'Shock Jocks' Article Prods Advertisers To Pull Out Of Shows
May 7, 2007 at 3:31 PM (PT)
A NEW YORK TIMES article on "shock jock" radio in the wake of the DON IMUS incident in SUNDAY's editions appears to involve the paper's reporters prodding advertisers to reconsider buying spots on some of the shows.
Reporter JACQUES STEINBERG calls the form of radio "as arguably and insidiously untamed in the days after Mr. IMUS’s collapse as it was before" and quotes several out-of-context examples of comments that bolster that characterization. The article details how, "After being told of Mr. (WFNY-F (92.3 FREE FM)/NEW YORK midday host NICK) DI PAOLO’s comments, for example, officials of the NEW YORK STATE LOTTERY said they had decided to discontinue all advertising on his show. They also said they would no longer sponsor 'OPIE AND ANTHONY,' a morning show on the same station, after being apprised of a line uttered by a comedian who is a regular guest." A message from ALL ACCESS asking STEINBERG whether it was the TIMES staff itself "apprising" advertisers of the shows' material went unanswered as of early MONDAY morning.
I have no idea anymore whatâ??s allowed and not allowed.
The article says that TIMES staff (twelve reporters in addition to STEINBERG are listed as contributing to the piece) monitored "a dozen prominent shows on so-called terrestrial radio for five weekdays in a row" to compile the article, which quotes TALK RADIO NETWORK's MANCOW MULLER, WKXW (NEW JERSEY 101.5)/TRENTON's CRAIG CARTON and RAY ROSSI, ST. LOUIS-based STEVE AND D.C., the WSKQ (MEGA 97.9)/NEW YORK-based "EL VACILON DE LA MANANA," and WRTO/MIAMI's "EL TRAKATEO" (STEINBERG called Spanish-language radio "the Wild WEST of the medium").
Read the TIMES article by clicking here.
O&A: It's A Witch Hunt
Discussing the article on OPIE AND ANTHONY's show MONDAY morning, sidekick JIM NORTON noted that newspapers have a "vested interest" in hurting radio as an advertising competitor. "He's a PC, hall-monitor little sissy-boy," NORTON said of STEINBERG, later adding that STEINBERG was "trying to create a story" by taking out-of-context quotes to advertisers. OPIE added that the quote cited by STEINBERG from NORTON ("Would it be possible, could you whistle 'Singin' in the Rain' while I rape a girl?," NORTON asked a guest whistler in a several-years-old segment replayed on a "best-of" show APRIL 25) was an obvious reference to the movie "A CLOCKWORK ORANGE."
O&A also commented on the continuing suspension of WFNY middayers JV and ELVIS, with OPIE asserting that CBS RADIO had "just empowered everyone with letterhead." and ANTHONY adding, "Everyone on the air has no idea if this is their last day on the air or not... I have no idea anymore what’s allowed and not allowed." OPIE, suggesting that more affiliates will drop the show in the future, asserted, "I have no doubt that we’ll get tossed off regular radio. I don’t really feel confidence right now in the company we’re working for. The new guy [DAN MASON] hasn’t even talked to us yet. They fired IMUS. I think they fired JV and ELVIS. It’s not looking good. I’m fine with our fate. I think eventually we [will] go back to XM SATELLITE RADIO full time."
"I never thought I’d see something change so much in my lifetime, in a really short time," added ANTHONY. "We went through the phases of when we got fired, JANET JACKSON, and then the IMUS thing. You’ve got to watch what the hell you’re even thinking. It’s a Communist witch hunt atmosphere, like the MCCARTHY hearings."