I got a chance to talk with Malone by phone earlier this afternoon and ask him a few questions. Malone already stated he was let go because the station wanted to go in a "different direction."
Today he told me he wants to get back into radio, but is going to take some time to sleep in after doing three morning shows in Houston for the past two decades. He also wants to spend some time with his family.
Something that my blog readers ask in the comments section is should Malone have ever left 104.1 KRBE? After arriving at the station in 1993, Malone left the top 40 station in 2005 for a talk show at 740 KTRH and eventually the morning show of Mix 96.5 KHMX (where he says he was number 1 in the 18-49 female demo). He was later fired from those stations before ending up at 700 KSEV.
Malone told me leaving KRBE was not a mistake. He points out that owner Susquehanna Radio Corporation sold the station five weeks after he left. Anyone in the broadcast biz can tell you a station sale can shake things up employee wise. Malone believes the chance to work at 740 KTRH helped reinvent him as a talk show host which eventually led him behind the microphone at KSEV. He adds you can't work at a top 40 formatted station forever since it generally caters to the youthful audience.
Then there is the Maria Todd equation. Malone and Todd worked together for more than a decade at KRBE as co-hosts and before that at a station in Buffalo, NY. The duo were a ratings winner. I asked Malone the question lots of Houston listeners ask, "Will you ever get back with Maria?"
Malone says he and Todd are still friends and will probably take advantage of his time off to have lunch together. He adds she is one of the most talented broadcasters he's ever worked with. And if there were ever a chance to do a show again together, they would. He just doesn't believe there will be an opportunity again as changes keep coming to the radio industry.
Todd currently is a weekend news anchor at News 92FM KROI.
- Sam Malone of KRBE, KHMX talks to Mike McGuff