Michael Savage has left TRN


Maybe two weeks ago, I predicted with TRN losing a big chunk of revenue with Cumulus Radio dropping most of their TRN programs, TRN might be very receptive now to ending their contract.  Reverend Moon dying may also dry up funding for the ARN news programs.

Despite Savage characterizing it as a historic legal decision, it was nothing of the kind – it was settled in arbitration  – two lawyers at a table doing “let’s make a deal” and the arbitrator (who is not a judge) not letting them leave until they have a deal.

What syndicators are left to employ him?

Clear Channel – home of the “hemmeroid with glasses”, “The Golfer” and “the Wall Banger” – only if Bob Pittman has realized Michael Wiener’s real purpose

Cumulus Media – Home of Mark Levin  – only if Savage will work for minimum wage and let Mr Dickey control what he says

Dial Global – a pretty good match if Savage stops trying to pretend he’s a Conservative.   Look for Thom Hartmann to have a Coming Out Party if this happens.

CBS – possible but unlikely.   CBS likes safe.

Radio America – maybe, but he would only be on a few stations

Genesis – the Alex Jones conspiracy network – hmmmm


Savage mentioned in vague terms a few days about having a “scare” but he wouldn’t go into details.

Barring a miracle, it seems unlikely he’ll have a network show before the election.  I think the future of TRN without Savage is also not so good.  Laura Ingraham can’t carry the network  by herself.

A way out of left field possibility is the Masters family (or whoever owns the network would sell it to someone Savage would work for – maybe his son.

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44 Responses to Michael Savage has left TRN

  1. Art Stone says:

    I was distracted for a few hours – my guesstimate is they lost 1/3 of the affiliates on day one – Levin picks up the most, an Andy Dean, a Roger Hedgecock… More data to come. I doubt TRN telegraphed this in advance. At least as long as I listened, Jerry Doyle said nothing about why his voice was coming out of the radio and not Savage’s. Doyle’s show didn’t have that many good affiliates so many Savage fans will have no idea who he is

  2. TRN is putting Jerry Doyle in Savage’s slot. Here is their press release.

    • popsmayhem says:

      Well so much for rusty humphries getting it. thanks for the update.

      • JMyrleFuller says:

        Well, I guess it’s not over yet. Now they have an entire 6-hour block in the afternoon/midday that is now empty. Doyle may be the short-term fix for the time slot, but it’s not the end of the shuffle for the network itself.

    • Art Stone says:

      Jerry Doyle #6? Maybe within TRN’s list of hosts. I show him as #18.

      Perhaps they added other filters like “Conservative Talk Show” and “syndicated by an independent syndicator.

      So imagine you’re a program director today deciding what to do. If you have Cumulus in your town, Levin is already on it. Clear Channel is peddling Jason Lewis. Hugh Hewitt (Salem?)… Roger Hedgecock (Radio America)… Andy Dean?

  3. popsmayhem says:

    He will be on again tonight also.


    I hope he gets a good syndication network. The shows very entertaining hate to see it go.

  4. MrC_5150 says:

    Michael Savage will broadcast LIVE with an update tonight via his website. No specific time is given.


  5. popsmayhem says:

    Savage will be back. He has stated also that he has a hand no ones seen yet. What that actually is or was who knows. Whatever makes him happy i will be fine with. i love listening to him. i recall him saying no more then a month ago say he was not ready to retire

  6. Parrott says:

    Ummmm, Sarah, with that hot ‘ librarian look’.

  7. janderson021 says:

    I give up, and I can’t find clear channel in the list of syndicators.
    who are the persons behind these colorful descriptions?
    ““hemmeroid with glasses”,
    “The Golfer”
    and “the Wall Banger”


    • Art Stone says:

      Clear Channel owns Premiere Networks 🙂

      I believe he is referring to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity.

      Hannity used to work in construction as a young man. The other two are more obvious. I think “The Bartender” is Lou Dobbs. His name for Mark Levin is something vague like “that guy with the whiney voice”.

      Mark Levin’s main beef with Savage seems to be that Michael “Savage” Weiner hides behind his stage name, and was perfectly happy to let people assume he was a Christian.

      If you do some searching on Michael Weiner, you’ll discover that he used to sell books about herbal medicine, then he developed the formula for Rock Star Energy Drinks. His son runs the company and his wife (Mrs S) is the CFO. Michael Savage is a character on the radio. He keeps telling his audience over and over that Michael Savage is the “dumbed down to their level” character he plays on the radio. Even when he says it that directly, people still don’t get it.

      • janderson021 says:

        thanks for the clarification on those.
        wall banger, funny. not what i was picturing.
        I used to listen to savage once in a while, but his spiel got tiring after a while.

  8. Dusty says:

    Hi, Is Michael allowed to make a simple subscription based downloadable podcast? That is, until his new employer and contract are ironed out.

    • Art Stone says:

      No way to know since the details aren’t public. I think it more likely Savage will work full time writing books and maybe just show up as a guest on other shows.

      His fight to get away from TRN seems similar to his banned in Britain. If he got a phone call saying “Okay, you can come to Britain now”, he would gloat about his victory and then not go there. So TRN set him “free” from a job everyone in radio would kill their mother to get… Now what? Other than maybe winding up on Sirius/XM, no option he is likely to be offered will have the reach he already had. Time will tell.

  9. JMyrleFuller says:

    Savage is 70 years old, too, so there is always the easy route– retirement. By the time his non-compete clause runs out (and the implication is that the clause covers a fairly long time) Savage might not even be interested in radio anymore.

    • Art Stone says:

      I’ve actually read his contract. It was filed with the lawsuit.

      Savage made the same basic mistake as Howie Carr. Their contracts had a right of first refusal (more or less). If they talked to another employer before their contract was up, the current employer has the right to match the terms of the contract and renew their agreement on those terms.

      In both cases, if they had let the contract run out, and a week later signed a contract with a new company, they would have been home free. But if your current contract is gone and you’re unemployed, the new employer has a lot more negotiating leverage.

      The implications of what Savage said is he doesn’t have a non-compete (unless he agreed to it as part of the settlement). Non-compete clauses are highly discouraged by the courts and enforced only in limited situations like a salesman going to work for a competitor working in the same territory. A national celebrity couldn’t possibly be held to a non compete. There is a NY sports host who had trouble with that – I think he may be working in Vegas now.

      • JMyrleFuller says:

        I know New York explicitly doesn’t allow non-competes because they passed a law against it a couple years back… but of course, New York is not California. The release did say “MICHAEL WILL NOT BE HEARD ON THE RADIO FOR SOME TIME,” so I’m assuming the non-compete came as part of the settlement, not as part of the contract itself.

        • Art Stone says:

          The typical way around this – Tom Lykis being an example – is the radio company negotiates an agreement – we’ll give you $X to terminate the existing contract – you’ll remain our employee until [some date] but be required to do no work.

          Non competes are enforceable while you are still an employee / under contract. So if you agree to be paid for 3 years to do nothing that competes directly, that’s fine. If you then break the new contract to start competing, then you don’t get the money. There might be other penalties if you break your “getting paid to do nothing” contract if you agreed to them.

          In the case if Leykis, he used the time and money to build a studio, hire staff and build a business to create a subscription based podcast. The courts have generally been saying a podcast is not “radio” and therefore isn’t breaking a non-compete, but that’s not completely settled law. I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice.

  10. Art Stone says:

    Mark Masters has announced there will be a new host on Monday – “the October Surprise”. All of this is consistent that TRN decided they figured Savage had become not worth keeping.

    So who is the October surprise? The implication is it is a Conservative politician currently not employed, probably someone with prior media experience like appearing on Fox News a lot. Let’s see…

    J. D. Hayworth
    Sarah Palin
    Newt Gingrich
    Dick Armey
    Richard Lugar
    Rudy Giulliani
    Ann Coulter

    • foyle says:

      That is one ugly list of potential hosts! Gringrich could probably go 24/7 live since the man never shuts up, the only problem is, no one is listening to him. How’s that moonbase coming Newt?

      The other males- Hayworth, Giulliani, Lugar, Armey — would all be good for the insomniac crowd from midnight-6 am. If you can’t sleep while those guys are talking, there is no hope for you.

      Coulter or Palin could have a competition to see whose voice can be more grating and annoying. I can’t imagine which would win. I could see either of them becoming the ‘background laughing female’ on any of the dozens of morning shows that have that full time position available.

    • Nidster says:

      Being a talk show host is a grueling way to make a living. Look for a lower-profile person since there are plenty of talented local hosts who have a long track record and are currently working for peanuts. I doubt Palin, Gingrich, Coulter would consider being tied down doing a radio show. Hayworth possibly but the others are way too boring i.e., Armey, Lugar, Giulliani.

      • Art Stone says:

        I agree with that. The above is basically “people would like the job for a month” to influence the election, not be tied to a 2 hr/day, 3 days a week, every other week job like Savage had.

        Since I don’t know what is happening, I’m going to create a placeholder and move the existing affiliates to it and then we’ll see what Monday brings.

    • Art Stone says:

      Add Dr. Bill Wattenburg to that list. He already works for TRN and has done a daily show in the past. He’s filling in for Savage tonight.

      • JMyrleFuller says:

        Well, you called it… I took a closer read on that PR they put out and (even though it’s temporary) it looks like Wattenburg is going to replace Doyle while Doyle moves to replace Savage.

        • Art Stone says:

          Well, if that’s it – the October Surprise is underwhelming. Dr Wattenburg is a good show for late at night to fall to sleep to – not a middle of the afternoon show.

          Jerry Doyle’s personal life has been a roller coaster, but at least he usually shows up for work.

          Did anyone see Savage’s ustream show? One account said he didn’t even appear on camera. I have a long standing theory that due to the security issues, he’s been doing the show from somewhere else very far away, and some of his talking about riding his bicycle in San Francisco are fictional actions being done by the character named Michael Savage, not things really done by Michael Weiner.

  11. foyle says:

    What are the chances that Savage does a Howard Stern and goes to satellite only? Of the possibilities mentioned thus far, I think Genesis would be the most entertaining destination. Maybe Alex and Savage could do a show together — that would be better than watching “professional” wrestling!

  12. briand75 says:

    Savage should go to the ESPN Sports Network. There he would be able to drone on about improbable situations and fantasy things and blend in with all the other similar goings-on. He can probably do as well at sports analysis as Trent Dilfer or Kirk Herbstreit or some of the other fine analysts.

    • Art Stone says:

      I considered one if the sports networks, but there isn’t a lot of evidence that he knows much about sports. Maybe Rush could leave to go to NBC Sports Radio to be their NFL and golf analyst and give up the EIB network to Savage

  13. Savage is not as genteel as your typical Salem host but he would be the biggest talk ‘star’ they’ve ever been able to offer in syndication.

    • magnusphi says:

      I think if Salem was looking to shake things up, he’d be a good choice. I’m sure he has badmouthed Medved in the past, so we’ll see.

      The Genesis network. I could see that one happening. Jones could cash in on Savage’s “star power.”

      • Parrott says:

        Yeah I didn’t know there was others on Genesis besides Alex. As long as the TSA is treating normal airline passengers as terrorist suspects, and snickering at body scans, Jones will have a topic and audience. TSA is horrible.
        Savage isn’t conservative ?


      • Art Stone says:

        Savage definitely went after Dennis Prager once over stealing his material

        There are few people in the radio business that he hasn’t turned into enemies. The only Conservative host that I think he hasn’t picked a fight with is Steve Malzberg.

        I have no idea what Phil Boyce’s opinion of Savage is. Boyce had been at WABC, then briefly I think may have had a big job at Citadel after the ABC/Citadel merger, but then left to go to TRN. He was there for a year or two then left abruptly without another job, and only about a year ago landed at Salem.

        Frankly, I’m surprised that Savage remained on Salem after the way he went after Ann Coulter, calling her a transvestite and an anti Semite for answering a question about what Christians believe. Either the cofounders of Salem never heard it (likely) or their interest in Christianity is only as a way to make money by shearing the sheep.

  14. Art Stone says:

    TRN’s web site is completely scrubbed of every reference to Savage. This agreement to let him go was not a surprise.

  15. Art Stone says:

    I forgot Salem Radio, which still carries Savage on a few stations. Ex TRN program director Phil Boyce is now there. Phil is smart and probably would overlook Savage’s quirks if he can turn around Sslem’s pretty pathetic ratings – but Salem has been weak in syndication beyond its own stations.

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