Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nova M(ess), Part II - The Gaulin letter and lotsa updates

With all the back-and-forth going on about Randi Rhodes and Nova M (now On Second Thought), this entry will essentially be a clearing house of information regarding all the flying fur. It will be updated from time to time.

As we attempt to sort out all this craziness, let's start with this controversial press release from Rhodes' attorney, Robert V. Gaulin. Remember, it's basically their side of the story. Take it for what it's worth:


Randi Rhodes’ on-air home for less than a year will shut its doors. In an email message of February 17th from counsel for Nova M Radio, Inc. to Randi’s entertainment attorney, Robert V. Gaulin, the company is said to have been advised to file for bankruptcy protection next week. All payroll deposits were reversed on Tuesday, leaving Nova’s employees unpaid for the past two weeks. On Sunday, Nova received a letter from Mr. Gaulin asserting that the contract with Ms. Rhodes was terminated due to material breaches and other reasons. Ms. Rhodes had not broadcast for over a week prior to this time, a situation which was diplomatically referred to as a “problem” that was solely within Nova’s control to solve. A few days earlier, Sheldon Drobny, founder of Nova M, and a co-founder of Air America Radio, attempted suicide and is hospitalized in Chicago.

Mr. Gaulin indicated on Randi’s behalf that “We saw this coming, but are most saddened by the tragic news regarding Sheldon Drobny. Randi is devastated by the impact of these events upon her fiercely loyal audience, affiliates and sponsors. Discussions are already being conducted for Randi’s swift return to the air. Stay tuned…”

Thank you

Robert V. Gaulin

MORE UPDATES (as they come in):

  • NEW!!! Randi speaks! This is courtesy of Page 2 Live, a South Florida gossip site. She told the site that three separate lawyers told her she should quit working for syndicator Nova M. So she did. "There were so many breaches of my contract it’s not even funny," Rhodes said when asked if the company’s failure to pay for her libel insurance kept her off the air. "I’ll probably sue them. I should never have gone there."

    On Nova M becoming On Second Thought: "Oh sure, they’re dismantling that company so they don’t have to pay me, and they’ll start another one this week."

    And, on her return: "Big stations, small stations, they’re all calling,” Rhodes said. “I don’t know how long it’ll take, but I’m trying to get back on as soon as possible. It feels too weird not to be on the air in West Palm."

    Read the whole thing at Page 2 Live.
  • NEW!!! Nova M is out and On Second Thought is now officially in. Nova M's page now sports the graphics of the new network, and the new web address is Chief technical officer Ben Burch also posted a brief statement regarding the new operation:

    On Second Thought Radio Network has been formed to bring you Nancy Skinner, Dr. Mike Newcomb, Mike Malloy and more to come!

    Please continue to drop by as we change the site over and grow this NEW LIBERAL NETWORK which is based, appropriately, in Phoenix.

    We will be honoring all existing subscriptions from Nova M, and the old web addresses will continue to work along with our NEW address.

    A press release announcing the new network is forthcoming.

  • Rhodes' timeslot on WJNO is currently being filled by... Sean Hannity. Now, if that doesn't give her incentive to return, I don't know what will.
  • Green 960 in San Francisco will start carrying Mario Solis-Marich's syndicated show in Rhodes' former 3-6P PT timeslot starting next week. This week, they're running Stephanie Miller replays.

    CORRECTION: Green 960 PD John Scott dropped a line saying the Mario rumor is not true. But he does have a surprise up his sleeve for next week.

  • Right-wing bloggers from across the land are salivating over all of this, particularly the Drobny claim from Rhodes' attorney. Guess it shows they're really not champions of small business and free enterprise after all, right? I'm not direct-linking them, but you can do a Google search if you really want to. I personally think this vulture-like seance and gloating over Mr. Drobny's personal issues is quite disgusting, but I guess it really shows that most conservatives aren't all that 'compassionate'. Shame on them.
  • Rhodes' official message board community may be as AWOL as the host herself, but some fans are congregating at their own board. And, as far as message boards go, it's not a bad place to congregate and share rumors and news. If you want to talk Randi, you may do so at this link.

  • As for Rhodes' site, it should be back up soon. It is now on a new server, though the only content on there currently is the official statement she released last week. Stay tuned.

  • There is currently a web prank making the rounds that purports to a 'listen live' link for Rhodes's show. I won't link to it, because it is a malicious virus-spreader, and it's bogus anyway. Rhodes is currently not doing any live shows. Period. If and when she starts doing one again, it will likely be on WJNO first. Until then, don't believe any ridiculous links. When she returns, we'll all know about it. In the meantime, there's always podcasts. Or other shows.

  • You can view the entire document detailing the John Manzo/Nova M lawsuit at this PDF link, courtesy of Phoenix New Times. They have an article about all the mayhem here.

  • Things are crazy, tough and chaotic all over in the radio biz, so it's not just about Nova M and liberal talk in general. Sirius XM (who's ongoing financial woes have taken a backseat here mostly due to the whole Nova M/Rhodes situation, was saved from the chopping block by a white knight, namely Liberty Media, which obtained a large stake in the ailing satcaster.

  • Elsewhere, it appears CBS is going to blow up the last remnants of their old 'hot talk' franchise that was built around Howard Stern (and his subsequent departure). Most of the hot talk FM outlets around the country have since flipped to other formats (lately, it's been sports). And syndicated morning guy Adam Carolla, the so-called "West Coast Stern replacement," is winding down his show this week. His flagship station, and the last FM talker in the CBS stable, KLSX in Los Angeles, will reportedly wiped out its entire talk show slate, leading up to what could be a flip to CBS' current format flavor of the month - Top 40.
  • Got anything else? I'm going to be away from this most of the day, so it's an open thread. Post whatever rumors and news (substantial stuff, not some anonymous clown on a message board somewhere grasping at straws) here below.

    Bukko_in_Australia said...

    What a drag this latest Randi wrinkle is. Thanks for the updates. I don't have anything substantial to add, because I live on the other side of the world. (My wife and I were some of the few liberals who actually left the country after realPresident Cheney and his monkey puppet stole another four years in power. It's worked out very well for us, thank you, and we don't have to worry about the economic implosion of America.)

    We are intensely interested in U.S. politics, and download podcasts of Thom Hartmann, Randi, Mike Malloy (he's the closest to our political perspective -- we hate filthy stinking Republicans) and "Ring of Fire." Randi could be obnoxious, but she brought up a lot of info when she wasn't talking about the fabbo people she hangs around with. Ah well, with her off the air again, we'll have more time to watch DVDs and listen to some of the 1,300 live Grateful Dead CDs we got from a bootlegger friend as a going-away present.

    But again, thanks for the news. We spend hours a day using the world's most advanced communications network to listen to what's essentially the most primitive broadcast communications network, AM radio. It's important to our lives. LT Radio gives us insight into that important aspect.

    JB said...

    more ink from the phoenix new times:

    Lu Cifer, said...

    Something that can't often be mentioned enough:
    This issue MUST be made front & center, and we bloody well must break up these shmit-pile bohemoths like Crap Channel. And you pathetic KKKons, enough with the damn fairness doctrine already! It's not coming back, and it's just like abortion, guns, gays, god, immigrants, etc., another bogus made up bunch of CRAP to help keep y'all getting reelected and us the peasants fighting with each other while y'all run off to the bank with all our money!

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