Brian Maloney

Seattle’s “Radio Equalizer,” Brian Maloney, has left Newsradio 710 KIRO-AM the same way he arrived – fired with enthusiasm.

The talk show host says that he was terminated from the CBS affiliate two days ago because of critical comments he had made earlier about CBS anchor Dan Rather and his handling of charges that memos about President Bush had been forged.

“On the talk show that I host, or hosted, I said I felt Rather should either retire or be forced out over this,” Maloney told Associated Press in a telephone interview. “What they have expressed is essentially that my show went in a direction they’re not comfortable with.”

KIRO is a CBS Radio News affiliate, however it has been owned since 1997 by Entercom, a broadcasting company headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. In the 1930s, KIRO gave a start to a young Chet Huntley who went on to fame in the 1960s, with David Brinkley, on NBC TV’s Huntley-Brinkley Report.

“I really felt [Rather] was taking the network’s credibility down with him,” Maloney said, indicating that he was not at liberty to discuss the firing in detail.

“Talk-show hosts have generally had a lot of independence in these kinds of issues,” he said. “Nobody’s ever said, ‘You can’t criticize CBS News.'”

In December 2001, when he arrived at KIRO, an enthusiastic Maloney said, “It’s a wonderful station with quite a variety of backgrounds in listeners and callers. That’s what keeps it interesting. I know that any 10 callers will give 10 different views on what we are talking about. The fun is in the sparring between individuals.”

Now, the sparring is over.

Maloney’s broadcast career goes back to 1993 when he was working on a political campaign in Santa Cruz, California. Following several years at KSCO in California’s Central Coast region, Maloney went on to Reno’s KOH-AM. In his early years, he became known as the “Radio Equalizer” because, “my show was one of the few places giving balance to the local news stories of the day. The name is silly but it kind of stuck.”

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