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Erick Erickson Aspires To Be Heard on America’s Top Stations

“I learned almost everything I know about radio from Rush. I think they broke the mold when they made him. If I could get close, I would be honored.”

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There are dozens of conservative radio hosts in the U.S., but one of the most intelligent and easygoing with his audience must be Erick Erickson.

Erickson, a lawyer by trade, has been able to effectively use his courtroom skills to motivate listeners. The leading GOP voice for a decade has been hosting a show on WSB during that time.

Erickson took a step toward establishing a national brand when he brought his Atlanta-based show to Cox Media Group. He also moved into the noon-3p ET slot, to fill the void left by the death of Rush Limbaugh.

For now, they have cobbled together approximately 20 affiliates, through Cox and separately in Georgia, but Erickson has bigger dreams for his three-hour daily broadcast.

“I would very much love to be nationwide and on the big stations,” Erickson told BNM.

But the midday competition is tight for air space. iHeart has Clay Travis and Buck Sexton holding down the Limbaugh slot. Cumulus features Dan Bongino, and Audacy has Dana Loesch.

“It definitely puts me behind the pack,” Erickson admits. “I don’t plan on doing anything else for the rest my life, so I’m going to be here for a while.”   

Erickson is a native of Jackson, Louisiana, who has been tied to Macon, Georgia, for years, even winning a city council seat in that city. He is tied to his Southern roots and his listener base. However, for a successful syndicated product, he makes some production tweaks. Not only will he focus more on Georgia stories, but Erickson will also even localize with the weather, an element that wouldn’t work across a wider market scope.

As he builds the network, Erickson will drop the Georgia political angles instead because it has broader appeal.

Erickson followed the model of talk show host Neal Boortz, who he would guest host for early in his radio career. Boortz, who also was Atlanta-based and had a national presence, would find ways to use hyper-local stories for a larger audience.

Even before expanding his radio footprint, Erickson was already seeing a national audience from his livestream.

Rush

“I learned almost everything I know about radio from Rush,” Erickson said of his mentor.  

Limbaugh took Erickson under his wings, as the two became friends. The legendary broadcaster would be a sounding board for Erickson, who could “send him an email at 3 o’clock in the morning and get a response.”

The bond would lead to fill-in opportunities on Limbaugh’s show.

But more important, Limbaugh pushed the lawyer to forge his own path in front of the microphone.

“I was not going to go into radio, but he told me he would never talk to me again if I didn’t do it,” Erickson recalls.

Rush was integral in an Erickson morning syndicated show, helping connect him to his agent.

“I would not have been doing what I’m doing, but for him,” Erickson said.

Limbaugh is missed within conservative circles, even as the Travis/Sexton tandem gets established. But Erickson knows the broadcasting heavyweight is not replaceable. In one conversation between them, Erickson confided that he would rather back up Limbaugh instead of hosting his own show.

He didn’t want to compete against the greatness of Limbaugh and feared that no one would listen to him.

“Don’t worry about it. Even if I’m dead you still won’t be as good as I am. So just be yourself,” he recalled Limbaugh’s remarks. “There’s something liberating about that.” 

Erickson has a good rapport with his audience, something else he learned from Limbaugh. As the next generation of conservative talkers deal with the fractured market share, finding an heir apparent to the “Excellence in Broadcasting” great, who died in February, would appear to be a daunting task.

“I would like to think that I could be doing what he did and not just make it about politics,” Erickson admitted. “But he was very unique. I think they broke the mold when they made him. If I could get close, I would be honored.

Erickson’s key to growth is staying true to himself. He cautions that those who want to become the next Limbaugh by doing a version of him will not make a lasting “impression” with listeners.

“Radio’s very relational, so you’ve got to be as honest about yourself and as authentic as possible,” he said.

Touching All Bases

Even before Erickson started his radio gig at WSB, the conservative evangelical was an influential figure in the GOP.  By 2016, he was named the most powerful conservative in America, according to Atlantic Magazine.

Erickson, who is in the seminary, has a knack for engaging listeners in debate and conversation, not anger and vitriol. But in this heavily politicalized climate, started with the Trump presidential campaign in 2015, not all opinions are welcome.

Erickson has been a harsh critic of Trump. Although he did support the one-term chief executive’s re-election bid, Erickson was not in bed with every move Trump made. Most dramatically, would come after the 2020 election where Trump fought baseless charges of fraud.

“I told my audience, ‘No, it wasn’t stolen. Here’s why.’” Erickson said.

That take did not sit well with many of his avid listeners, but it has also brought some liberals into the flock, who “hate listen because I get email from them all the time.”

Erickson, 46, is sure there are moderates tuning in as well.

He took another controversial stance with his recent comments about the COVID-19 anti-vaxxers, calling them “idiots” for believing the conspiracy theories after saying on his show that an unvaccinated relative died of the virus.

“I never want to be held hostage by my audience,” Erickson said.

Making those remarks won’t be popular with his base, and could even potentially hurt worse if advertisers dropped him. But Erickson said that big picture concerns no longer enter his mind. What’s vital is building trust with the audience.

In 2015, while running conservative blogger RedState.com, Erickson was holding an annual conference, inviting the entire list of Republicans vying for the White House, including Trump.

However, as this was right after Trump’s infamous comment about Megyn Kelly at a debate, Erickson disinvited the future 45th president.

“I did it because I thought it would be a distraction if he came. Little did I know he would make me a distraction. He came after me in every way, shape or form,” Erickson recalled. “A lot of people were calling my station demanding I be fired.”

As his listener base grew, Erickson had the confidence to announce he would not endorse Trump in 2016.

“I know people who didn’t support Trump in 2016 and are no longer in talk radio,” Erickson said. “My audience and I–we have a relationship.”

However, Erickson has dealt with his share of people crossing the line in a dangerous way.

“Oh gosh, I’ve had people show up at my front porch,” he said. “When I didn’t support the president in 2016, we had to have security at our house for several months. My kids got chased through a store, a guy yelling at them that I was destroying the country by not supporting Donald Trump.”

His children’s schools were switched because of bullying based on their father’s position.

“I get hate mail all the time,” Erickson said. “At this point, it comes with the territory.”

A hope for syndication expansion brings the financial resources to protect his family “with a lot of land and a big high wall around the house.”

But any ugliness from listeners is not a deterrent to doing the job. “If anything it motivates me to double down,” although Erickson doesn’t make light of the serious incidents.

“It was definitely scary. They’re alarming,” Erickson said.

The impact is felt even more by his children, who are “less likely to want to go with me to Atlanta.”

The Erickson family lives about an hour away from the city.  

The heightened sense of fear would come to a head for his children as they shopped in Atlanta’s Lenox Square. A woman approached Erickson screaming his name.

“Both of my kids, at the moment, thought they were going to be dead,” he remembered.

It turned out to be just a “superfan,” who wanted to have a photo with Erickson. The lady was nice, but “it alarmed my kids so [badly]. That was three, four years ago and my now 12-year-old still refuses to go back to that mall.” 

Conservative Competition

When it comes to checking the rivals, Erickson follows the Limbaugh mantra, not listening to other hosts, including those who would fill in for him. Limbaugh would give that tidbit in response to Erickson, who had been guest hosting for him.

With that in mind, Erickson never heard Buck Sexton and Clay Travis, who launched their midday show on June 21.

“I’m the only talk radio show that I listen to,” he said.

The only person that Erickson will listen to on occasion is Mark Levin, because “I find him deeply entertaining and I like the guy personally. It’s not meant to be disrespectful of anyone else. I just don’t want anyone else’s voice in my head when I’m trying to shape my own voice for my audience.”

Dana Loesch is also a viable option for the right-wing side of radio. Erickson, who knows Loesch and her husband well, holds her in high regard, but “we do different things.”

Overall, many hosts are trying to keep the Trump supporters intact or have a bombastic delivery, he said.

Erickson incorporates his legal and seminary training to bring the most complete package.

While he admits to getting “preachy” at times, his most effective approach is to put all the details on the table — “the facts that help me, the facts that hurt me,”– before giving his conservative take on any specific story.

“I don’t want to think for anybody else,” Erickson said.

Another commodity among the conservatives is Larry Elder, who took his celebrity to the recent recall efforts against California Governor Gavin Newsom. 

“I think that Larry Elder had as much right to be in that race as anyone else,” Erickson said.

However, once Elder became the face of the opposition, Erickson said, he was doomed.

“The moment it became a race between Newsom and Elder was the moment that it became the race that Newsom would win,” he said. 

TV or Not TV

Before his radio days even began, Erickson was approached about an opportunity to join CNN as a contributor. From 2010-2013, Erickson was a prominent conservative voice on the cable news network, thought by many to have more of liberal slant.

He sought the counsel of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Limbaugh.

They felt he could get a Fox deal where he’d be safe and comfortable or take the CNN job in “enemy territory” where it would be more beneficial learning to deal with people you disagree with.

“It gave me a fun role at CNN where I could talk about Republicans as a conservative activist who really didn’t care for the Republican establishment,” Erickson said.

He followed that with a five-year stint at Fox News.

Rise in Radio

A career path in radio happened by accident for Erickson. In his hometown of Macon, Georgia, a morning show host was arrested in a drug raid. The local Cumulus station needed someone for the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Erickson was already known for his CNN work and was a guest putting on his elections lawyer hat to discuss current events.

The host, embroiled in legal hot water, was fired. Erickson held on to the slot for three months. The positive feel for Erickson didn’t end there. As Erickson was told, Bob Neil, the former CEO of Cox Media, was driving his family to Disney World and heard Erickson’s show as they passed through Macon. Liking what he heard, Neil wanted to bring him into their broadcasting family.

“I had no experience in radio whatsoever,” Erickson said.

He declined a regular weekend show but was willing to fill in for Herman Cain. Shortly thereafter, with Cain running for president, Cox needed to replace him.

His hesitancy melted away with encouragement from Limbaugh, and Erickson never looked back as he polished his performance. 

In 2016, he had a health scare with blood clots in the lungs that nearly killed him. His wife has an incurable form of lung cancer.

“I try to live life and be as relatable with my listeners, maybe sometimes to my detriment,” he said. “[I’m] trying to just interact with my audience and make sure that they’re not alone.”

He recalls another piece of advice from his mentor Limbaugh: “Remember you’re not there to save the world; you’re there to keep people company.”

BNM Writers

Media Fanning the Flames of Hate

Time will tell if Eric Bolling’s accusations against the media continue to hold true.

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Mark Hertzberg /Pool Photo via AP

While most Americans thought “hate had no home here,” many are now calling out the mainstream, liberal media as they continue their pattern of stoking division across the nation. 

Newsmax host Eric Bolling began his Friday evening program, “The Balance,” by chiding many of his media colleagues.

“To paraphrase the patriot Paul Revere, the woke mob is coming; the woke mob is coming!” Bolling warned. “Folks, this is not a drill. America is bracing itself for yet another wave of riots. The woke mob is threatening violence and mobilizing. The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t even over yet, but it’s looking more likely that the defendant could be found not guilty, and that does not sit well with the woke mob or the Leftist media.”

Bolling then cut to a clip of MSNBC host Joy Reid.

“If you want to know why Critical Race Theory exists, the actual law school theory that emphasized that supposedly colorblind laws in America often still have racially discriminatory outcomes, then look no further than the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse,” Reid said.

“They have made this trial about race, isn’t that right, Don Lemon?” Bolling asked, then playing a clip of CNN’s Lemon calling former President Donald Trump racist numerous times.

“Nine times in two minutes,” Bolling continued. “They love calling people racists. The Left makes everything about race, even when it comes to a court case where no one involved is black.”

He then cut to these mainstream media headlines from the past week.

A sobbing Kyle Rittenhouse already won – even before his trial is over. 

– NBC Think

Kyle Rittenhouse deserves an award for his melodramatic performance on the witness stand. – USA Today

White Judge refuses to allow Black Lives Matter protesters killed by Kyle Rittenhouse to be called victims in court. – Black Enterprise

“The judge is white and bad. Rittenhouse is acting,” Bolling continued, paraphrasing the media’s overarching message. “Is it me, or are these media outlets writing their headlines to make it sound like this court case is fraudulent?”

Viewers then saw another clip of Lemon on CNN from last week, where the host shared his opinion about the trial’s judge.

“His demeanor, the way he refers to the prosecution, the way he looks at Kyle Rittenhouse like it’s his grandson. I mean, come on, America,” Lemon said. “I mean, for me, I don’t know how they look at it legally, but for me, that’s cause for a mistrial.”

The program then played a cut of MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, adding his view of the televised trial.  

“This judge is an absolute joke. He’s been a joke from the very beginning,” Scarborough commented. “It’s absolutely disgusting the way he’s conducting himself on the stand there. He’s obviously playing for the audience, a certain audience.”

“Did you hear all that they are literally saying the judge is intentionally trying to give Kyle Rittenhouse every chance possible to get off,” Bolling followed up. “Listen, for better or worse, our justice system is based on innocent until proven guilty. You should get every chance to prove your innocence. But not to Liberals. To them, you’re guilty even if you’re innocent because the media’s pushing this insane notion that this court system is rigged because of racism.”

Time will tell if Bolling’s accusations against the media continue to hold true. And due to its television coverage and transparent viewing options, citizens can judge the merits of the case for themselves. 

As for the media’s intentions, they’ll be able to make up their minds on that account as well.

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BNM Writers

Fox News Dominates Election Coverage

“Fox News led the way in election night coverage, averaging 4.79 million total viewers and 977,000 in the key 25-54 demo.”

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Election Day in the off-year (the year following a presidential election) from Nov. 2nd highlighted the week in news. Among the key races in the country that evening were for governorships in Virginia and New Jersey and mayoralties in New York City and Boston. In Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat and former Governor Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race, while the race for New Jersey governor between the incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy and his Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli was then too close to call (results of Murphy’s win were made official the next day).

Fox News Channel led the way in election night coverage on Nov. 2, averaging a robust 4.79 million total viewers and 977,000 in the key 25-54 demographic in prime time (8-11 p.m.), according to Nielsen Media Research. They were the network’s best off-year election night figures in its history. Fox News was well ahead of their cable news competition. CNN, which soared to No. 1 over during the 2020 presidential election period and the few months after, ranked a distant runner-up among adults 25-54 with 355,000 from 8-11 p.m. MSNBC was close behind with 289,000 in the demo but easily topped CNN in total prime time audience, delivering 1.55 million viewers vs. CNN’s 1.08 million average.

Fox News Channel’s leadership on off-year election nights are nothing new, as the following time window breakdowns of that night attest. But the figures of current reflect the increased drawing power that these cable news networks all experience today, despite the precipitous decline of cable TV households along with a growing amount of options for entertainment.

Early Evening 7-8 p.m. ET (based on total viewers and adults 18-49)

Fox News Channel

Nov. 2, 2021: 3.175 million / 429,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 2.728 million / 284,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 2.005 million / 278,000

MSNBC

Nov. 2, 2021: 1.585 million / 165,000 (6:51-8 p.m.)

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.924 million / 333,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 1.119 million / 136,000

CNN

Nov. 2, 2021: 0.773 million / 159,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.144 million / 330,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.424 million / 107,000

Prime Time 8-11 p.m. ET (based on total viewers and adults 18-49)

Fox News Channel

Nov. 2, 2021: 4.791 million / 672,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 3.138 million / 462,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 2.724 million / 402,000

MSNBC

Nov. 2, 2021: 1.553 million / 216,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 2.531 million / 490,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 1.035 million / 171,000

CNN

Nov. 2, 2021: 1.078 million / 273,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.516 million / 461,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.663 million / 173,000

Post-Prime Time 11 p.m.-midnight ET (based on total viewers and adults 18-49)

Fox News Channel

Nov. 2, 2021: 4.041 million / 630,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.659 million / 285,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 1.269 million / 297,000

MSNBC

Nov. 2, 2021: 1.151 million / 170,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.805 million / 351,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.487 million / 72,000

CNN

Nov. 2, 2021: 0.917 million / 244,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 0.979 million / 282,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.363 million / 75,000

Late Night midnight-2 a.m. ET (based on total viewers and adults 18-49)

Fox News Channel

Nov. 2, 2021: 2.403 million / 436,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 0.990 million / 169,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.827 million / 149,000

MSNBC

Nov. 2, 2021: 0.692 million / 90,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 1.076 million / 229,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.357 million / 57,000

CNN

Nov. 2, 2021: 0.605 million / 155,000

Nov. 7, 2017; 0.644 million / 212,000

Nov. 5, 2013: 0.192 million / 42,000

Although MSNBC and CNN declined from four years ago, both performed significantly better than eight years ago even though back then, there were more homes subscribed to a cable service.

The week’s other notable news development was the bipartisan passage of President Biden’s infrastructure plan. Although it was negotiated at one-third of its initial proposal ($1.2 trillion vs. $3 billion), it still represents one of the largest federal investments for infrastructure in U.S. history.

Biden held a press conference on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 6, proclaiming the deal. “We did something that’s long overdue, that long has been talked about in Washington but never actually been done,” he said. The President even referenced some key Democratic losses in the elections from Nov. 2, having stated that voters “want us to deliver[On Friday] night [Nov. 5, 2021], we proved we can. On one big item, we delivered.”

Like Election Night, the rankings of the cable news networks based on their Nielsen ratings were similar for Biden’s Saturday morning press conference. Fox News Channel was tops in the 10-11 a.m. ET hour with 1.535 million viewers and 296,000 adults 25-54. MSNBC, a distant runner-up in total viewers (852,000 from 10-10:32 a.m.) but behind CNN in 25-54 — MSNBC with 108,000 during the 32-minute time frame while CNN averaged 111,000 adults 25-54 (alongside 682,000 total viewers) for the 10-11 a.m. hour.

Cable news averages for November 1-7, 2021. Fox News Channel extended their streaks to 38 weeks as cable’s most-watched network in total viewers..

Total Day (November 1-7 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.646 million viewers; 278,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.656 million viewers; 79,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.491 million viewers; 111,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.188 million viewers; 55,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.149 million viewers; 24,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.138 million viewers; 28,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.103 million viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.101 million viewers; 21,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (November 1-6 @ 8-11 p.m.; November 7 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.809 million viewers; 453,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.136 million viewers; 160,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.730 million viewers; 173,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.189 million viewers; 41,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.188 million viewers; 50,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.173 million viewers; 43,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.120 million viewers; 27,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.048 million viewers; 8,000 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. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.146 million viewers

2. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.926 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.303 million viewers

4. Virginia Showdown (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.041 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.918 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.893 million viewers

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.537 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/4/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.483 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 11/4/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.366 million viewers

10. Special Report with Bret Baier (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.329 million viewers

44. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 11/4/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.005 million viewers

111. Election Night In America “2021” (CNN, Tue. 11/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.230 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top CNN, MSNBC and HLN programs with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.028 million adults 25-54

2. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.012 million adults 25-54

3. Virginia Showdown (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.904 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.890 million adults 25-54

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.758 million adults 25-54

6. Fox News At Night (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 12:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.690 million adults 25-54

7. Virginia Showdown (FOXNC, Tue. 11/2/2021 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.644 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.626 million adults 25-54

9. Special Report with Bret Baier (FOXNC, Wed. 11/3/2021 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.538 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/4/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.529 million adults 25-54

27. Election Night In America “2021” (CNN, Tue. 11/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.432 million adults 25-54

61. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 11/4/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.313 million adults 25-54

197. Forensic Files “Naked Justice” (HLN, Sun. 11/7/2021 6:30 AM, 30 min.) 0.133 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

Plenty to Take Away From Steve Somers’ Legendary Career

“Somers was the first talk show I ever called, close to 20 years ago, and was the person I would listen to while doing middle school or high school homework in the evenings.”

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WFAN/Facebook

As Steve Somers gets set for his final show this Friday night, there’s plenty to take away from one of the most legendary careers in sports talk radio. And it’s not just about what Steve did behind the mic for decades at WFAN. It’s also about who he was as a person.

Having spent a few years as a freelance anchor, I spent many nights walking in and out of Steve’s studio every 20 minutes for a 20/20 update. And even in the early days, when some nerves existed sitting next to Steve, working with him, and being on the FAN, there was no one more soothing in the building. Although, he did have a habit of taking his effortless, late-night style and building up to the toss to the update anchor where by the time he mentioned your name, he was like Usain Bolt coming down the final 10 meters of a race.

But then, he’d give you a look, wink, and/or smile, leave the studio, and get his 14th cup of coffee. He also is the only person other than my mother to call me “Peter.” Why did he do it? I have no idea. But I didn’t mind it. Also, I didn’t feel like having to correct him.

On a personal note, Steve Somers was the first talk show I ever called, close to 20 years ago, and was the person I would listen to while doing middle school or high school homework in the evenings.

Fast forward ten years, when getting the chance to work on his show, he was always genuine, interested in you, while at the same time keeping himself incredibly humble, almost to a fault.

For as long as I worked there, Steve was one of the most-liked guys in the building because, despite his longevity with the station, he wanted to grow with it. He got to know the new faces, the part-time faces, who were coming in and out of the building. He wasn’t looking around the studios, barely recognizing anyone, and beamoning the “good old days,” as many in his shoes might do.

And while he liked to talk sports in the hallways, he also talked about life. He would talk about his path through the broadcasting world, where he succeeded, where he failed. These stories could come before a show, during a game broadcast when he would have downtime, or possibly even during a commercial break. Sometimes the stories felt like one of his monologues, the difference being you didn’t know the end result, as you did with the game he was talking about on the air.

Speaking of monologues, no Steve Somers story is complete without mentioning them. While I admittedly haven’t heard one in a long time since moving out of the New York area, they were art. Although if you saw the scribble on the yellow notepad, you probably wouldn’t think so. But when you heard them, the way they were written and delivered, there was nothing like it in sports talk radio. They were clever, funny, just enough sarcasm while also being informative. It was storytime. And it was trained to listen. You had to adjust to it, but once you adjusted, there was nothing like it.

And as far as I’m concerned, no one in sports talk radio will tell a story as unique as Steve Somers ever again.

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