Are the long-standing rumors about Air America Radio host Al Franken leaving his noon-3 slot on the liberal talk network true?
That's what our first thought was, upon hearing the news that Jones Radio/P1 afternoon drive talk host Ed Schultz will move his syndicated program.
Effective December 11th, a week from next Monday, "Big Eddie" will air live in that very same noon-3 (Eastern) slot. The show will still be refed in its current live time slot, 3-6 PM.
P1 president Stu Krane positions the move to the folks at Radio & Records as putting Ed in "prime real estate", radio-wise. It'll also pit Schultz head-to-head with Premiere conservative talk titan Rush Limbaugh, of course.
But AllAccess notes that the move was announced one day before a hearing on Air America Radio's bankruptcy, tomorrow. Would Jones/P1 move Schultz to noon-3 if Al Franken were still in the way?
Either if the former "Saturday Night Live" star is leaving AAR to mount that expected run for the U.S. Senate from Minnesota, or if AAR itself falls apart at the seams after Friday's hearing, it would seem that Jones/P1 has enough commitments from progressive talk outlets to make the move.
We haven't heard yet what local liberal talk outlet WARF/1350 "Radio Free Ohio" plans to do.
The decision could be made academic for them, and for other liberal talk outlets, if Franken is leaving or AAR is folding...take Ed Schultz live at noon, then Randi Rhodes live from 3-6 PM. Randi would finally get her cherished live afternoon drive clearance on many stations which delay her into early evenings in the Eastern United States.
Of course, if AAR is shutting down, that means Randi's affected as well.
If Randi lost her radio syndication home, we're wondering if Jones Radio would pick her show up as part of this move. That would certainly give them a very solid liberal talk block from 6 AM until 6 PM weekdays. As it turns out, Jones would then become the, well, defacto "liberal talk network" that AAR has tried to be all along!
We're just speculating about that last part, here, because we haven't heard any updated word about AAR's financial status. We do know that Franken is about to head out for a U.S.O. tour soon, we believe starting at around the same time - after his December 8th show.
But either way, it appears Ed Schultz - and Jones Radio - is looking to fill a void, and quickly...