A champion of cutting through the ‘noise’ and recycled material that lacks factual material, has become inconsistently consistent for many news and sports audiences alike, Clay Travis has no qualms with exposing the dangers of promoting this toxic behavior in the media. Travis’s company, OutKick has been built by an individual that believes in his vision so strongly that he chose to go all-in and invest in promoting honest, objectivity, consistency, free speech and political opinions, whether or not they are unpopular at the time.
Travis has proven to be a fierce defender of free speech and insists on setting and honoring logical and practical precedents, and has no intention of abandoning this quest for providing the best possible content space in the broadcast industry.
The reports of a more reductionary broadcast entering the broadcast industry with the blueprint solely described as the “strategic opposite of Clay Travis’ Outkick” targeting specific members of the media for the business venture—individuals who’ve made their political agendas and tolerance for opposing ideologies clear.
“OutKick is straight down the middle. We cover sports and we cover it in an honest way and we give you our opinion on a wide variety of subjects. We seem like we are ‘right-wing’ because the rest of sports media is so far left-wing that there is a perpetual knife fight for the woke audience.” Travis addressed the reports immediately and unapologetically as he welcomed the competition as it would merely make OutKick stronger in the long run. “If anything it’s only going to make us look more reasonable the further left-wing the rest of the sports media community goes.” Signing off, Travis made sure to welcome and wish luck to what seems to be a reductionist amalgamation designed with OutKick at the forefront of the venture, as outlined in the report.
It is very clear that Clay Travis has no fear of competition as it pertains to the sports broadcast industry and there is a refreshing confidence that he brings to audiences that have felt alienated by other media outlets. Those who want a dose of sports news, current events, sharing opinions unapologetically on a wide range of topics from reverse sexism to the presidential election with a star studded guest lineup—look no further, Outkick is the landing space for you.
News talk stations that want to OutKick their own coverage by way of covering a sports/news or sports/politics story by bringing in one of the uniquely entertaining voices currently dominating the broadcast marketplace, try to book an interview with Clay Travis or arrange regular guest hits. The refreshing and thoughtful reasoning Travis has provided the broadcast media world is an appreciating asset that is worth investing in as soon as possible. The opportunity to up your game and promote the content that has been blocked on social media and attacked by other hosts because it doesn’t fit the normalized narrative to which they’ve confirmed—the answer is Clay Travis and OutKick. Here’s to OutKick for the commitment to developing a platform that provides a voice for those who have been silenced and surpassed the goalposts as outlined in the company’s mission: fearless and authentic coverage for an audience that has set the sky as the limit for the growth and expansion potential.
Why? Talking points below:
“Stupid stories seem to trend on a regular basis. Tom Brady’s friendship with Donald Trump became ‘huge controversy’ yesterday on Twitter. I don’t understand how this is remotely possible, and now all the talking heads out there are debating whether or not Tom Brady’s friendship with Donald Trump should be a major issue going forward. Since when did who you were friends with dictate whether you should be judged by whatever opinions they might have? This is all insanity. What’s going on is People are trying to slice and dice identities to such an extent; where you’re only allowed to have friendships with people who are exactly like you. It seems awfully boring to me. My family is half Donald Trump voters and half Joe Biden voters. This idea that you’re not allowed to be friends with a Democrat if you’re a Republican, or friends with a Republican if you’re a Democrat is pure insanity. This is where social media is driving us. This is why I keep circling around and our audience continues to explode. My precedents that I set are logical. I don’t think it’s smart, in football, for statements to be made about politics of any sort, in a uniform, at work. I think that’s bad for the overall interest in the league. It’s been my position ever since Colin Kaepernick took a knee. The same way I don’t think it would be smart for somebody to take a knee because they protest gay marriage. Or because they’re pro or anti-abortion or whatever you want to argue. If Tom Brady took a knee before this Super Bowl to protest Donald Trump losing the 2020 Election, people who have been defending Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the Anthem for years would immediately demand that Tom Brady no longer be allowed to be a quarterback in the NFL…”
“This is cancel-culture moving into who you can not be friends with. I think it is fundamentally broken. It is a failure of epic magnitude and I just think it’s shameful that stories like these are allowed to turn into massive controversies with controversies.. in quotations.” Clay Travis on the inability for those with different political opinions and ideologies to be able to coexist peacefully or be respectful enough to be friends with those who disagree with them on January 26.
Travis even managed to have a very candid and thoughtful interview with the President at OutKick, President Trump and Travis had a great conversation about a variety of topics.
Of Tom Brady, President Trump said, “He’s a winner. He knows how to win. He’s been a great quarterback with a great coach in a great organization, with a great owner in Bob Kraft, frankly. I think he’s going to do well in Tampa Bay.”
“You have to stand for the flag and respect your country you’re making millions of dollars a year to be playing a sport that you’d be playing anyway but they’d be playing on the weekends, and they have to respect their country. And if they don’t, frankly, if the NFL didn’t open, I’d be very happy; if they don’t stand for the flag and stand strongly I would be very happy if they didn’t open. And with that being said, I’d love to see them open.” Trump replied to Travis about the NFL and their season opener.
“Some sports I see, I think golf has not been hurt, in fact I think it looks more beautiful if you want to know the truth. UFC works really well, I watched that the other night. And they light up the stage, they light up the cage.” Trump shared with Travis, citing the details of the sports he has followed and supported, hitting all the major team sports, UFC and PGA.
In the final question, Travis asks the President,
“The number one sports fan among sports fans for the last ten years has been who is better as a basketball player—Michael Jordan or Lebron James? Which do you think—”
“Michael Jordan.” Trump replied, quickly.
“No doubt in your mind?” Travis asked.
“Well I’ve seen them both, plus he wasn’t political so people like him better.” Trump finished, both of them sharing a laugh.
Clay remains well informed about the political, economic and sports news cycles.
“One of the challenges of sports has been talking about serious topics and in general, I don’t think sports lends itself to talking about political topics. I think that’s been really exposed In the coronavirus era. One of the reasons why this show has grown so much is because we can talk about sports, but we can talk about the impact of sports particularly as it pertains to the virus. But one of the challenges is talking about difficult topics, in a smart and sophisticated way for large-scale audiences.” Travis identified the issues with sports media falling flat with audiences, especially with certain topics.
Travis tackles divisive issues like defunding the police, supporting Charles Barkley’s sincerity and his willingness to speak out about social issues.
“Maybe I shouldn’t be stunned by how poorly informed people are, but it’s the lawyer in me who always says ‘what matters is the facts, the facts the facts.’ I think sadly what you are coming to realize is that common sense isn’t so common, and that it’s rare.” Travis spoke of the willful ignorance that’s adopted by many issues and the number of those who have become entrenched with an unequivocally false narrative yet continue to advocate the defunding of the police. Largely due to what Clay so aptly identified as “the overwhelming political one-sidedness of the media.”
In his latest mailbag released Tuesday, Travis tackled this issue. “What you have is a broken marketplace of ideas where some people are not comfortable with sharing what they truly believe, for fear that it would cost them their jobs. And I understand that.”
Travis spoke on Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame snub saying, “It’s only left-wing political opinions that the sports media actually wants. If you share anything other than a far left-wing political option, in fact, not only will it be used against you but you won’t be able to make the Hall of Fame.” Travis defended the political discrimination and increasingly hypocritical dynamic that has exposed a serious flawed foundation that is covering the truth of why Schilling has been snubbed as a direct result of his unpopular comments amid his pursuit of a career as an analyst. The sheer implications of using your voice to share political opinions integrity “Why is there not a content neutral application here?” The athletes/analysts who have shared left-leaning political opinions have been rewarded while those with right-leaning views and opinions have been met with condemnation effectively eliminating the opportunity to have the conversations protected by the First Amendment. While Travis is well-aware with the reality of the climate and inability to pursue the challenges for non left-leaning individuals who have been thrust into a survival or self-preservation mode out of fear to retain their jobs and the ability to provide for their families but still want to be represented in the broadcast space will always have OutKick as a resource for the content that they feel is so neglected. Travis’ sincere pledge to the listeners makes him a genuine and long overdue hero to the average news/sports media consumer who’s felt alienated, silenced or forgotten due to fear of retribution or retaliation.
Bring Back the Art of Debate
In small doses and in the proper situation, it’s well worth your time to have your own ideas, along with the audience’s, challenged.
The last few weeks I’ve thought a lot about a quote I recently heard from Bill O’Reilly. I believe it was in a recent interview he appeared in with Glenn Beck, and O’Reilly was discussing his years as host of “The O’Reilly Factor”, the most-watched cable news show in the history of the medium. He was discussing how he went about booking his guests and said, and I paraphrase, “I tried to book the smartest people who could challenge me.”
That’s one of the reasons that O’Reilly’s show was so successful. He did that on a nightly basis for over 20 years.
Unfortunately, that premise has gone by the wayside, in favor of echo chambers across the media landscape, including talk radio.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t come back in some capacity and it doesn’t mean the host has to compromise their values.
Each week on my morning show on KCMO Talk Radio, I interview Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. Lucas is a Democrat, who has certainly angered lots of conservatives over the last 18 months on issues of COVID lockdowns, masks, and policing policy, just to name a few. One can debate how far left Lucas is on the “liberal spectrum”, but he will be the first to tell you he is a proud Democrat.
Shortly after the pandemic began, I spoke with his office about doing a weekly hit to update the city on what was happening on the COVID front. The interview has continued ever since, every Thursday morning at 7:30, but has touched on any and every topic relevant to Kansas City.
And while every listener, plus Lucas himself, knows I have disagreed with much of his policies over the last 18 months, our conversations are challenging, but cordial, respectful, and informative for the audience.
However, like clockwork, after each weekly conversation, there will be a barrage of calls, texts, social media messages, and e-mails saying that I, as the host, “let him off the hook”, “am too soft”, and all the usual criticisms that come from a portion of the audience. These individuals insist they are done listening to our weekly conversations.
But you know what, something funny happens when I look at the KCMO Talk Radio streaming numbers each day or look at the ratings at the end of the month: Thursdays at 7:30 end up being one of our most-listened-to and highest-rated segments, by far.
Then, when I go out in the real world, people tell me how much they appreciate the weekly conversations with the mayor, despite how much they may disagree with him. They think it’s important that our audience gets to hear from him, even if we aren’t his “based” constituency.
To Lucas’ credit, he comes on my show, despite our differences. That’s a lost art for most politicians, left and right, who only want to go on media that is sympathetic to them and their beliefs.
And then on the flip side, hosts on TV and radio have gone too far into the echo chamber, where they don’t want to hear from those who disagree with them. They also believe that the small portion of the audience that “wants blood” (theoretically speaking, of course) from their opponents, are the majority of the audience.
My research shows that’s not the case. And to reiterate, none of this requires a host to compromise their beliefs or become “squishy” on their opinions.
Granted, I wouldn’t spend hour after hour with guests who are disagreeable or don’t align with the audience, but the right guest in the right spot has real potential to create an excellent conversation and really good radio.
There’s no doubt it’s harder than ever to book these guests, based on the aforementioned reasons, but in small doses and in the proper situation, it’s well worth your time to have your own ideas, along with the audience’s, challenged.
And while hearts and minds are unlikely to change given the divisive climate we find ourselves in, you created a moment that connected with the listener, either good or bad, that will be memorable to them and keep them coming back for more. The loud-mouth haters be damned.
FOX News Remains Go To Network For Noteworthy Events
“Fox News’ special “A Gabby Petito Investigation with Nancy Grace” drew 1.78 million.”
Several noteworthy news events occurred during the week ending September 19, most of which Fox News Channel was the leading cable news outlet in its coverage viewership.
On Sep. 13, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was the first Biden administration official to testify publicly to lawmakers since the Islamist militant group, the Taliban, took over Afghanistan. His appearance before the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee was tabulated only for MSNBC by Nielsen Media Research, to a delivery of 542,000 total viewers (from 2:16-4:00 p.m. ET). On the following day (Sep. 14), Blinken’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee aired on both Fox News and MSNBC. Fox News was the clear victor, more than doubling MSNBC in total viewers (1.576 million vs. 0.648 million) and nearly quadrupled in the key 25-54 demo (257,000 vs. 66,000).
The California gubernatorial recall election on Sep. 14 that resulted in Gavin Newsom remaining as governor was extensively covered for four hours on CNN:
10-11 p.m. ET: 1.049 million total viewers; 309,000 adults 25-54
11 p.m.-midnight ET: 1.013 million total viewers; 344,000 adults 25-54
midnight-1 a.m. ET: 0.846 million total viewers; 283,000 adults 25-54
1-2 a.m. ET: 0.575 million total viewers; 185,000 adults 25-54
Fox News covered the election results only in the 11 p.m.-midnight hour, averaging 2.05 million total viewers and 411,000 adults 25-54 — no doubt, assisted by its highly-watched prime time lead-in.
MSNBC spent only 26 minutes of live coverage in late night, resulting in 659,000 total viewers and 93,000 adults 25-54 (from 1-1:26 a.m. ET).
MSNBC was the lone cable news outlet to air testimony by American female gymnasts before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the morning of Sep. 15. Gold medalist athletes Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and Aly Raisman relayed to lawmakers how the FBI and U.S. gymnastic and Olympic officials failed to stop the sexual abuse that they, along with hundreds of other athletes,suffered from former doctor Larry Nassar. From 10:43 a.m. to 12:06 p.m. ET, MSNBC averaged 753,000 viewers and 62,000 in the key 25-54 demo; the gymnasts’ press conference from 2:10-2:30 p.m. (also on MSNBC) drew 813,000 viewers and 95,000 adults 25-54.
On Sep. 18, Fox News covered SpaceX’s return of its Crew Dragon spacecraft from orbit, with the capsule carrying the four members of the Inspiration4 mission back to Earth after three days in space. It was the furthest humans had traveled above the surface in several years. The capsule Resilience splashed down off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida in the Atlantic Ocean. From 7-8 p.m. ET, Fox News posted 1.155 million total viewers and 141,000 adults 25-54. SpaceX is owned by Elon Musk.
Lastly, on Sep. 19 at 10 p.m. ET, Fox News’ special “A Gabby Petito Investigation with Nancy Grace” delivered the highest-rated cable news show in the 25-54 demo of the entire weekend with 317,000 viewers. In total viewers, the live special drew 1.78 million.
Here are the cable news averages for September 13-19, 2021.
Total Day (September 13-19 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)
- Fox News Channel: 1.483 million viewers; 238,000 adults 25-54
- MSNBC: 0.767 million viewers; 86,000 adults 25-54
- CNN: 0.587 million viewers; 125,000 adults 25-54
- HLN: 0.194 million viewers; 60,000 adults 25-54
- CNBC: 0.140 million viewers; 34,000 adults 25-54
- The Weather Channel: 0.137 million viewers; 27,000 adults 25-54
- Newsmax: 0.135 million viewers; 18,000 adults 25-54
- Fox Business Network: 0.084 million viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54
Prime Time (September 13-18 @ 8-11 p.m.; September 19 @ 7-11 p.m.)
- Fox News Channel: 2.659 million viewers; 417,000 adults 25-54
- MSNBC: 1.375 million viewers; 156,000 adults 25-54
- CNN: 0.799 million viewers; 177,000 adults 25-54
- HLN: 0.206 million viewers; 63,000 adults 25-54
- CNBC: 0.203 million viewers; 65,000 adults 25-54
- Newsmax: 0.163 million viewers; 25,000 adults 25-54
- The Weather Channel: 0.151 million viewers; 29,000 adults 25-54
- Fox Business Network: 0.046 million viewers; 6,000 adults 25-54
Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top MSNBC and CNN programs with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:
1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.776 million viewers
2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.574 million viewers
3. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.528 million viewers
4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 9/13/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.343 million viewers
5. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.294 million viewers
6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/16/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.274 million viewers
7. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.202 million viewers
8. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/16/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.171 million viewers
9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 9/17/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.151 million viewers
10. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 9/13/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.121 million viewers
17. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 9/14/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.611 million viewers
127. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Wed. 9/15/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.209 million viewers
Top 10 cable news programs (and the top CNN and MSNBC programs with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:
1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.629 million adults 25-54
2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.621 million adults 25-54
3. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.568 million adults 25-54
4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/16/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.544 million adults 25-54
5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 9/13/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.542 million adults 25-54
6. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.538 million adults 25-54
7. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/16/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.514 million adults 25-54
8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 9/17/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.510 million adults 25-54
9. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 9/14/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.491 million adults 25-54
10. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 9/15/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.479 million adults 25-54
29. CNN Special Coverage “California Governor Recall Election” (CNN, Tue. 9/14/2021 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.344 million adults 25-54
36. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 9/14/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.315 million adults 25-54
Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research
Pivoting to News/Talk Was A Natural Move For Steve Malzberg
“Censorship from management is something that you just need to put up with. If you don’t like it, you can leave.”
RT America host Steve Malzberg’s accomplished career began in sports but deep down he always had a passion for politics. Even before right-wing commentators were accusing the woke sports media of pandering to a specific base, Malzberg saw the hypocrisy in some of the day-to-day coverage.
The liberal bent fueled Malzberg’s creativity and desire to be different. Topics like race in sports often gave him fodder for his nightly shows in New York City. Years of railing against liberal opponents eventually made switching to news/talk full-time, seamless.
Malzberg’s unique skill set has translated well in both radio and television. Following a lengthy run at iconic WABC Radio, he was hired at WOR Radio and was eventually replaced by New York’s former governor David Patterson.
In 2013, he was hired by Newsmax TV to host the Steve Malzberg Show. Last year, he inked a deal with RT America to host a media commentary show. Now, very content and with plenty of creative freedom, Malzberg offers his expertise on media bias to millions of people. Malzberg recently sat down with Barrett News Media to discuss his path to success, his job at RT America, and how the death of Rush Limbaugh rocked conservative media to its core.
Ryan Hedrick: How did your career start?
Steve Malzberg: I started in sportsfor the first ten years or so of my career. I hosted the New York Yankees pre and post-game shows for a year, Jets pre and post-game shows for four years, Devils pre and post-game shows for a year. I had the honor of going to Super Bowls, Stanley Cups Finals and everything else you could imagine.
RH: Was the news/talk format one you envisioned moving into?
SM: I always had politics in me. My career took a different turn the night OJ Simpson was driving around in a Bronco. That event led to me switching. I was supposed to cover the Knicks who were playing the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden in the NBA Finals.
My program director asked me to stay around, come on after the game and cover the OJ story. He invited me to come on the very next day and provide live coverage of the OJ saga and after that I started filling in for other hosts doing political talk and more in the realm of current news events.
RH: One of the biggest challenges for transitioning from sports talk to news/talk is finding your voice. Did that come naturally to you?
SM: Yes. I used to love covering Jesse Jackson when I was doing sports. He would protest that athletics needed more Black coaches. I remember Filip Bondy and Harvey Araton wrote a book on the NBA. One of the themes was how hard and how terrible it must be to be a Black NBA player and deal with white public relations people, that irked me.
RH: You were the first-ever host of Newsmax TV. Are you still a viewer of the network? If so, what are your thoughts on how it’s developed?
SM: I am not going to say anything bad about my former place of employment. Chris Ruddy who runs Newsmax TV was always very hands-on. I am sure he’s just as hands-on now. I know after I left, they brought in a lot of people with hard news experience. I think they have a great mix of talent there, but I can’t say that I watch so I don’t have much to say about the programming.
RH: You’re currently hosting for RT America. What role do you believe you and your network are playing in educating conservative news media moderates push back against cancel culture?
SM: On RT America I host Eat the Press which is kind of a play on Meet the Press, but it’s not aimed at the show by any stretch of the imagination. What we do is really devour the press and their bias. I have the freedom to present examples of media bias every week and I think I do my part of trying to hold the media accountable.
I also have wonderful A-list guests who continue to come on with me. Great conservative Hollywood people join the show such as Robert Davi, Kevin Sorbo, and Maria Conchita Alonso. They buck the trend in Hollywood.
Conservative media is doing a great job getting the word out there. Shows like Fox & Friends are blowing away CNN and MSNBC in the ratings. However, the media is still dominated by the left, and with the advent of social media and the ability and willingness of Big Tech to cooperate with the government and in some instances ban conservatives, we have an uphill fight!
RH: What role do you feel social media plays in helping conservatives get their truth out?
SM: Social media is where it’s at. If we are limited then we are losing. We can’t put doubts about the vaccine or questions about a third shot or any topic without the liberals at Facebook and Google monitoring us and taking us down.
RH: As a host with strong opinions, are you ever concerned about being censored or canceled?
SM: Censorship has existed in one form or another in broadcasting throughout my career. I could go back to any of the stations or networks I have ever worked at and tell you that I’ve been told what not to say, not so much what to say.
Censorship from management is something that you just need to put up with. If you don’t like it, you can leave. I always found that my censorship was carried out in my passion or support of Israel. At RT America, we have a meeting. I come up with the guests and ideas and book the guests and there’s only been one disagreement with a guest. I have never been told what to say or how to say something.
RH: What type of impact do you feel the death of Rush Limbaugh has had on conservative media as a whole?
SM: I was fortunate enough to know Rush and be there when he arrived at WABC in 1988. I knew Rush for many, many years. Limbaugh is irreplaceable. His death set conservative media back. No offense to the people that have taken over for Rush, but I don’t listen. It’s not the same and it’s not appointment radio. I just don’t see how you fill the loss.
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