I’ve wondered from time to time what exactly is up with Sirius/XM’s Steve Cohen and the Mad Dog Radio channel’s reliance on a litany of (very) loud, middle-aged white guys, several of whom have voices that almost indistinguishable from each other. The channel remains populated — especially in the early evenings, late nights and weekends by a roster of undistinguished, sub-Dino Costas (sorry if that’s redundant), most of whom seem interchangeable in tone if not POV.
Russo claimed on Thursday that neither he nor Cohen were aware of any qualified black applicants for a Saturday afternoon slot on MDR ; that some unique skill-set was required to capture the imagination the Sirius/XM’s paid subscribers (that skill-set of course, being have your entire professional existence in debt to Howard Stern keeping the platform afloat) (link courtesy The Shadow League, who optimistically calls this Russo’s “Al Campanis Moment”).
It’s rather astonishing to think that an allegedly commercially competitive outlet like Sirius/XM is solely dependent on unsolicited audition tapes landing on Cohen’s desk. Given the channel’s horrible ratings over the years, wouldn’t it be in the interests of subscribers (if not shareholders) for Cohen and Russo to actively research and recruit the most talented candidates possible? Or are we to believe there is not one black (or female) radio host or journalist on the continent with the chops of a Lance Meadow, Dan Graca or Scott Wetzel?