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Top 10 Radio Stories of 2008

Dateline: December 29, 2008


Talk Show Host Randi Rhodes on You Tube

Talk Show Host Randi Rhodes on You Tube

Photo Credit: © YouTube.com
6. Russell Brand Left BBC Radio 2 Over Prank Call Controversy, Head of BBC Radio 2 Resigned

On Thursday, October 30, British comedian Russell Brand hung up his headphones and left his BBC Radio 2 program. His resignation came on the heels of criticism directed at Brand and Radio 2 over prank calls made to actor Andrew Sachs during Brand’s show.

According to SFGate.com: "...he and fellow broadcaster Jonathan Ross recorded voice mail messages on 'Fawlty Towers' star Sachs' phone, in which they discussed Brand's fling with the 78-year-old's granddaughter. The pair also joked about breaking into his house and molesting him, although that dialogue was cut from the aired broadcast."

Latimes.com reported Radio 2 received more than 18,000 complaints from listeners.

Brand and Ross both apologized.

But, the scandal continued until Lesley Douglass, head of BBC Radio 2, was forced to resign.

5. Randi Rhodes Suspended by Air America Radio for Hillary Comments

On April 3, 2008, Air America Radio's Randi Rhodes was suspended by the progressive network for remarks she made about Hillary Clinton. According to The Radio Equalizer, "In a rant so salty it could make a sailor blush, Rhodes repeatedly called Hillary a "big f***ing whore", to both cheers and jeers from the audience. The afternoon drive talker was there on behalf of Air America at an event sponsored by the local affiliate."

Rhodes subsequently resigned from Air America Radio. According to Fox News, "Mark Green, president of Air America Media, told FOXNews.com that Rhodes terminated her contract Wednesday after she refused to apologize on air for her remarks."

Green emphasized that it was Rhodes who chose to leave by exercising an option in her contract.

4. The iPhone Becomes a Radio

In mid June, 2008, it was announced The iPhone and AOL Radio would join forces to stream content. Saul Hansell in The New York Times wrote:

Here is how someone will be able to listen to the radio next month: Buy an Apple iPhone and download the new AOL Radio application. It will connect to AOL’s servers by way of the cellular network. The phone’s GPS system will monitor signals from satellites orbiting 12,000 miles in space in order to determine your location. This will automatically determine your location and tune to the digital stream from the nearest CBS station.

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