Savage's Career In Tailspin

Fri. July 11, 2003 12:00 AM by

Controversial Host Pulled from MSNBC

Los Angeles, California - The list of radio stations that have suspended outspoken commentator Michael Savage is growing with the latest in the nation's second largest market.

Last Saturday Savage launched a homophobic tirade against a caller to his MSNBC cable TV show in which called the man "a sodomite" and told him: "Get AIDS and die, you pig." ( story)

NBC, which is a co-owner of MSNBC (website), immediately fired Savage.

Los Angeles radio station KRLA issued a statement Wednesday saying "if accurate, [Savage's remarks] are totally unacceptable to this station and its owner, Salem Communications Corp." What is surprising is Salem is a Christian broadcaster. Los Angeles is the second largest radio market in the country and the "suspension" will mean a sharp decline in the number of listeners to Savage's 'Savage Nation' show.

Salem also announced it was shelving Savage at two of its other stations.

"We will only resume broadcast of his program if we are assured that an outrage of this type will not occur again," said Terry Fahy, the station's general manager in a statement.

Earlier this week Boston's WRKO became the first radio station to take Savage off the air.

Savage continues to be heard on 316 other stations across the country, but the furor which followed his MSNBC attack has led a number of stations to consider their position on carrying the program.

On Tuesday, Savage attempted to quell the uproar by issuing what he called an apology saying he had been set up by a left wing conspiracy. The Caller who was the target of Savage's attack turned out to be a prankster who often calls phone in shows with frivolous questions. (story)

Savage Nation is syndicated by Talk Radio Networks. Mike Lofrano, the company's chief operating officer was doing damage control this week offering stations assurances that outbursts like the one on the weekend would not be possible in radio because of a time-delay that gives producers time to hit the squelch button.

"It's never happened on the radio program, nor would it," Lofrano told the LA Times. "We're willing to give those assurances."

by Matt Johns Newscenter
Los Angeles Bureau
©® 2003

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.