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AG News: 3/30/2006

David Lee Roth, An Exercise In Futility

Bail out. Abandon the program. Stay in Florida.

You can probably add to the above messages to David Lee Roth, or throw a couple of lines to CBS Radio like: Bail out. Abandon the program. Keep him in Florida.

It's time to admit a mistake's been made by placing David Lee Roth in a morning drive time slot. Wait. Check that... by making David Lee Roth a radio show host.

At a time when the radio industry is struggling to regain its footing in the wake of an audience and advertiser revolt against poor programming, the last thing you want on the air is a program that has no direction and is led by a person who doesn't have a clue about what makes entertaining radio.

Wait. Check that... the last thing you want on the air is a couple of people who don't have a clue about how to do good radio, that are sitting in for a person who doesn't have a clue about what makes entertaining radio.

By now you know that David Lee Roth has disappeared from the air for a second time in as many months. I'm not sure where DLR gets his work ethic from, but for any morning show host to think they can simply not show up at will dismantles the relationship they build with the audience. That these so called "days off" happen with each release of Arbitron trend reports throws a little more gas on the flames of suspicion.

Howard Stern left, and CBS Radio was left with a terribly perplexing problem; how does it deal with a predictable decline in audience? That the CBS CEO, Joel Hollander, would admit "you don't replace a talent like Stern easily" gained nods from millions of radio listeners. It even bought CBS time, with sympathy, from 70% of an audience that was willing to give a chance to any replacement.

But, to replace Howard with someone who 1) doesn't understand basic principles of broadcasting; 2) is so caught up with their own past greatness they refuse to see their ship sunk long ago; 3) feels there is going to be anyone that waits for him to get over a night of no sleep; is a slap in the face to those in the audience.

CBS Radio has a problem. David Lee Roth also has a problem. One is how to get out of a contract that it so vigorously supported less than 90 days ago; the other is how to (gracefully) exit a disaster.

The time has come to fold the show. In three weeks nobody will remember David Lee Roth. Fact is, if you look at rating trends, few people are thinking about him today.

Mostly, this story is just turning into fodder for publications that want to rehash how bad radio programming has become.

Publisher's note: While listening to David Lee Roth's replacements this morning (JV & Elvis), I was treated to a discussion on New York City sewage, a song parody titled "I Pimped the Whores," a barrage of honked out swear words (presumably, because these hosts thought it was funny), and laughing about a person who was stabbed five times with a scissors - all, of which, preceded an unintelligible interview with someone about diets AND a discussion with Andrew on how a "bit" wouldn't be used because it "wasn't good radio" (in part due to it not containing words like "bitch").

Please, if you think this is entertaining, or how their constant talking over each other is a professional presentation, write and explain why.

From: Aaron

I'm stunned at the praise here for JV + Elvis. I feel like I'm listening to two crude,
loudmouthed frathouse boys who dropped out of college after one semester of
too much drinking and partying.
After Van Halen, David Lee Roth used his abundant money and time to learn
languages, travel the world and try new experiences (such as becoming an
NYC paramedic) instead of sliding into post-rockstar hedonism. He's come
out of all that a very diverse and interesting person, and a compelling
radio host. He also treates his callers with a lot more respect than most
hosts these days.
Radio Chick and her cohorts did a show yesterday about poor 911 response
times and a utility worker called about company policies regarding gas
leak reports. Our nation's natural gas infrastructure is, of course,
the same thing as human flatulence, right, so of course it was hysterically
funny and non-obvious to play fart noises while the caller struggled to make
his point. What a joke...

From: Jim

Jv and Elvis are hilarious. You can't just plug into a show and like it.
Of course, when you hear parodies, everybody is a critic since it is overdone.
They should replace DLR.

From: Barbara

The biggest problem with Roth's show isn't Roth -- it's the lack of a good,
strong producer running the show. It's obvious from the "technical glitches"
--including gross overmodulation -- and the number of times Roth has to say
"hey, guys in the back, pay attention, what's the problem, where do I need
to go next" -- that there's nobody actually RUNNING the show.
Talent should never be hung out barenaked like that -- and talent that's new
to a medium needs extra TLC from at least one producer who knows his or her
head from his or her butt. It's clear Roth doesn't have the support he needs.
I was never a big Van Halen fan, so I wasn't part of any built-in base, but Roth
has grown on me as a personality. He has more brains that I'd given him credit for
-- and he comes across as a pretty good guy underneath all that rock star/frontman
bluster and bravado.
Face it, it takes more balls than a pool table to even take on the assignment
of filing Howard Stern's slot. Too bad management doesn't have a matching
set to give Roth what it really takes to even have a chance to make it work.
At least he hasn't bowed to the pressure of dumbing down to the tits and ass
level of Adam Carolla... or that godawful duo that filled in for Roth on Wednesday.
What a juvenile below-fratlevel party that was. I don't drink early enough in the
day to even try to get what that bs was about.

From: Carolyn S.

I, too, thought the song was horrendous, and I turned it off...actually
just went to 1010 to hear about traffic. But -- I love David Lee Roth,
and I detest Howard Stern. I know, I know -- I'm part of the invisible
female audience that no one wants, but, we're out here "in droves" --
driving to work, well-educated, and we think (apparently a lof of educated,
mature men agree) that he's a breath of fresh back off, and go
sign up for Sirius. That's where your leader went, so why not follow him,
and leave us with somebody who knows how to say more than "take off your
top and let's see 'em."
Disembodied voices talking like that to me have never been enticing...and
neither was Stern. He is for the "manly" men -- who think that sex with
a woman is all about how great her body is, without ever taking a look at
himself in the mirror-- updated Playboy Bunny stuff. So, leave David Lee
alone, sign up for Sirius, and stop complaining. If Stern had loved you
as much as you love him, he'd never have left "free" radio.

From: Rick C.

I would like to share my dissappointment in the changes in David Lee Roth's
radio show. Dave, I thought, had a great show. He was better than Howard.
Much more entertaining and doesn't have to stoop to the lows Howard does
to get ratings. He was new to radio and was just getting the feel of things.
If he had a behind the scenes support it could be even better.
It seems to me that the producers have NO BALLS so they felt the need to
take Dave's BIG BRASS ONE's to make themselves feel important. They are
the ones who need to look for a new job on AM RADIO and leave those of
us who like real FM alone. I think they will lose Dave to a good radio station
and regret the BAD DECISION they have to mute a great talent!!!

From: Karter K.

Radio sucks! Why get rid of Howard Stern and replace him with some
whack ass so-called talent who tries to do the same thing Howard Stern
is doing and has done? It makes no sense!
[Here's something to make you go Hmmmm...]
How much you wanna bet that after life with Satelitte, Howard Stern
will return after being made an offer he can't refuse? I can tell you
that the culture, the real people and the world misses Howard.....

From: Dan A.

I like (or liked) his CD reviews. But overall, what Tim K. wrote sums things
up nicely - "Just random phone calls and peppy babble over disco music."
In Dave-speak: "BINGO. We have a winner. I'd say the show is more peat moss
than Pete Best. Would you agree, Animal? Speak to that. Play us into the break, B.
Here we go, yeah..."

From: ASH

Sure, DLR is no Howard Stern. Nobody is, including the bovine ass in Chicago.
I'm willing to give Dave the benefit of time, in order for him to get "with it"
- the show does have the necessary skeleton to be a good show. I agree that he
now needs guests and topics. As for Juvenile and Elvish - forget it. If they
got hit by a bus, we'd all be better for it.

From: Ken W.

I listen to Dave every day he is on either live or via the internet next day.
I find his show most entertaining and different to most on radio today.
He has very interesting guests who I find entertaining.
Seems to me that YOU don't bother to listen at all. Dave wants to take his show
to the people than I say ... LET HIM. People all over this great world LOVE DLR.
Let him have his time to build the audience and YOU will see what I mean.

From: Mitch

JV and Elvis made David Lee Roth seem like the King of ALL MEDIA!
The 2 of them are HORRIBLE !!!

From: Primax

I disagree. JV and Elvis are now howard stern, however I found
them easier and funnier to listen to than DLR.

From: Ellis B.

Does radio no longer understand how to make it's own product?
This is some of the saddest radio I have ever heard in my life.
I've tried to listen, and to give DLR a fair shot, but this show is PONDEROUS!!

From: Russ

I'm in LA and we're feelign the same pain with Adam Corolla.
It's just really bad.

From: Poop

Lets face it, DLR is awful. Why go into how bad he is. He needs to be off the air
period. As for JV & Elvis, I thought theyd be much better than they are. Penn
Gillette isnt much better either.
I like the addition of Jim Cramer but hes only on for an hour or so.
The Radio Chick is OK at best and Jake and Jackie, well lets say Squirt TV
was a bomb and so is this. The only show on that station worth listening to,
and I know everyone agrees, is the Booker show. This guys got it down.
Great lineup, great personalities, etc.
Listeners dont want to hear DLR talk highly about his past etc. Today's world
loves to hear someone self-depricate themselves, which is what booker does
best with his show. How do you think Conan got famous?

From: Tim K.

DLR's aimless format is unlistenable. He takes random calls from people
who just babble about whatever. No topics. No guests. No schedule. No bits.
Just random phone calls and peppy babble over disco music. It truly sucks.
Local access cable television has better productions made by high school kids.

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