That’s the question posed in a Bloomberg.com feature, by reporter Lisa Lerer about this Saturday’s “Rally To Restore Sanity,” co-hosted by Comedy Central’s faux-news hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. “It will be a great chance to rally the base, especially among young people,” American University’s Curtis Gans told Bloomberg. “For Stewart, sanity is a code word for Democratic.” Although the comedian and TV talker has repeatedly said the rally is not designed to be political in any way (he refers to it as “The Million Moderates March”), the event was first announced in the wake of talker Glenn Beck’s big “Restoring Honor” rally which drew hundreds of thousands to DC’s National Mall in August. A third event, “The One Nation March” — promoted by radio and TV talker Ed Schultz and organized by labor unions and a coalition of liberal political action groups — was also held on the Mall earlier this month. President Barack Obama — who did not attend the “One Nation” event and told reporters back in August that he’d really not paid much attention to the Beck rally — will appear on tonight broadcast of Stewart’s Daily Show in advance of the Saturday, October 30th event. Comedy Central SVP Steve Albani told Bloomberg the network expects around 60,000 to attend the rally that’s being held just three days in front of the midterm elections. Read Lerer’s full story HERE.
As our NTS MediaOnline Today Facebook and Twitter followers first learned late yesterday, after more than 50 years in radio, Clear Channel/Denver President and Market Manager Lee Larsen has announced his retirement at the end of the year. Larsen (pictured) will be succeeded on January 1, 2011 by Pat Conner, Director of Sales for CC’s eight-station Mile High City cluster that includes News/Talker KOA, along with conservative talker KHOW and progressive Talk KKZN. In his new role, Conner will report to EVP/Operations for the company’s Western Region, Susan Karis. “It’s been extremely gratifying to me to have worked for Clear Channel and in the radio industry for more than 50 years,” said Larsen of his pending retirement. “I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside a number of visionaries including Lowry, Mark and Randall Mays, John Hogan, and Susan Karis. They all gave me the opportunity, resources, and flexibility to help propel Clear Channel/Denver as a leader in its market. I am most proud of the great people that I have worked with over the years to keep these stations on top in a very competitive market and through many challenging circumstances. I know that the stations are in the hands of the best radio people I’ve known and that they will be led by the very capable Pat Connor.”
So says Brooklyn native and liberal talker Randi Rhodes as she readies her return to the New York City airwaves next month when her Premiere Radio Networks syndicated show joins the weekday lineup at WWRL/New York on November 8th. It’s the second time Rhodes has been heard on WWRL, where she last aired in the market when the Access.1 Communications-owned station served as the Big Apple flagship of now-defunct liberal Talk network, Air America Radio. Rhodes joins the lineup at WWRL as morning host Errol Louis exits to join NY1 as anchor of the channel’s Inside City Hall program. He’ll be replaced in wake-ups by current WWRL evening host Mark Riley. Progressive Talk outlet WWRL is also home to syndicated talkers Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Al Sharpton, Bev Smith, Leslie Marshall and Phil Hendrie.
Longtime WCBM/Baltimore talk host Tom Marr will undergo major heart surgery next week to treat aortic stenosis. Although Marr (pictured) has had the condition for a number of years, doctors say it has recently reached the “severe” status and requires surgery to replace his heart’s aortic valve. In a memo to staffers, WCBM Program Director Sean Casey said Marr will do his November 4th show, then enter the University of Maryland Medical Center for surgery on November 5th. If all goes well, Marr should be back home to recuperate within a few days. “As he has the ability to do his show from his home, Tom and his doctors believe that he shouldn’t miss more than a couple of weeks on the air,” writes Casey. “Please keep Tom and his family in your thoughts and prayers as we all wish him a speedy recovery and return to the airwaves.” You can email your best wishes to the Charm City Talk radio veteran HERE.
Marketwatch.com reports that MySpace, a subsidiary of News Corp, has re-tooled and relaunched the social networking website to target Generation Y — teens through age 35 — as a “social entertainment destination focused on music, movies, TV and games.” D: All Things Digital guru (and recent TMC/TSBC 2010 panelist!) Kara Swisher (pictured) interviews MySpace CEO Mike Jones HERE … North of the border, our friends at Rogers Broadcasting have launched “1310 News” in Ottawa, the first all-News station to broadcast in Canada’s capitol city. It’s the fourth all-newser launched by the company, which also programs the format in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto … In Houston, “SportsRadio 610″ (KILT) afternoon hosts Rich Lord and Robert Henslee, along with Houston Texans starting right tackle Eric Winston, recently hooked up with the International Space Station for a live radio chat with astronauts Scott Kelly, Shannon Walker (a Houston native) and space station Commander, Doug Wheelock. PD Gavin Spittle says he believes KILT is the first Sports radio station to “go where no Sports station has gone before” with the live, out-of-this-world broadcast. You can check out the interview HERE.