Friday, September 21, 2007

A Tale of Two Bloggers

Updated, Sept. 21 at 2:20 PM pdt

Two bloggers, who follow the talk radio business, have flipped, flopped, and then flipped again as they’ve attempted to determine the fate of Bill O’Reilly’s daily radio show.

The story broke two days ago when Steve Young, who blogs on the liberal Huffington Post, claimed that O’Reilly’s show, which is syndicated nationally to hundreds of radio stations by Westwood One would soon be cancelled.

Like a former leader of the pride, the beaten old lion is losing his power -- and his sexual appeal to the under-65 year old lionesses -- to a younger, more virile young leader. But that's not what is driving the Nospinster bat-crazy. It's more. ..The buzz around the watering hole is that the Big Cat may be losing his radio gig and it's got to be driving him off the deep end.

Young's blog was posted at 10:42 AM on Monday.

Fourteen hours later, right-wing blogger, Brian Maloney, AKA the Radio Equalizer, called Young the "anti-Fox pit bull on the HuffPo" and went on to say that a source at Fox told him that Young’s claim was "complete disinformation."

And while Bill O'Reilly's radio performance has been mixed in some locations and stronger in other cities, there hasn't been any known industry buzz about his radio show being cancelled. In fact, he's picked up several new cities in the past few weeks.

Fast forward to 8:39 AM on Wednesday and Young blogged a complete mea-culpa stating that O’Reilly show was going to be renewed – not cancelled.

There comes a time in all good journalists' lives when they must confront an agonizing truth. Be it that I am neither a good journalist, nor even a journalist, the pill, a mixed metaphor the size of Fox News' success, doesn't go down the throat any easier.
(That’s right Steve…you’re a blogger which is lower than a re-write editor for The National Enquirer.)

This week I chased a rumor-laced story that had holy grail of Bill O'Reilly-contrarians written all over it. Holy grail with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Bill O'Reilly was soon to lose his radio gig… In fact, he is close to signing a contract renewal. So says a well-placed, inside source who is paid to know.

Well right away I checked out Maloney’s blog expecting him to say that another liberal smear job has been thwarted. Instead, he was blogging, under a banner "Exclusive to the Radio Equalizer" that Young had it right the first time – O’Reilly’s show was going off the air before the end of year.

Though not yet confirmed by the man himself, top- level industry sources tell the Radio Equalizer that Bill O'Reilly is giving up his nationally syndicated radio show. We're hearing his last broadcast will occur sometime in December.

Why do bloggers feel like they have to attribute their prognostications to "top-level industry sources," "well-placed inside sources" and the "buzz around the watering hole." Why can’t they just pull it out of the asses like many major talk radio hosts.

In any case, we are not going to weigh in on the O’Reilly watch. Instead we’ll call it a tie. Two bloggers say he’s out and the same two say he’s in. Sounds like a draw to us.
Inside Radio, a leading radio industry trade publication has weighed in the question of O'Reilly's fate. On Friday their on line newsletter claimed that "insiders say O'Reilly has signed a one year contract extension that will keep him on radio."
OK. Their "insiders" are more reliable than Young's and Maloney's "insiders."
Then they went on to make this bizarre statement:
Chat room rooms of his exit were far-fetched, heading into the talk radio frenzy of election year and the recent pick-up of major market clearances in San Francisco, Denver and Washington, DC.
I assume that they meant to say "rumors" not "rooms. Also, don't they know the difference between a chat room and a blog? And what are they trying to say about "talk radio frenzy of election year."
Are these guys too cheap to hire a copy editor?

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