Last weekend, I googled the man I hired for the awesome little job called “replace Howard Stern.” I found an anonymous blog that smelled like something rotten was stinking up the kitchen at CBS: 

Adam Carolla has a playbook filled with more options and winning strategies than any idiotic morning zoo or any hack program directors can ever hope to create. Danny Bonaduce was a desperate hail mary pass thrown by people too short-sited to see that it took Howard decades to build his radio empire.  When Stern first syndicated, it took four years for him to lay waste to the competition. Adam was always first to say that Howard was irreplaceable.  I couldn’t have agreed more. But when ‘the KING’ departed for a new throne, someone was left having to figure out how to start over. That someone was me. 

I went home the night that I was given the ball and told my wife there was good news & bad news.  The good news was that I was made President of CBS Radio programming. The bad news is that I had to figure out how to replace Howard.  We’ll skip the long stories here about who the REAL choice was for NY & save all that for later.  The ONLY choice for LA, and for the west coast Stern stations was the man who’d been on Howard’s show for scores of LIVE appearances – the man who rocked THE MAN SHOW with Brother Jimmy Kimmel – the man who made LOVELINE a latenight hit – the man with unique comic skills to improv and create immediate compelling content out of every scrap of raw material – the man who can build a house with his bare hands – and you get the drift:  C-A-R-O-L-L-A.

We gave Adam a new start in a new format called FREE FM.


Our mission wasn’t complex.  Hire BIG talent and give them the support and freedom they need to build better radio on their own terms. People are sick of over-formatted radio with too many commercial interuptions. No breaking news there. Talent is the only answer to better ratings and revenues. But old media doesn’t have a terrific track record backing talent. The current writers’ strike is front page news that tells the same story in Hollywood.      

A great drama seems to be unfolding.  Morning radio fans in LA, Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, Sacramento, Reno, Fresno, Palm Springs, Portland (Oregon & Maine), Boise, and Pittsburgh wait to find out if Adam Carolla will be back on January 2nd.

I’ll lay down this bet with a song:

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the flowers are dying
‘Tis you, ’tis you must go.


32 Responses to “ADAM CAROLLA”

  1. BigMojoSasquatch69 Says:

    We Carolla fans thank you and hope to god you’re right about the Troll!

  2. Mike Serrano Says:

    Amen brother.

  3. Wow! That was brilliant. As happy as it makes me feel knowing that somebody with some credentials appreciates Adam, it only makes it that much worse that short-sighted idiots were able to ruin Adam’s show and that it may never get back on track. Thank you.

  4. Couldn’t agree enough with this.

  5. Rob,

    If this, in fact, really you… mazeltov on an excellent Carolla post. Fans of his have been reeling over the last year due to the pebble in our collective shoe, the scurge that is Dante Bonaduce. This man, who claims to be dedicated to his listeners (“who pay his salary”) and a man of the people doesn’t get it. He doesn’t see that the base material of Stern (who he might point to as his model) is just trash, if it is not presented from a place of real insight and honesty. His bull in a china closet mentality, with a penchant for wacky games and “outlandish” behavior bubbles up from a well of emptiness. He has nothing to contribute to the media lanscape. In fact, his most endearing and entertaining presentation is one which chronicles the very things that make him unlistenable on radio, that being the Breaking Bonaduce show. His belief that we loved that show means we love that kind of attitude, that kind of behavior, is precisely the thing that alienates the lion’s share of Carolla’s audience. We all stare at car wreck with wrapped attention, but we do not want those involved to teach our driving school.

    So, yes, Bonaduce, he is a man of the people, in as much as he fits about as well into the Carolla show as any joe off the street would– ill-equipped and out of place, flailing to equal the talents of Adam and Teresa. What you brought to the radio in LA with Carolla was intelligent insightful and starting to bloom in ’06. What has been wrought upon us these last twelve months is like a beautiful house near the airport, mostly great, but you have to learn to drown out the incessant roar from a close by annoyance.

    Here’s hoping your original vision comes back into focus. I hope it is some consolation that you were right….

  6. Could not agree more with your assesment of Danny Bonaduce and what constitutes “gopd radio” these days.
    Love Adam, hope to see him back anywhere sans Danny

  7. Rob —

    Your candor regarding The Adam Carolla Show is much appreciated.

    One question…. you mentioned Pittsburgh as a market in which the show airs. Which station? I live in the Pittsburgh area and have been downloading the show on iTunes.


  8. Jeff: the KLSX website says it’s 99.1 KSEK in Pittsburgh but who’d believe it?

  9. KSEK in Pittsburg, Kansas…… Thanks…. I’m on the east coast in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I forget that there’s more than one Pittsburgh in the country….


  10. its dawson, rich banks, and fake jack silver who ruined thwe show

    dave sucked too

  11. I certainly hope that Bonaduce stops stinking up the airwaves on the Carolla show. Adam deserves exactly what you set up for him, a forum to let his talent shine, but he is wasting so much time and effort as a babysitter.

  12. Jeff: Ahh Kansas – this blog is called “The Night Feed” for two reasons: we have baby twins – we don’t sleep – and a 3d reason – this boy’s a college dropout …… but i can tell the diff btwn good radio & bad

  13. did they really take all their message boards down??

  14. Yes, they took the main board down probably 2 days after the last show. It was at

  15. Yes. They not only took them down, they completely deleted them so that hey would never come back.

    Here’s a link to where everyone ended up :

    Rob, you should stop by.

  16. I have been a long time fan of Mister Carolla, last months his radio show was interrupted every 5 seconds by the once child actor. I do miss the comedy and fast thinking jokes from Adam. Better than a comic he is a great motivator and respecful person.

  17. Rob – Kudos both for your decision to hire Adam and the points that you make in this posting.

    I am a fanatical Carolla fan, but I’d like to make one comment to the idea of freeing Carolla’s comedic instincts from external control: Left to his own devices, Adam seems to generate bits like “1780’s Guy”, “Germany or Florida” and “Which Weighs More”. This brand of humor worked within the intimate latenight environment of Loveline but fell painfully flat on his TV show and arguably so on FreeFM; my observation that his manufactured bits don’t hold up well to the spotlight.

    My point is that I believe that Adam needs some amount of external guidance to succeed in morning radio. Certainly not the morning zoo mentality foisted on us by Silver/Bonaduce, but _something_. Adam has always said that the reason Michael Jackson and Britney Spears act like insane people is that they don’t have any friends to tell them when they make bad calls. In that spirit, I think Adam could benefit from the feedback of someone who genuinely understands how to enhance his existing strengths and has the juice to see them implemented.

  18. […] ADAM CAROLLA [image]     Last weekend, I googled the man I hi […]

  19. very excellent post

  20. Dear Mr. Rob Barnett,

    Thank you.

    A fan of good radio.

  21. This post is very hot, it is high ranked at (daily weblog, weblog post ranking site)

  22. madbeatchemist Says:

    Glad to hear that you agree with most of us listeners about Bonaduce. I certainly hope he is gone come January 2nd.

  23. While I may or may not agree with the assessment that Adam’s “manufactured” bits fall flat, Danny was not the solution to this particular problem. The correct model would be to surround Adam with a talented people who believe in supporting Adam, not talking over him. Contrast Teresa’s contributions to Danny’s.

    Once again, the Stern model should be followed. Howard has a great group/staff who work with him and play off him and each other brilliantly. And it took years to get there. Teresa was, remember, the second newswoman on the show. It took them five months after the debut but they finally got it right.
    It seems that it’s going to take an even longer time to find Adam’s Fred or Artie. The executive level should realize this and approach it with a hands off attitude because so far, they’re zero for two with their suggestions on how to fill that chair.

    One final thought, if traditional radio can’t successfully find a place for Adam, I’m sure Howard and Sirius could and would. The man knows talent and, as stated above, Howard has more than recognized Adam’s in the past.

  24. pray really hard to santa & he’ll break bonaduce

  25. Someone in Portland Says:

    You were right, that idiot Danny was booted from the show. There is a god, after all.

    Jack Silver, go bury your head in the sand.

  26. I’m basically a broken down, reasonably wealth, 59 year old East Coast white man that finds Adam Carolla one of the funniest and most original personalities on the radio. I listen every day via PODCAST and am a devoted follower of the show. Danny was a disaster both happening and waiting to get worse. He had to go. In all truth, Dave D wasn’t very good either. Adam needs someone more substantial to play off of than Teresa – someone as effective as Dr. Drew was in the back and forth with Adam w/o ever attempting to step on anything Adam was doing (OK, he did sometimes – but even that was funny, like when Drew was working his Blackberry and not paying attention). As Ed McMahon once said of Johnny Carson, “… the greatest mistake a sidekick can make is to know where the Boss is headed (with his comedy bit) and arrive there ahead of him.” Adam needs someone like Drew that won’t even try to get there ahead of him and doesn’t ever feel threatened by Adam’s sometimes biting humor. I’m always on pins and needles as to whether Teresa will start crying or if her current relationship will turn south and we will have to go through some weepy period. It now looks like the last few anxious days will turn out OK and I can go back to my XMAS vacation in Hawaii secure in the knowledge that 2 January is coming.

  27. No argument from me that Adam would do well to take a page from Stern’s book on playing off the hosts. IMO the incidents of interpersonal tension on ACS (Bitch Bag, “Go eff yourself”, the secret taping of Teresa, hooking up Billy to lie detector, searching Billy’s computer for porn) were very entertaining examples of this and I was quite disappointed that they backed off of it in favor of manufactured stuff like Music Monday, Designated Ranter, etc.

  28. Bravos to you Rob! Excellent post. As your pal Penn Jillette says “In all of art it’s the singer, not the song.” Keep the audacity dialed up to eleven. All the best,

  29. Adam is great. I hope his show is back in sf bay area, and on the FM dial. When Bonaduce was added to the show it moved to AM radio.

  30. I didn’t know anybody actually listened to Adam Carolla. I didn’t even know he was still around…

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