Adam Carolla‘s “News Girl” Alison Rosen was fired by the prolific podcaster roughly a week before the news made headlines Monday, and the host of “Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend” told TheWrap exclusively that she is as puzzled as most.
“I am as confused as the fans are,” Rosen told TheWrap via a Monday night telephone interview, her only conversation on the matter with the media. “I think there’s this sense that there’s all this stuff happening behind the scenes, but I wasn’t privy to it.”
She continued, “For whatever reason, he made this decision and decided it would be in the best interest in the show — and I have to respect that.”
But fan-favorite Rosen found out the news in a very unceremonious — if not frigid — manner: She and her husband Daniel were in New York for the holidays when she received an email from Adam firing her.
“I don’t actually know who wrote it. It was punctuated and it had whole sentences, so perhaps he had some help writing it,” she joked. For those not in on the quip, the multiple New York Times Best Selling-author Carolla often acknowledges how poor of a typist he is — he doesn’t even hunt and peck out his own books, he dictates them verbally to a writing partner.
“I literally had to sit down, which I don’t think has ever happened to me — where I’m standing, reading something and I literally had to sit down and let everything sink in — it was surreal,” Rosen explained of the moment. “I was really surprised. I just didn’t see it coming.”
The natural question to ask is if the parting of ways was monetarily motivated, which Rosen and her agent both denied.
Representatives for Carolla have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for an interview.
“No. That’s the weird thing. I’ve read that stuff too,” she said about a possible money conversation. “There wasn’t contract negotiations. I didn’t ask for more money — there was nothing like that.”
Digging a little deeper for a reason, TheWrap asked Rosen a few questions posted to us in the comments section of yesterday’s story. We posed whether the employment termination could have had anything to do with recent difficulties Rosen has endured in her personal life: The too-young passing of her beloved dog Oliver, or her much-discussed difficulties to conceive. Some readers questioned whether Rosen had expressed hesitation over the travel required for road shows, a big part of the podcast’s promotion. Rosen denied either playing a role.
Here’s her best guess: “I think he wants it to be more like a morning radio show.”
“I wish he had talked to me,” Rosen added, suggesting that if Carolla’s chemistry explanation was truly an issue, perhaps adjustments could have been made. But that conversation never happened, she maintained.
“I don’t understand,” she continued. “I sat next to him for four years, we traveled together. I felt so comfortable and that we really hit a good stride … I really tried — I really felt like I was in his corner and tried to make the show better.”
Perhaps Carolla wanted more of her on the microphone, or perhaps less of her, she wondered aloud during our lengthy conversation. While hired to do the news, Rosen says she was often introduced by show producers as “Adam’s co-host,” and listeners know that her and fellow show personality “Bald” Bryan Bishop can be counted on to insert witty opinions throughout the podcast.
Carolla explained the decision Monday briefly during his first 2015 podcast: “Alison Rosen is not gonna be part of this program in 2015. Why? Nothing personal. I like Alison Rosen. I think Alison Rosen is very talented and very funny. I think she’s a great writer and I think she’s a great comedic voice, but I don’t think she’s a great sidekick. I think she’s a good sidekick, but I don’t think that’s her calling.”
“I sat next to her for a number of years, and I tried it out, and it just wasn’t a fit, as far as sidekick,” he continued. “It’s not a personal thing, it’s not a creative thing, and it’s not even an ability thing — I just feel like she wasn’t sidekick material, which is probably a good thing.”
That’s all that fans have gotten, thus far. So Rosen is baffled, but still grateful for the time she spent with the platform.
“I’m really thankful for those four years, I’m really proud of those four years. Whenever people get let go and they say things like, ‘I’m really excited about what the future holds,’ I’m always suspicious of that. But I really am excited about this next chapter, like, legitimately. So, I’m not happy about the way it went down, but … I’m really in a good place.”
“I’m going to be OK, I’ll say that. Obviously no one enjoys losing a source of income. My podcast thankfully is successful. Having all this extra time to put into it — which I am really happy about — I feel optimistic about the future of it.”
At the time of this writing, Rosen’s podcast was sitting at No. 11 on iTunes Top Podcast list — “The Adam Carolla Show” was at No. 32. Going forward, “ARIYNBF” will no longer have an affiliation with Carolla Digital, but she has some options for distribution, Rosen said. And she’ll stay in touch with the old gang — possibly sans Adam — who has been supportive and puzzled since the news broke.
“Everyone has reached out and said really nice things,” Rosen told us. “I think everyone has been like, ‘What?!?'”
Thursday will be Rosen’s first new podcast since she broke the news Sunday night at 9 p.m. — when her Monday show regularly uploads — with the normal Carolla Digital gang staying aboard, along with Rosen’s friend and fellow comedian Jenna Kim Jones. The main difference will be that the show will now tape at Rosen’s home instead of Carolla’s state-of-the-art studio. Oh, and it might be awkward — but those are our words, not Rosen’s.
Finally, we asked Rosen about her current “ACS” replacement, KSLX’s Gina Grad, who is doing a sort-of temporary audition in the role. All Rosen wanted to say about Grad, who she’s met before, is “I wish her the best.”
Based on fan response, Grad — as well as Carolla, both who were widely attacked on social media yesterday by those on Team Rosen — will need the well-wishes in the hot seat. Right now, Rosen certainly has the fan support, so don’t be surprised if threatened boycotts turn into real podcast protests. Should that happen, and should those one day reopen the door for a Rosen return to “The Adam Carolla Show,” the writer and TV contributor promised us that she’d “Never say never” to the possibility.
Fans can check out Alison Rosen’s podcast and other material here. “Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend” is available on iTunes every Monday and Thursday.