, prodcution manager at KPHX, said may be renamed.

Now for some news, that I just e-mailed LTR.

In Phoenix today, KPHX 1480 and KNUV began advertising for a new show premiering tomorrow from 3 PM to 6 PM Arizona Time (6 PM to 9 PM ET.) The M & M Show will feature Steve and Fred McChesney, who were formerly hosts at the old 1010 KXXT show. Fred McChesney has a site up at http://www.foxlies.com/.

I have not received an official release, but I have started a thread over at UNN: http://unfilterednewsnetwork.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=89&t=7607.

In other news, Herb "Sarge" Phelps has announced that he will no longer be the host of The Unreported News Radio Show on KPHX 1480 on Sundays at 8 AM. There is a thread on it at http://unfilterednewsnetwork.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=85&t=7569. Sean Ryan, Sarge's former producer, will be the new host of the Unreported News Radio Show starting this Sunday.

angelin said...

Good post. Your post was informative. I gained a lot of knowledge from your post. Thanks for sharing.

ltr said...

ctk -

The stream of any station is always independent of the broadcast signal.

If they change it, it will be for a reason other than a frequency switch. And the stream or URL for the stream will always be accesible from the website.

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