SEATTLE (AP) — A radio station Sunday denied a talk show host's claim that he was fired because he criticized CBS newsman Dan Rather's handling of challenges to the authenticity of memos about President Bush's National Guard service.

KIRO-AM Radio, a CBS affiliate here, canceled "The Brian Maloney Show" because of scheduling conflicts, the station's general manager said Sunday.

"The primary reason Brian Maloney's show was canceled is because KIRO's broadcasts of the Seattle Seahawks football games significantly reduces our Sunday talk lineup and we felt the remaining time slots would be better filled by other hosts," Ken Berry said in a statement.

He said several hosts on the station "have criticized and continue to criticize Rather and CBS with no interference from management."