Two radio industry sources say that CBS Radio and Clear Channel Communications are in negotiations on a deal that could bring controversial and wildly popular radio host Russ Martin back to Dallas radio early this summer. The sources indicate that, should an agreement be reached, Martin -- whose Russ Martin Show was taken off the air in December 2008 when CBS flipped formats from guy talk Live 105.3 to sports talk 105.3 The Fan -- will host a morning drive show on Clear Channel's 97.1 The Eagle as early as July.
"Russ and his gang are ready to roll," said one source. "They've already got their start date."
Martin did not return an e-mail inquiry and CBS Senior Vice President and Dallas Market Manager Brian Purdy offered only a "no comment" when asked about Martin's status.
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The move, which will require some tricky contractual manuevering, would give a voice back to one of the most clever and combustible hosts in Dallas radio history.
Martin, who I profiled in this Dallas Observer cover story last summer, was taken off the air by CBS via a combination of the format flip and his arrest and ensuing plea bargain surrounding a domestic abuse charge involving his girlfriend.
Martin, whose CBS contract is scheduled to pay him an approximate $1 million salary through April 2011, would need Clear Channel to buy out the remainder of his CBS contract. In exchange, CBS would drop Martin's non-compete clause.