Well, whaddaya know? Clear Channel, the largest radio station owner in America, a company owned by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital LLC, and the parent company of the largest syndication company in the U.S., Premier Networks, has now cleared our public airwaves of pretty much every single non-Rightwing voice. Cleansing complete, according to Politico. And, happily for all corporate interests, just in time for the 2014 elections!...
Rhodes, whose nationally syndicated show airs Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m., had suggested to her listeners since October that her days on radio were "totally numbered." Premiere said today it will no longer carry her show after the year ends.
"Premiere Networks will no longer produce and distribute The Randi Rhodes Show after Tuesday, December 31, 2013," Premiere's public relations director Rachel Nelson told POLITICO in an email.
While Wednesday's confirmation from Premiere is the first official news about the end of Rhodes' contract, the liberal talker had alluded to listeners in October that "my ability to talk to you is going away."
"The only way you'll be able to find me in a little while is if you have my personal phone number," she said on her Oct. 18 show.
Rhodes' regular guest host Nicole Sandler will fill in for Rhodes from Dec. 16-31, Sandler told POLITICO, making Rhodes' likely last day on air this year Dec. 13.
Clear Channel owns some 850 AM and FM stations across the country. They are allowed to operate them via virtually free public licenses to broadcast over our public airwaves, as granted to them by the FCC in exchange, largely, for little more than their agreement to "operate in the public interest". You're welcome.
They also control what will be played over those stations via their syndication arm Premiere, in what appears to me at least, as I have argued over the years, to be a violation of United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., the 1948 Supreme Court antitrust ruling that ended monopolies by movie studios which controlled both theater ownership and the products which were displayed in them.
Though they are axing the Randi Rhodes program, I suspect they will continue syndicating and broadcasting their other shows across the nation's public airwaves in 2014, as hosted in the public's interest by folks like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. Tens of millions will continue to listen to each of them --- for free, over our public airwaves --- on their way to and from work each day. Finding non-Rightwing voices, for free, over our public airwaves will become even more difficult than it already is and completely impossible for the vast majority of Americans.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I have guest-hosted The Randi Rhodes show in the past, and have been a frequent guest over the years, with both her and her regular guest-host, my friend Nicole Sandler.
UPDATE 11/15/2013: In a suprising about-face, Premiere Networks has now decided to keep Rhodes on air into 2014, after all! Full details now here...