Transcript: Brian Maloney on The O'Reilly Factor

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O’Reilly: In the Back of the Book Segment tonight, as we have been telling you, the liberal radio operation Air America is having major problems. Ratings in most major markets with the exception of New York City were down big in the latest survey. And the operation is losing tons of money despite being propped up with good publicity by liberal news operations like the New York Times.

Joining us now from Boston with some data is Brian Maloney who runs a blog called The Radio Equalizer. Mr. Maloney is not a fan of Air America.

First, what is the latest…

Maloney: {laughter at the “not a fan” comment}

O’Reilly: Well I want to, full disclosure, you’re coming at it, you don’t like them…

Maloney: Sure.

O’Reilly: And I don’t like them either. The latest in the New York State investigation of Air America and their charity problem. What’s the latest on that?

Maloney: I actually couldn’t get anyone at the New York City Department of Investigations to respond to inquiries about that. If the investigation is ongoing, they have a policy of not talking about it until they’re done. But essentially, $875,000 from the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx ended up in Air America’s coffers about two years ago and ever since then the big tug of war has been about how to get the money back. Meanwhile the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club is out of business. They’ve been, ah, you know, in real trouble because of this. This money had no business ending up in Air America’s bank accounts.

O’Reilly: It was an interest free loan I understand.

Maloney: Yeah, right. {laughs}

O’Reilly: Air America says that they have put the money in escrow to pay it back. Is that true?

Maloney: That’s right, but only after a tremendous amount of stalling, only after the DOI late last year put its foot down and said, you know, put all the money in an escrow account now. No more messing around here.

O’Reilly: Okay so they were forced to pay it back…

Maloney: That’s right.

O’Reilly: The stats we have on Air America is [sic] that they pay their San Francisco station $250,000 a quarter to carry the radio program. Usually the radio stations pay — you, but they’re paying the stations.

Maloney: Right.

O’Reilly: In L.A. they’re paying $320,000 a quarter. And Al Franken makes more than $2 million. Garafalo makes $225,000, and this Randi Rhodes person makes $350,000. So the money coming out of Air America, they couldn’t possibly cover the bills. How do they stay on the air? How do they stay solvent?

Maloney: Well, that’s exactly right, Bill. It’s impossible. On the essay that I wrote for my website today, essentially what we’re laying out here is, yeah, they are paying the station in New York City $2.5 million a year to be on the air. And as you pointed out, San Francisco and L.A., paying them a lot of money. That number’s gone down a little bit with local morning shows in there now. But it is a lot of money. The fact is Franken’s salary has gone through the roof and that’s what’s new today. That has never been disclosed. Franken’s salary has gone up and up and up. It is now a base salary of $2 million a year. I’ve talked to guys in syndicated radio with the same number of stations or more as Franken, same audience. They’re making one-tenth of the amount.

O’Reilly: Here are the stats from summer to fall – these are the latest ratings. Franken’s program in L.A. in the key demo of 25-54 persons is down 33 percent. In San Francisco, Franken’s down 24 percent. In Boston he’s down 42 percent. In Portland, Oregon he’s down 18 percent. And in San Antonio, Texas they dropped the whole network, Air America, altogether.

Maloney: That’s right.

O’Reilly: So I’m not understanding this. If they’re not doing well, and they’re not, and they’re not making any money, they can’t sell advertising because they don’t have many stations and they’re paying huge money to keep their format on these stations… What is it, Rob Glaser? Some millionaire bank-rolling them?

Maloney: That’s right. They don’t want to give us the victory Bill. {laughs} So what they’re doing is Rob is writing the checks. He’s very wealthy from Real Networks in Seattle. He is writing big fat checks to keep Air America on the air. The fact is Al Franken is paying his main producer, executive producer, Billy Kimball, $600,000 a year.

O’Reilly: I don’t care about that…

Maloney: Who makes that kind of money?

O’Reilly: I just want to, I just want to, so we have one guy Brian [sic] Glaser, a far left guy, like George Soros – unlimited funds – he’s keeping this radio network on the air by just kicking money in and paying all the bills. That’s where we are, correct?

Maloney: That’s right. He had a little bit of money still coming in from the Durst Organization, wealthy property owners in Manhattan, a little bit from that, but a lot of the other guys have bailed out at this point. There’s no new Soros money and he knows better now.

O’Reilly: Prediction? Is thing going to fold anytime soon?

Maloney: I think, I don’t see how they can keep it going. Pay, 2008 Franken’s salary goes up to $3 million a year. He is 50 percent of their programming budget right now. A huge bloated step staff. Even if the ad revenue came in, how could they possibly ever make a profit?

O’Reilly: Well, that’s your thought. It’s a propaganda unit being paid for by a far left guy and not making any money and not doing real well. And that’s the bottom line. All right Mr. Maloney. Thanks very much, we appreciate it.

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