Ex-Congressman, ex-con on the air


Former US Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) has served his time for a corruption conviction and started a new career. He’s now a radio talk show host.

Effective this week, the former Congressman is hosting 1-3 pm weekdays on WVLY-AM Moundsville, WV, just across the Ohio River from his former district. The station, rated in the Wheeling, WV Arbitron book, is locally owned by Howard Monroe, who also hosts the morning show.

Hiring the ex-lawmaker has generated some publicity for the station. Its website links to stories on both WTRF-TV (CBS), where Ney’s father had worked as a cameraman, and WTOV-TV (NBC), the only two full-power network affiliates in the Wheeling, WV-Steubenville, OH Nielsen market.

Comments from listeners posted on the radio station website range from “Bob Ney is the embodiment of the cancer at the core of our modern democracy” to “Bob, people like you will always make a difference.”

Ney was in his fifth term in the US House of Representatives when he resigned in November 2006 and pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to a charge of falsifying financial disclosure forms. Both charges were related to the bribery scandal centered around lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ney was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, but was released in August of last year after serving 17 months.

Despite the notoriety of his corruption conviction, Ney may be best known for an action he took during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 to protest the refusal of France to support the American action. As Chairman of the House Administration Committee, Ney required the food service for the House of Representatives to re-label “French fries” on its menus as “freedom fries.”

RBR/TVBR observation: We see a trend developing. Maybe a syndicator could put together an all-ex-con lineup, starting with Ney and former Providence, RI Mayor Buddy Cianci of WPRO-AM.