Roth Roasts Bosses On Free-FM's Airwaves... And On Sirius
March 9, 2006
After David Lee Roth's bosses had a little talk with him about ways to improve his low-rated morning program, Roth cut loose on the air Wednesday morning, calling his superiors "social retards" and "beige baby-food sissies." He was referring to WFNY/New York station manager Tom Chiusano and CBS Radio programming VP Mark Chernoff. "They want me to copy Howard [Stern]," Roth said, according to the New York Daily News. "But I refuse to regiment this show... I told them I would quit if they will not let me do what I was hired to do, which is create something unique."
Roth explained that his bosses told him he should appeal to "a 35-year-old white male who likes Lynyrd Skynyrd" and that they asked him to stop using "foreign" and "ethnic" music for soundbeds. He responded by saying, "This show isn't designed for a demographic. It's for everyone."
This afternoon (3/9), Howard 100 News gained an interview with Roth which ran on the Sirius Satellite Radio Howard 100 News 6pm broadcast. Asked if he is afraid of losing his job, Roth replied, "No, I kept my day job." Roth also stated he imagines CBS Radio is "going to hang in probably until the end of the summer before they are really going to look at ratings."
Roth said his CBS Radio higher-ups "took great offense" to his tirade yesterday. "Chernoff, my program director, said, 'I realize you were trying to make fun of me and perhaps even ruin my day.' But I said 'No. No. My intention was turning your whole f**cking life for the next three weeks into a toilet. Now are we prepared to talk?'"
Speaking about the lawsuit filed against Howard Stern by CBS Radio, Roth said, "Now that there's been a clean division, I have to question as to whether or not these kinds of lawsuits are frivolous. I've been the victim of 14 lawsuits that have been completely fabricated... I have to question now if this is somebody trying to take a poke at an artist who has bailed. You know, it's one of those 'If I can't have you, then nobody will have you.'"
According to the Daily News, a CBS Radio spokeswoman said only, "We are involved with all of our talent in working on their programs," but officials at CBS privately expressed concern with some of Roth's remarks, though one CBS Radio insider told FMQB, "It was his best show ever. It wasn't very nice, but at least it was enjoyable to listen to."
Roth also said that he was told he will soon have a female newscaster to read current events so that he can make comments. "That's Robin Quivers," he said. "But there's only one Robin Quivers. Just like there's only one Howard and only one David Lee Roth."
Roth did admit that his show was rocky for the first four weeks, saying, "I was like a fish flopping around at the end of a stick." But he said he's a quick study and noted Stern's comments to Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel where he said a new radio show can't be judged for 15 or 20 months. "Howard took his old audience," Roth said. "We're after a new one."