“I just have to say, as a listener of Rush over the years and then getting into the industry, I will
tell you flat out; I have never been more inspired by a human being. The way he handled his
sentence, the way he handled the last year of his life. So many of us would have said, ‘where’s
the nearest beach? I’m headed there.’
Rush cared more about the audience, but he loved what he did, which kind of dovetails into this business recognition—that he stuck it out and inspired millions of people in the last year, not just the last thirty, but in the last year especially.” Jason Lewis said as the guide for Remembering Rush.
“It’s not about right or left. It’s about up or down. It’s about totalitarianism versus liberty. Those eternal values never change. And that’s why when we hear the words of wisdom from Rush, it’s apropos. It’s relevant today. You know, there’s been a lot of talk about this program, the Rush Limbaugh Show continuing, and I’m here to tell you it is going to continue. We’re going to stay on top of all of the current topics like we did yesterday, like we’ll do today, like we’ll do the rest of the week and into the future right through the end of the year. We are going to revisit Rush’s wisdom, while at the same time talking about the news of the day, while at the same time taking your calls, while at the same time taking Rush’s wisdom, and applying it today.” Lewis stated in his bold monologue as he opened the program.
The announcements of about the future of the program was brought into focus with the Rush’s wife Kathryn Adams who’s been a well respected name in political circles as a direct descendant of John Adams, who’s also been cited as one of Rush’s heroes in American history, Adams Limbaugh has been joining the program on the Excellence In Broadcasting Network for open line Fridays; it seems that Rush’s hopes have become the compass by which Kathryn, Jason Lewis, Mark Steyn, James Golden (Bo Snerdly) production staff and other legendary EIB hosts have perfected in the wake of Limbaugh’s tragic passing in February.
“These are the valuable insights, the forward thinking aspects of El Rushbo that we’re going to tap into while we cover the issues of the day. We’ll be doing this right here on the Rush Limbaugh program for a long time to come and we want you to join us every day, at the same Rush time, at the same Rush hour, at the same Rush station to hear our conversation, to take your calls and to hear Rush’s words of wisdom.”
“I just want to set the record straight on that, because there’s been a lot of misinformation out there and we’re going to be here guiding you through the travails of the day.” Lewis explained. “I think something that Rush always inspired in all of us, that we could reach for new heights, that we could create something out of nothing, and that we could work hard to pursue the American dream,” Rush’s wife Kathryn Adams Limbaugh shared on the program.
The emphatic focus on Rush’ Limbaugh’s continued commitment to change the conversation, promoting the freedoms outlined by the First Amendment to open lines of communication and to challenge everyone to use their voice to engage in even politically charged socially uncomfortable issues have connected Rush with his audience of millions and millions. Open lines and his storytelling, broadcasting excellence and background in entertainment paved the way for the ratings that grew to become legendary, dominating with the 200 million listeners and close to 600+ affiliates behind him.
Jason Lewis feels it is important to highlight the preservation of the republic and how essential the need to develop awareness and furtherance of the work Rush devoted years to through his efforts of respect the inherent elements afforded to Americans. All as a means to maintain what he felt was fundamental to making sure that the American Dream would be preserved.
The crossroads, summed up by Jason Lewis explaining the urgency of the issue as Remembering Rush guide Lewis spoke on regarding the program where the Rush guides assume the driver’s seat behind the golden mic, and Rush sits shotgun. Filling the program with the unique content from today’s news and Rush’s impassioned words from his past broadcasts for a multidimensional road trip through some of the most pivotal moments of Rush Limbaugh’s career.
“That really is the key to America—that’s what Rush was trying to preserve for those three plus decades.
I don’t want to sound pessimistic because that was his great attribute, to always put a positive spin on things. But, we’re at a crucial point here; keeping the American dream alive,” Lewis described assuming the show guide role and went on to provide a brilliant QH, while maintaining the EIB commitment to bringing the audience quality content, no holds barred.
I am grateful for the phenomenal talent and wisdom that I could glean from my conversations with who I believed to be a talent “unicorn” when I worked with him more than a decade ago: the host of The Jason Lewis Show. Someone who has been nothing but a wonderfully supportive and talented colleague from my time working in the news talk format to myself and many others. I am proud to say I still 100% stand by the initial assessment and am ecstatic that audiences have been exposed to the “candidate formerly known as Jason Lewis” (as he sometimes refers to himself on the program) I had the pleasure of working with as he brings positivity and hope to the guides that have been working on the Remembering Rush team. Lewis identified the secret that led to longtime friend and colleague Rush Limbaugh’s success, and his comprehensive understanding of the power of Rush’s focus on entertainment through humor—citing how he could reinvigorate the program and format while also perfecting the “Rush-off” method of handling critics and haters.
“The one thing they cannot tolerate is people making fun of them, or irreverence, and he did that right from the get go, and that A) captured people he might not have otherwise captured, but B) made the point in the most profound of ways, and I think that was his real secret.” Jason Lewis explained the method Rush mastered to emerge victorious every time, dismissing the source of hateful messages in a very tongue in cheek manner, armed with the honesty and humor of the iron-jawed warrior.
This was briefly mentioned on the program by Lewis as well where he spoke with a listener stating, “We cannot unilaterally disarm. That’s number one policy wise or politically, politically speaking. But number two, the politically correct notion of banning humor. Don’t ever tell people they can’t make fun of other people. That is what it means to be human.” Lewis said on the show.
“The word going forth should not be ‘nobody can tell a joke or poke fun at people.’ The word going forth the maximum should be to make fun of others and be prepared to have somebody else make fun of you. I do not want to live in a humorless society. It is exactly what’s wrong with this woke culture.” Lewis speaks with gusto of Rush’s philosophy coming through that has helped many laugh at themselves and understand there’s no harm in laughing/joking/poking fun with others.
I asked Jason Lewis about the opportunity to be one of the show guides on Remembering Rush on the Excellence In Broadcasting Network and how much it has meant to him.
JL: You bet it’s a great pleasure to be back on the EIB network although this time a bit more bittersweet with the passing of Rush. It’s simply hard to overestimate his impact on the industry and frankly on saving a.m. radio, in-particular a day part that heretofore wasn’t doing that great. He’s going to be missed greatly.
CP: What are your thoughts on the stalled efforts to bring a Rush Limbaugh Day to Rush’s home state of Missouri?
JL: Of course the state of Missouri should honor their native born he’s a radio icon regardless of your particular political opinion. He had a fantastic impact on society, the country and of course broadcasting, but more than that, it’s high time the culture starts honoring conservatives the way they honor liberals. One of the problems with getting our viewpoints out there is this cultural bias against limited government, free markets, America First, so we’ve got to get in the game, so to speak, and fight for these sorts of things so that people remember the Reagans, the Rush’s and the truth about President Trump.
As the news of a potential Rush Limbaugh Day being celebrated in his home state of Missouri stalled after passing initially in the House of Representatives, it’s clear that the legacy Rush has made on his home state is nothing lost on all Missourians. “There’ll never be another Rush Limbaugh. I mean all the people in talk radio owe a great debt of gratitude to Rush Limbaugh. Great humanitarian, great guy.” Rep. Billy Long shared about the lasting impression that Rush has had on those in his home state of Missouri.
I was alarmed at the amount of angry knee jerk reactions that my first piece on Rush Limbaugh received. I am aware that the name ‘Rush Limbaugh’ is as divisive and polarizing (if not moreso) than many of the figures that have once served this country in a public capacity and insuring their message, no matter how the opposition, is always front and center, with the mission of forging a connection with the voters. Rush has always had his lines open and attempted to take as many calls as possible. The evolutionary process of many years of consuming the political opinions of those like Rush and the partisan political news radio programming niche that he carved out and dedicated his life to, have shaped many political ideologies and beliefs. Rush striving to incite a political conversation with the country, identifying the limitations of blindly following the powers that be down a rabbithole of silence, led to the outcome of the legendary Rush Limbaugh Show. The development of a program that made a place for those who felt
ostracized, forgotten, misunderstood, feared the judgment of speaking out, wanted to expand their understanding of politics, or simply be entertained.
I thought conducting a factual, unemotional and spin-free deep dive could maybe help to explain the logic behind the piece of legislation in the mix to provide Missourians with a day to honor the legacy (that has been amended and currently stalled but not out of the realm of possibility from making it back to the floor) celebrate pioneer hailing from the state of Missouri. Rush Limbaugh Day would be observed to honor the legacy of who was an undeniable and brave trailblazing pioneer in the radio broadcasting space:
● Great message to young people that does not need or require any clarification regarding political allegiances or affiliation but rather to highlight one point—how this boy grew up like you in this state in this area and was able to make his dream come true because he was not afraid of being truthful even when you might feel nervous. This is an universally age-appropriate message that could be communicated through one of the various children’s books written by Rush and his wife Kathryn and I believe it would be relatively harmless.
● Realities of cancel culture and not actively censoring yourself because of having different beliefs or opinions on a topic than one’s peers. The seriousness of this issue for adults who’ve lost jobs, struggled to recover from a post on social media from many years ago, I think it could be a powerful message to show kids in late middle and high school that their teaching staff is in place to offer a judgment-free assessment and act a confidants in face of the inevitable teenage issues that are rooted in the similar arbitrary circumstances that impact their daily lives and eliminate the dangers of struggling while
internalizing their feelings.
● As children are in high school they are in a position where they’ve absolutely already had a “dream job“ that they fully intend on making a reality at the age of 14 but that doesn’t always pan out and the work ethic of someone’s like Rush in a competitive field like broadcasting is a powerful story of success that I think you could inspire a lot of young people to pursue internships externships summer jobs or begin their college search sooner rather than later because they have a success story from their own state that is celebrated for not just making it into the business he wanted to work in, but revolutionizing that he entirety of the operation often be to struggle under that feels absolutely paralyzing that could be too a young person wins a lifelong dream to work in media.
Rush Limbaugh Day was proposed to be annually observed statewide, though initially passed by the House, was removed from the bill that his home state had proposed for the Senate and the Missouri Governor to lawfully enact the proposed legislation.
Albeit, shut down for now, I see no issue in honoring trailblazers like Limbaugh and can see the merits of his story being told. A story demonstrating the incredible work ethic coupled with fearless commitment to stand out. Personally, I am grateful for the many jobs that have been created in the industry I began working in years ago, as it has manifested in phenomenal opportunities for people I respect and admire in this business; all while Rush continued to bring advancement to AM radio.
January twelfth each year is hereby designated as “Rush Limbaugh Day” in Missouri. Citizens of this state are encouraged to celebrate the day by participating in appropriate events and activities to remember the life of the famous Missourian and groundbreaking radio host.
On May 11, 2021 the bill was amended to include the following: “The portion of Interstate 55 from State Highway AB to Hopper Road within the city of Cape Girardeau in Cape Girardeau County shall be designated as “Rush Limbaugh Memorial Highway”. The department of transportation shall erect and maintain appropriate signs designating such highway, with the costs to be paid by private donations.”; and Further amend said bill by amending the title, enacting clause, and intersectional references
“[Limbaugh] encouraged his listeners and viewers to reach for their dreams and to push onward beyond the naysayers and discouragers that we all encounter in life,” Rep. Sara Walsh shared.
The talent at EIB, from Snerdly AKA James Golden and others who have been grieving the loss of a loved one so close he’s been identified as family. The strength that’s come from Katheryn, Snerdly, Ken, Mark, Jason, Rush’s brother, David and so many more serves as a testament to his character, as this is a crew that has embodied the epitome of strength, even in the face of some seriously hateful threats about Rush as “Rest In Piss” trended during their bereavement. I’m not sure that I’ve seen a lot of evidence to the argument that hate ever truly wins for anybody, in the end.
The elements of the unshakable faith of a music format radio talent choosing to pursue the dream he has to establish a niche format that had not been explored or tested, failed to deter his career, an endeavor that proved successful and defied the odds to grow into a fully functional dynasty, that actively would change the game, so that it could never be played the same again. The ability to overcome all of those hurdles in the face of the pressure that his professional reputation was effectively left hanging in the balance should it fail and potentially derail his promising career, fueling his fire. All in all, at Rush Limbaugh’s legacy, at the very least proves to be a great example of seizing the power of the American Dream; with nothing able to derail or destroyed his laser focus and ability to net significant results, and all within a remarkably short period of time, but that’s exactly what he did.
Rush Limbaugh’s career has effectively become known for the contribution of the partisan, niche content to blow the format wide open clearing the brush on the path that welcomed in The New Deal of talk radio—creating jobs for decades, inspiring his millions of listeners, encouraging his audience to fearlessly, unapologetically speak up on divisive issues; these lessons all a testament to the legacy that is poetically apropos—transcendent of the preconceived boundaries and limitations challenging the medium and highlighting the power that the microphone can wield.
The universality of Rush’s messaging was uniquely designed in a similar fashion that EIB had adapted—laid early on in the professional journey, the blueprints outlined the flawless design of the infrastructure streamlined the operational aspect for programmers. 600+ affiliates, and the chance to sit on the precipice of the bright future for the industry during the persistent and well-rounded strategy that focused on the long game and provided a methodical approach that would help to seamlessly function as a one stop package deal for programmers to invest in the future of their station, the potential of Rush Limbaugh and the hand in rejuvenating the landscape of talk radio. The choice for programmers presented by the syndication team in one buyer-friendly package wherein at the fingertips of market manager decisions to utilize EIB for a three hour block would result in a low maintenance investment of resources rewarding them with the unavoidable boost in ratings for the daypart. The principles all laid in the foundation on which the Excellence In Broadcasting daily program was built, and consistently delivered to the audience.
The contribution Rush Limbaugh has made to the broadcast industry is immeasurable in size and scope, and still, the impact of Rush Limbaugh’s ingenuity is still tangible. I suspect that Rush had designed what would become the past, present and future of the program with meticulous clarity at the outset. The enigmatic history of the intricately documented and unprecedented efforts of Rush Limbaugh over the years managed to morph into the very special EIB product that’s being broadcast today.
I’d be willing to bet this perhaps had been a feature built into Rush’s vision from its inception. Managing to provide the programming and production prowess of the EIB team, guides and the millions of grieving listeners through the stages of grief in a gradual, tasteful manner that is a fitting reminder that provides the audience the powerful presence that Rush has always brought to the airwaves. This presence, of course, is not going to simply disappear. In fact the golden mic has been able to offer a semblance of comfort to the show guides as a reminder that no matter what, as the decorated award winning talent, with that microphone, the sky’s the limit.
As Rush eagerly managed to fill the studio with the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning and sparkled as the gold medal of the news format, radio, innovation and confidence, the resolution that has been sought by the EIB team and show guides on the airwaves for millions of grieving listeners through the Remembering Rush format has been a powerful exemplification for the legacy that Limbaugh has made across the country.
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.