Tuesday, June 10, 2008

lawyer Ron Kuby makes his Air America debut

Ron Kuby at the mic on his former show at WABC. Ron Kuby at the mic on his former show at WABC.

June 10th 2008

After eight years of waking up every day to spar with Curtis Sliwa on conservative-dominated WABC (770 AM), Ron Kuby started a solo gig Monday as the 3-6 p.m. host on progressive Air America, heard locally on WWRL (1600 AM).

"One of the nice things about the new place," said Kuby, an unreconstructed lefty, "is that presumably they want me to be here, as opposed to looking for a reason to fire me."

Which is not to say he's going to bad-mouth WABC because it finally did.

"I loved working there [at WABC]," Kuby said a few hours before he launched on Air America. "Curtis and I developed great chemistry. We did great radio and got very good ratings.

"Now I have every expectation I'll enjoy what I'll be doing next."

While Air America has had a rocky run through its first four years, Kuby said the signs he sees are positive.

"From what I've seen," he said, "there's a good crew here. Good staff, good production people, folks who really know radio. I'm honored to have been recruited."

He's also been in radio long enough to realize that if it doesn't work out, for whatever reason, that's just the game.

"As [WABC newsman] Bruce Anderson used to say, I'll just keep coming to work until they tell me not to."

His Air America show, which he calls "Doing Time With Ron Kuby" and kicked off yesterday with Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," will be different from the Curtis and Kuby show.

"That show had two voices, of course," he said, "and a million elements. This will be very topical, and I'll get to say the things I want to say. I also plan to have lots of guests, from the whole spectrum of opinions."

Kuby led yesterday's show by talking about Hillary Clinton's bow-out speech Saturday, calling it "amazing and fantastic."

He joked about former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez landing a job and discussed the merits of America talking with Iran.

Mostly, he said, he's happy to be back in the game.

"I was surprised how hard the radio bug had bitten me," he said. "People would stop me on the street and say, 'I miss you on the radio,' and I'd say, 'Yeah, I miss me there, too.'"