As if CBS Radio wasn’t getting enough flack from Howard Stern, now one of its high profile Stern replacements is taking shots at the company. On his WFNY (Free FM) New York-based syndicated morning show, Roth has been griping about what he sees as management interference with his show. Characterizing interaction with management as “beyond irritating,” Roth expressed resentment over company plans to add a female talent to his show.
“They’re going to force a girl on us” in a Robin Quivers-like role, Roth said, adding that he prefers a different character configuration.
Roth’s penchant for playing snippets of funk music and tossing out a line or two in Spanish is also drawing management heat, he claims. On Thursday’s (March 9) show, he said he was told not to play any “ethnic music” or IDs voiced in other languages or to read emails from outside the U.S. Roth also claimed he was directed to focus on a 35 year-old white male listener and that “women don’t count” (his words).
“They’re lining up on us,” Roth said Thursday. “I’m sure I’ll be threatened.”
Roth also ridiculed the fledgling FM talker’s positioner: “Free FM – free to speak your mind. I guess not for me,” he said.
“We are involved with all of our talent in working on their programs,” a CBS Radio spokeswoman told Billboard Radio Monitor.
The former Van Halen frontman related a conversation with his attorney after the lawyer visited Stern at his new home at Sirius Satellite Radio. The attorney told his client about the positive “vibe and attitude” he encountered at Sirius and compared it to the “solemn, silent, dirty” environment at WFNY. Roth said if he were to be fired or quit, the first thing he’d do is phone Stern and ask if he could get a night gig at Sirius.
Roth’s grousing could create some much-needed talk for his show. And some radio vets may see his diatribes as nothing more than an egotistical rock star new to radio not responding positively to management direction.