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Howie’s Sunday Herald column

Rudy looks to get his Mitts on Mass. votes
By Howie Carr | Sunday, November 11, 2007 |

Two questions about the proposed move of the Massachusetts presidential primary from March 4 to Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.

No. 1: Can Gov. Deval Patrick remobilize the moonbats to carry the state for his candidate, Barack Obama? (Probably, unless he lets Felix Arroyo handle the organizational work.)

No. 2: Could Mitt Romney pull an Al Gore and lose his home state? (Probably not, but this primary could be the latest, and the way things are going around here, maybe even the last Mass. GOP “shootout in the lifeboat.”)

Of course, the candidates themselves aren’t going to be spending much time in these parts after the New Hampshire primary. They’ll be crisscrossing the big states that also vote on Feb. 5 - California, New York, New Jersey, among 23 in all.

Mitt’s got the support of most of the local Republican machines, if that’s not an oxymoron nowadays - three sheriffs, three district attorneys, new star Jim Ogonowski (he lost of course, but not by much, and it doesn’t take much to shine in the Mass. Republican firmament these days). Mitt also has all but one of the state reps and two of the five GOP senators (that’s right, there are only five left, and Rudy has the other three).

More importantly, perhaps, Mayor Giuliani is supported by a pair of faded bright lights, former treasurer Joe Malone and ex-Gov. Paul Cellucci. Besides their Italian-American heritage, Rudy and Cellucci have at least one other thing in common: poor choices in campaign drivers. You know about Bernie Kerik, the now-indicted ex-New York City police commissioner. But Cellucci has also been embarrassed by his erstwhile wheelman - do you recall one Anthony Dichio? He was a state trooper and, after George Bush became president, Cellucci wangled a nice appointment for Dichio as U.S. marshal, at least until it turned out Dichio was working about as often as Santa Claus.

For the record, one other prominent Bay State Republican does not support Mitt. That would be former Gov. Jane Swift, who is backing Sen. John McCain. But then, Jane has always did have a thing for older men.

Mitt Romney is currently up by double digits in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote, and he’s also ahead in Michigan. South Carolina is a tossup. Rudy leads only in Nevada, a caucus state.

So by the time Super Tuesday rolls around, the Romney scenario calls for winless McCain to be assuming room temperature. As for Fred Thompson, well, as Curtis Mayfield once said, “Freddie’s dead.” He’s got to win South Carolina, but - like McCain - he has no money. So the theory is that in Massachusetts, as everywhere else on Super Tuesday, the Republican race will be reduced to a two-man fight: Romney vs. Rudy.

But even if the presidential primaries are anticlimactic here, the taxpayers have at least 200,000 reasons for holding the election on Super Tuesday. That’s how much money the state can save by simultaneously running five “special” elections for vacancies in the legislature, not that anyone will ever miss any of the nonentities who are departing the General Court.

Two hacks got cabinet jobs from Deval Patrick, one inheriting the sergeant-at-arms job from the late Money Fitz, not to mention the top hat and the large stick that goes with it. A fourth vacancy was created by the election of Rep. Bob Correia as mayor of Fall River. The voters apparently were looking for a fresh face - a fresh 68-year-old face. Correia’s nickname now changes from “Deputy Dawg” to “Top Dawg.”

The fifth vacancy will be created Tuesday by whichever state rep wins the primary to succeed Sen. Bob Havern of Arlington. My money’s on Jim Marzilli, a moonbat’s moonbat. He’s running against Charley Murphy, who faces what may now be an insurmountable problem in Massachusetts. He’s an ex-Marine. I just don’t see a heavy Leatherneck vote mobilizing out in Lexington.

Marine vs. moonbat. It’s a no-brainer in this state. Which is probably why Barack has a fighting chance, too - at least here in the Hub of the Moonbat Universe.
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2 posted on 11/11/2007 6:49:47 PM PST by raccoonradio (Boston Red Sox: 2007 World Champions)
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To: raccoonradio

Also in today’s Herald

Hub talk radio in turmoil
Stations scramble to get key personalities in place
By Jessica Heslam | Sunday, November 11, 2007 |

A drop in morning show listeners over the summer, and a dearth of major broadcast talent, has Hub talk radio stations scrambling to put key pieces in place midway through the crucial fall ratings period.

“This is one of the most unstable periods in the modern history of Boston talk radio,” said Michael Harrison, editor and publisher of the radio trade publication Talkers magazine. “Boston’s a very dramatic market.”

Nearly every Hub talk radio host lost key listeners over the summer. Experts say the summer ratings period is the least important of the four annual “books” because listeners’ habits change in warmer months. People go on vacations and alter their schedules.

Still, the turmoil is severe and has forcefully gripped two key players: WTKK (96.9 FM) and WRKO (680 AM).

An array of fill-in hosts and newcomers like WRKO’s Tom Finneran have failed to catch fire, and while stations can paper over those failures in the summer book, which ended Sept. 19, the void has continued well into the current crucial fall period.

Industry insiders say those lost listeners may be tuning into public radio, news radio, sports radio, music stations, satellite radio or their Ipods, a dispersal that could be challenging to reverse.

The fall ratings, which cover the Sept. 20 to Nov. 12 period, are due out in January. They will provide better insight into whether the turmoil is turning off listeners for good. “The fall numbers are the ones that have the most impact on the life and death of radio,” Harrison said. “Judging radio by the summer book is like judging football by the pre-season.”

WTKK-FM was hoping to have Howie Carr - the marquee talent of its AM rival, WRKO - behind their morning-drive mic by now. But the courts have blocked the move. The FM station even offered Carr a $50,000 bonus if he started before Oct. 1.

Carr is reportedly heading back to WRKO and has been off the air since September, and every single week of the fall book. During the summer, Carr took five weeks vacation out of the twelve week book - and his show lost key listeners.

He took off a good chunk of the summer. His share among 25 to 54-year-olds fell 39 percent from the spring, meaning 10,400 listeners in that age group were tuning in during an average 15 minutes. Last summer, his afternoon-drive show had 15,500 of those listeners.

WTKK has lost listeners in the morning without Don Imus. The shock jock’s new radio show debuts in December but insiders say it won’t go into syndication until January and its future in Boston remains unclear.

Officials from WTKK and WRKO did not respond to requests for comment.

“Anytime you lose a morning show it sets listeners adrift and in search of new buttons on the radio. With Howie, other stations will benefit,” said Tom Taylor, news editor of the industry Web site “They’ll find other things to listen too.”

Even if Imus’ show returns to the Hub, it doesn’t guarantee good ratings, although he did decently here in the past. “If our idea of exciting programming is Imus Act III, we’re going to suffer,” said Holland Cooke, a news and talk-radio specialist at McVay Media. “The guy was a mature act when he fell from grace before, and now he’s tainted.”

Boston radio is no stranger to shakeups. Harrison said the departure of WRKO hosts Jerry Williams and Gene Burns in the 1990s also “marked an era of change” as did the 2004 death of WBZ (1030) host David Brudnoy. And Howard Stern’s exit from terrestrial radio was a major blow to every station that carried him, including Boston’s WBCN [website] (104.1 FM).

Harrison said the heavy hitters currently on the talk dial are sports hosts on WEEI (850 AM) and WTKK’s Jay Severin.

Harrison said Carr’s listeners will come back. “Carr’s got a good year to two years before people forget,” Harrison said.“The others are all quite fine,” He said. “But those are your stars.”

3 posted on 11/11/2007 6:51:21 PM PST by raccoonradio (Boston Red Sox: 2007 World Champions)
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