These are emotionally charged times for talk radio. We are over a week from election day and there are still debates being had over who won the presidential race in certain states, the U.S. Senate is hinging on two runoffs in Georgia, and the House still has several seats up in the air, and it looks like Republicans will net seats.
This is the kind of scenario talk show hosts dream about. Every day it feels like the shows write themselves, kind of like a sports talk show host following his team to a World Series or Super Bowl.
With that being said, there is a hint of a circular firing squad going on right now within conservative circles. Was the election stolen? Was it “stolen enough” to flip states? Did Joe Biden just win and we all need to move on? Are you mad at FOX News for their Election Night coverage? Are you not?
All these conversations are happening within conservative circles and in many ways, depending on how you answer, it is dividing people.
As hosts, this can be frustrating, but fun. Heck, we are all supposed to be on the same page here, especially in an election cycle! But we’re not.
However, this can make for incredibly entertaining talk radio. And in the end, that’s my job, plus there is a moment here to take advantage of.
I’ve spent much of the week getting yelled at by all sides. “Pete, you’re not taking election fraud seriously enough!” “Pete, you’re nothing but a Trump lackey!”
Both things can’t be true! But, it’s made for a fun week and allowed every show to be unpredictable and entertaining. It’s brought moments of happiness, sadness, laughter and frustration.
However, as of right now there is no end in sight. But we can still do our best as hosts and stations to use this momentum to our advantage from how we host the show and handle the callers to how we image the station. On KCMO Talk Radio, we added new rejoins, liners and promos with our voice guy saying “Yell at Mundo… or compliment him… 576-7710 on KCMO”. We can use that as a rejoin or an imaging piece, or in a show promo with callers ranting and raving or complimenting in the same promo to have several voices and keep it moving forward.
Every talk show should want to curate callers who are going to disagree with your opinions as to avoid too much of an echo chamber. This can be tougher to do for a political show than a sports talk show. But in the wake of the most hectic election seasons in modern American history, we are now at a point where many who likely agree on policy and agenda are breaking from each other.
I believe a lot of this will settle down once the outcome of the Presidential election becomes official, but in the meantime, shows and stations can continue to capitalize with entertaining imaging, promos, show moments and callers, while riding the wave to hopefully a strong fall ratings book.
Pete Mundo is the morning show host and program director for KCMO in Kansas City. He graduated from Villanova University, and has worked for FOX News Talk Radio, WCBS Newsradio 880, Bloomberg Radio. WFAN, CBS Sports Radio, WEER 88.7FM, ESPN 1230/1320, and, K-1O1 and Z-92. He has also won an Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters small-market award for his coverage of the Bobbie Parker trial in the summer of 2011. To interact, find him on Twitter @PeteMundo.
Jay Weber: Media ‘Covering’ For Biden, Democrats On Border Crisis
“Biden and the Democrats are allowing it to happen. Allowing it! And the news media covers for them.”
Many conservative commentators have maligned the interview President Joe Biden conducted with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes last Sunday, and have claimed he got a “pass” on the nation’s southern border. 1130 WISN host Jay Weber can be added to that list.
“Trust me, if a Republican was president, dozens of terrorists roaming America because of the president — intentionally — reopened the borders, it would be a huge deal and a relentless obsession by the news media,” Weber said. “Biden and the Democrats are allowing it to happen. Allowing it! And the news media covers for them.”
Weber pointed out a perceived hypocrisy in liberal circles, as many have claimed Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is guilty of kidnapping after sending illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, MA, but are ok allowing the southern border to remain open.
He continued by pointing out the southern border’s role in national security, saying it took only 13 people to attack America on 9/11.
Dan Mandis: There’s A Reason Greg Gutfeld Is Winning Late-Night Competition
“There are consequences for doing that. It is now well known that Greg Gutfeld, over there on Fox News, is beating the snot out of Stephen Colbert.”
After playing a recent clip from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Mandis said it was the chief reason why network shows are losing to Gutfeld. In the clip, Colbert’s audience cheers when the host brings up a Texas sheriff opening an investigation into the actions of Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for shipping illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, MA. Colbert called DeSantis “a body builder who skips head day” in his monologue, and Mandis found the comments offensive. He claimed shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX should be a place for all viewers, not just members of the “progressive left”.
“To me, Colbert’s show should be on CNN or MSNBC to cater to the left,” Mandis said. “But again, he’s on the network where he should be welcoming for all. There are consequences for doing that. It is now well known that Greg Gutfeld, over there on Fox News, is beating the snot out of Stephen Colbert. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Isn’t Gutfeld blowing off half of America?’ Perhaps, but he’s on Fox News, where people know what they’re going to get.”
Mandis then pointed out the difference in Gutfeld’s approach compared to Colbert’s, saying Gutfeld’s panel approach is easier to digest than Colbert’s solo monologue followed by celebrity interviews.
Will Dahlberg New GM For WBHM
“I look forward to working with our team, our listeners and our supporters in the weeks and years ahead to put more ‘public’ in public media by better serving all our communities.”
WBHM, the news/talk station owned by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has named Will Dahlberg as its new Executive Director and General Manager.
“Working at WBHM for the past decade has been the highlight of my professional career, and I am honored to serve as executive director,” Dahlberg said. “I appreciate the search committee’s confidence in my abilities to lead this amazing station and the talented and diverse team that works hard to serve our community. I am so grateful to the amazing WBHM team for their time, support and patience during my time as interim and throughout this search. I am also grateful to the many people at UAB who continue to support WBHM’s important mission.”
He also added how important WBHM has been, and will continue to be to the greater Birmingham communitiy.
“WBHM has done an excellent job as a public radio station since 1976, but it is important that we continue to strive to do more,” Dahlberg continued. “I look forward to working with our team, our listeners and our supporters in the weeks and years ahead to put more ‘public’ in public media by better serving all our communities. As Birmingham evolves, so should its public radio station, and I can’t wait for us to do that together.”
Dahlberg has previously worked as the Deputy Director and Membership Manager for the station. He has been the interim executive director since mid-2021.
“Will has more than a decade of experience at WBHM in a range of roles, including 15 months as interim executive director, and his passion for public radio and the people it serves is evident in everything he does,” said UAB Chief Communications Officer Jim Bakken. “WBHM provides an invaluable service to the Birmingham community and beyond, and Will’s commitment and vision will lead the station in delivering on its mission.”
Garrett Searight is the Editor of Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media. He previously was the Program Director and Afternoon Co-Host on 93.1 The Fan in Lima, OH. He is also a play-by-play announcer for TV and Radio broadcasts in Western Ohio.