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Mailman will deliver his new radio show for free; Karl Malone isn't taking a salary

Published April 25, 2012 5:56 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Karl Malone didn't make any salary demands when he signed on to do a weekly radio show on ESPN 700.

As a matter of fact, he didn't demand any salary to host "Through My Eyes," which will air Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. on KALL AM-700.

"How much am I getting paid?" said the former Utah Jazz star. "Zero. Nothing. Because I want to grow something."

If the show turns out to be successful, "then we'll talk about the compensation. But it's got to be a win-win for everybody."

For a guy with a history of tortured contract negotiations with the Jazz, this was a breeze.

"The neat thing about it is we did this deal on a handshake and ... one page," Malone said.

The two-time NBA MVP has a history of being somewhat, shall we say, mercurial. But ESPN 700 general manager John Kimball is confident Malone is in this for the long haul. Well, for at least 12 months.

"He's signed a year agreement with us and has committed to me personally," Kimball said. "And we're excited to give him this platform. I feel confident he's going to step up and do what we've asked him to do."

As for the radio show itself, which Malone will do with Bill Riley, it will be about - well, about whatever the Mailman feels like talking about.

"It's not sports. I don't want you to think it's sports," he said. "We will talk about everything."

But Malone said he will talk about sports. And hunting. And farming. And the Olympics. And the military.

"It's just the mood I'm in," Malone said. "Everybody got something to say. We want them to be able to say it. But if I get tired of hearing you," he said, miming hitting a button hang up on a caller off.

"That's the first button I wanted to see when I got in there. How do we cut them off?"

Malone has committed to doing the show in Utah once or twice a month. Sometimes from the ESPN 700 studios; sometimes from his Toyota dealership in Draper. Other times, he'll do it from a studio the station will install in his home in Louisiana. Or from wherever else he happens to be.

And if the show is successful, then he'll talk about compensation. Not that he's hurting for money.

"I'm fine," Malone said. "Things have been really good.

"I feel we can do something really special here."

And if not, well ...

"Understand this, if it's not working for either one of us," Malone said, then there won't be a need to negotiate compensation.