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Megyn Kelly’s New Show An Example of Tide Lifting Radio

Kelly is taking on a new challenge that has the opportunity to be a big win for her and the format.



New York Daily News

This week the talk radio landscape received another jolt when it was announced that Megyn Kelly would be joining SiriusXM for a daily show from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST. Kelly has recently been hosting her own podcast, and while admirable, any time someone goes from scripted TV and podcasting, to a live, unfiltered talk show, it’s a different beast. Kelly is taking on a new challenge that has the opportunity to be a big win for her and the format. 

I know some of my colleagues will bemoan the fact that radio doesn’t do a good enough job propping up its own talent and instead prefers to bring in big stars from TV and elsewhere, with limited experience, and give them talk shows.

I am sympathetic to that case, however, this doesn’t feel like that.

First off, Kelly’s reputation as someone who clearly has strong opinions, is incredibly sharp, a worker, and not hyper-partisan should serve her well in the format. Secondly, any time someone who has made their millions and has a lot of talent wants to enter the talk radio space, I welcome it. Talk radio is a grind in a way TV isn’t. And unlike podcasting, there’s more formatics and it can’t simply be done “when you find the time”. 

I don’t expect Kelly to be talking politics non-stop for two hours every day. My bet is she’ll tackle the big political stories, but she will find some pretty interesting topics away from the day-to-day grind of the political news cycle, which is something that the industry needs, especially in a post-Trump era in a non-election year.

Might she be stiff to start? Sure, she is coming from TV after all! 

But if she hones in on her ability to be interesting, smart, sometimes funny, and engaging, she will find her way in the talk radio format.

And if Megyn Kelly can have success and a sustained talk radio career, that brings another enormous name into the mix in a talk radio landscape that is currently full of competition in a post-Limbaugh world. It’s not a coincidence that Kelly’s show will air from 12-2 p.m. EST, occupying two hours of Limbaugh’s old slot. Clearly, SiriusXM seems an opening to poach listeners during this time slot, as does Westwood One, Radio America, Premiere, and others. 

Hosts should welcome that. It creates more competition for content, plus more avenues and opportunities for others to be lifted on these various platforms, be it as fill-in hosts, guests, or otherwise. If you’re into the idea of the free market running its course (as most talk show hosts are), then embrace this moment. 

Additionally, does Kelly help bring a younger audience to the talk radio format? It’s certainly possible with her millions of followers, many who skew younger (“in demo”, as the eggheads would say), and can also help bring a female lean to the format.  

Kelly’s new show is the classic example of a rising tide lifting all boats. And in our business, I’ll try and ride every rising tide I can find.

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What Rupert Murdoch Got Wrong at Fox News

There is no doubt Rupert Murdoch is a transformative figure…He provoked racism, fascism, and exploited the hate that some Americans always had, but hid from sight.



A photo of Rupert Murdoch
(Photo: AP PHOTO)

The legacy of one Rupert Murdoch has been hailed as transformative in right-leaning publications since last week’s retirement announcement. I can’t argue with that. Fox News has altered the country, its journalism, and its politics. And not for the better. That — I would argue — is Murdoch’s true legacy.

It started overseas in Australia, where a former prime minister said this week that Murdoch did “enormous damage to the democratic world” by creating “an anger-tainment ecosystem” that left the US “angrier and more divided than it’s been at any time since the Civil War”.

The legacy grew next in Britain with minor disgraces in the tabloid world, exploiting women and cheapening journalism with his page three topless photos, and subsequent major journalistic crimes of hacking the phones of ordinary citizens, politicians, law enforcement, celebrities, royalty, and even crime victims. A scandal that forced Murdoch to shut down the scummy News of the World tabloid.

But the most notorious damage done by News Corp. and its immoral leader was done here in the United States by the ratings success of its cable propaganda outlet falsely named Fox News. By its own lawyers’ account, it is not a news outlet, but right-wing hate entertainment designed to echo the worst qualities of America that had been hidden in the shadows.

From white nationalism, the replacement theory, COVID misinformation, destruction of our institutions from the courts to the electoral process to the media itself, Fox News — led by Rupert Murdoch — has left this country worse than when it started in 1996. Let me count the ways.

It began way before Trump. Fox News constantly promoted the false charges that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, elevating the crackpot Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bogus investigation into Obama’s birth certificate.

Next, was the “what about her emails” excuse to each bonafide Trump scandal exposed in the 2016 campaign. Scandals such as “grab them by the (genitals)” to campaign manager Paul Manafort’s meeting with Russian agents.

Rupert Murdoch’s political legacy is Donald Trump. He helped put him in office, made excuses for him while in office, and his network backed his claims of election fraud in 2020, which cost his network $787.5 million in damages because it carried and promoted the false claims that Dominion ballot machines were controlled by Venezuelan communists.

Fox, led by Rupert Murdoch, promoted wild conspiracy theories about the January 6th Insurrection. Its anchors and commentators routinely minimized the storming of the capitol, often repeating the claim that the rioters were merely “tourists” on an unauthorized tour of the seat of American democracy. Its most popular host publicized the bogus claim that the armed protest was led by Antifa, rather than The Proud Boys and other white nationalists.

Fox was also a major player in the disinformation claiming the capitol riot that killed 5 and injured 138 was a false flag operation. Tucker Carlson’s “documentary” on FOX Nation and on his nightly show falsely claimed that the FBI instigated the attack on the capitol. Murdoch’s disinformation on COVID-19 and vaccines cost human lives among its very viewers. Giving a platform to anti-vaxers and disrupting the national effort to control the virus through mass vaccination. A Yale study found that after the vaccine was made available, Democrats got the jab, while many Republicans did not. The result: the death rate in Republican states was 43 percent higher. Now, that is a legacy.

And perhaps just as damaging is the Murdoch contribution to the division in America. Pre-Fox, most Americans got their news from the three major networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN.

Objective reporting with no opinion was the gold standard. A media that helped the country through crises such as the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and Watergate, by shining the light on facts. Exposing the Pentagon lies that the war was going well, disinformation that Blacks were treated equally in the South, and beyond, and the coverup of the Watergate break-in.

But in 1996 with the invention of Fox “News” — designed by the former Nixon propagandist Roger Ailes, who was forced from power at Fox by his sexual harassment antics — that gold standard changed. Much of America still turns to CBS, ABC, and NBC for its straight news, but Fox is the leading cable outlet, and it nightly masquerades right-wing opinion as news, a formula that led to MSNBC morphing from straight news to opinion from the left, and even CNN reacting to Donald Trump by becoming more opinionated.

The landscape was changed from broadcasting to narrowcasting. Each outlet is now an echo chamber of its most extreme viewers.

There is no doubt Rupert Murdoch is a transformative figure. A foreign billionaire, who rejected American values, and destroyed many of them. He provoked racism, fascism, and exploited the hate that some Americans always had, but hid from sight.

It is a legacy, but a destructive one on too many levels. Farewell and good riddance.

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3 Things Rupert Murdoch Got Right at Fox News

Murdoch tapped into the pro-God, pro-America, and pro-freedom core of the nation. He heard the audience and filled the vacuum. 

Rick Schultz



A photo of Rupert Murdoch and the Fox News logo
(Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin | FilmMagic)

Many in the news media world were surprised last week as one of its biggest players — if not the biggest — stepped down from his lofty perch. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of News Corporation and Fox Corporation, announced last week that he was abdicating the role and passing the baton to his son, Lachlan Murdoch. 

As the dust settles and the change takes effect in the coming weeks, it is important to learn the lessons of Murdoch’s past seven decades in media ownership. There are many pearls of wisdom to be grasped regarding building media success and a legacy worth remembering.

Let’s take a look at three things Murdoch got right, and how other media executives can learn from his example.

Connecting With the Audience

When Rupert Murdoch launched Fox News in 1996, he was venturing into uncharted territory. Television media was dominated by liberal-leaning executives, anchors, and reporters.

As hard as it is to believe in the year 2023, television news media in the mid-90s was even more liberally biased than it is now. Television viewers just had nothing to judge it against. They largely received the same slant from all outlets — NBC, CBS, ABC, etc. — which conditioned viewers to feel there was only one way to look at an issue.

Even though millions of Americans felt differently, they were conditioned to think the liberal slant was the only proper, educated way to view an issue.

When Murdoch began Fox News, he gave half of the country their voice on television. With Fox, he connected with their hopes, dreams, values, and sensibilities. Certainly, pioneering legend Rush Limbaugh had begun blazing the path of traditional, common-sense talk on syndicated radio.

However, bringing mainstream conservative thought to television was strikingly new, compared to the big-government, elitist, globalist approach taken by the vast majority of television media. Murdoch gave millions of Americans a home. Through the network’s approach, from the stories they covered to the talent they employed on-air, Murdoch tapped into the pro-God, pro-America, and pro-freedom core of the nation. He heard the audience and filled the vacuum. 

As an example for future media executives and broadcasters, Murdoch saw an untapped market segment and had the courage to cater to the audience. The success has been astounding, as Fox News eventually out-rated CNN and MSNBC, becoming the unrivaled leader in the new world of cable television news. Murdoch saw the need and filled it. 

Hiring the Right Leaders

Truly successful owners, executives, managers, and leaders know one of the biggest secrets to success is hiring the best people and letting them do their thing. So when Rupert Murdoch hired Roger Ailes to become the CEO of Fox News in 1996, he trusted that Ailes had the ability and vision to help make the network successful. Ailes had been extremely influential in conservative political circles for years, which gave the network an immediate connection to that segment of the nation.

Roger Ailes was an authentic conservative who specialized in building perception. After all, politics revolves around creating a perception and image for the voting public. Ailes knew how to create that perception and then magnetically attract similar-thinking viewers. He had done it as a media consultant for Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and others, and he still had deep connections to the new generation of thought leaders, such as Limbaugh.

In other words, Ailes and his subsequent leadership team knew how to reach the viewers to make Murdoch’s vision of the network a reality. And a hugely successful reality at that.

Simply in terms of the network’s vision, Rupert Murdoch was largely successful due to the hiring of Roger Ailes and the additional Fox News leadership team.

Additionally, he made difficult decisions when allegations were made years later against that same leader. Hiring the right people is crucial, as is moving on when the right people no longer are. Certain behaviors, when true, can no longer be tolerated or supported if an organization’s culture is to remain strong and flourish in the future.

Knowing When to Pass the Torch

Perhaps one of the most difficult milestones for any business, organization, or media leader is to know the time to bow out. After a lifetime of success, many feel the need to hang on for as long as possible, lest the organization wilt upon your absence. 

Rupert Murdoch is 92 years old. He has built a remarkable media empire, including ownership of The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal. Apparently, he feels now is the best time to exit, while giving his baby the best chance to grow and evolve for years to come.

In a statement released last week, Murdoch said, “Our companies are in robust health, as am I.” 

He exits the field ala John Elway, Pope Benedict XVI, or Andrew Carnegie, still with gas in the tank but before the tank nears empty. A multi-faceted life includes many ingredients, and media professionals of all levels can benefit from stepping back, at times, to smell the roses and connect with the truly important things in life. 

Perhaps Murdoch wants to sit back and enjoy his lifestyle. Or maybe he no longer identifies with the populist, America First climate sweeping the Republican party and the country.  Regardless, Murdoch is stepping back, apparently at a time of strength rather than weakness.

Rupert Murdoch has been a transformational figure in American and worldwide media culture. He did a lot correctly, including listening to the needs of the consumer, hiring effective leaders, and stepping aside at the right time. Perhaps more than anything, he aligned with the majority of the people – giving their interests a voice against the usual powerbrokers of the era.

“Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth,” Murdoch said in his letter to colleagues last week.

History may consider Rupert Murdoch a media visionary who saw the truth viewers were searching for, and who then created a successful media empire around those values.

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Jason Whitlock is the One Person Who Isn’t on Talk Radio But Should Be

There are many reasons Whitlock would resonate with talk radio listeners. The societal issues Whitlock expresses concern over, such as the “unprecedented cultural shift,” are red meat for talk radio.

Andy Bloom



A photo of Jason Whitlock
(Photo: TheBlaze)

The BNM Summit in Nashville was informational and entertaining. One of the most interesting sessions was “Fixing a Broken Media,” featuring Jason Whitlock, whom Jason Barrett interviewed.

Jason Whitlock may well be the person not currently heard on talk radio but who most should be.

Whitlock has a long resume and has done a little of everything, beginning with playing college football at Ball State University. When I asked him, “Who is Jason Whitlock?”, he replied, “A Christian, accomplished sports journalist, social critic, and pundit. Someone trying to stick to the values I learned in football and church.”

The rest of our conversation reflected his description.

I’ve seen Whitlock’s appearances on several talk shows, heard parts of his raps, and read many of his columns. However, I don’t think I gained a complete appreciation for him until I saw him at the BNM Summit and had the opportunity to interview him about a week later.

What struck me most about Whitlock during his session at the Summit and our conversation was his authenticity. He has guiding principles and does not deviate from them.

Speaking about authenticity, Whitlock isn’t sure it’s a positive virtue anymore. He said, “Being authentic gets you in trouble. Authenticity has less value than 10-15 years ago.” He points out, “We’re in the era of social media and the matrix. It’s about that narrative and what’s possible and popular based on algorithms now.”

Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising when Whitlock says longtime Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko inspired him. He adds, “But he could never be a columnist now in this multicultural era.” 

There are many reasons Whitlock would resonate with talk radio listeners. The societal issues Whitlock expresses concern over, such as the “unprecedented cultural shift,” are red meat for talk radio.

He laments the “disappearing of the patriarchy”, explaining further, “We’re becoming a matriarchy. There’s a cost to society for dismantling the patriarchy in movies, sports, TV, and talk radio. Nothing is as good or life-giving anymore,” he states emphatically.

Whitlock takes aim at those rejecting conservative values when he states: “The left and the globalists have priorities like opening the borders. There’s a real cost and loss of freedom and safety. Kids are going to school today where teachers want to impose their sexual values.”

When I ask Whitlock if he could do talk radio today, he says he could with one “but.”

“I don’t know if I could get that kind of corporate support anymore. Remember when sticks and stones could break my bones, but words will never hurt me? Well, words break bones now,” surmised Whitlock. “If (corporate heads) get one tweet, everybody worries, ‘Oh, my God, someone’s feelings are hurt.’ I don’t know if you can do what Stern, Rush, or Mancow did.”

Whitlock summarizes business today, “It doesn’t matter if people like or don’t like my talent and hard work, which used to protect me, but neither matter anymore. Results don’t matter as much anymore.”

He’s right; less than ten years ago, I could calm management down by assuring them that the number of complaints received was directly proportionate to the ratings a new polarizing air personality would receive – a lesson I learned when we put Howard Stern on in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and then repeated on various stations across the country. As recently as 2014, the lesson held true when we put Josh Innes on WIP in Philadelphia until aggravation mattered more than results.

I spoke to a high-level syndicator and a leading talk radio thinker to gather their opinions about why Whitlock isn’t on talk radio. I asked Whitlock about a top concern, the amount of God and spiritual talk in his content.

“You can’t avoid the elephant in the room,” he acknowledged. “The Declaration and Constitution are influenced by Biblical views,” Whitlock continued.

Whitlock explains his position by putting the opposition in context. “The left argues race is inescapable and that it touches everything in America. Faith touches everything in America. You can’t talk about what’s going on in America without talking about it, but the left is certainly trying.”

His beliefs will attract some listeners, particularly social conservatives. How heavily he leans on faith determines how much he risks turning off others. Faith is Whitlock’s core value, but it hasn’t frightened me, at least thus far.

However, Whitlock understands the risk. “I’m aware we live in a secular society, and there are penalties for talking about God. I’m authentic and willing to accept those penalties,” he adds.

Whitlock offered a theory about someone he believes paid the price for talking about God. “Tucker’s (Carlson) show was very popular. He started talking about God, and I think that’s what got him fired.”

There’s no shortage of articles that mention how uncomfortable Rupert Murdoch became over the religious talk by Carlson and others. Although Whitlock may have a point, I tend to believe there are $787.5 million reasons that figured more prominently in the decision to remove Carlson from FNC.

Continuing to talk about Carlson, Whitlock suggested watching his appearances on the show. “Listen to what I said about faith and then Nancy Pelosi’s fake boobs, that’s what I do.”

That’s another reason I think he would be great doing talk radio. You never know what he will say next, one of the key traits of successful radio personalities.

The other question was whether Whitlock was too sports-heavy to succeed on talk radio. Whitlock knocked this one out of the park (excuse the figure of speech). “Sports are reflective of the rest of our culture. My big moment was when I wrote a Kansas City Star column after (Don) Imus’, a bad shock-jock not heard in the market, ‘nappy-headed-ho’ comment. I wrote I’m supposed to be offended when all those rap songs glorify nappy-headed pimps and hos. That column got me on Oprah.”

He continues with, “The number one force is the NFL. The top five network shows are the NFL. You can evaluate America through sports. I’m known for connecting the sports world with everything in the rest of the world. That’s what I’ve been doing for 30 years.”

Whitlock’s views will appeal to talk radio listeners. He’s willing to say things the politically correct bunch doesn’t want to hear and doesn’t care if he offends them. He’s also capable of surprising listeners.

What he says is honest and authentic. He is unabashedly proud of his beliefs and sums it up by saying: “That’s how I talk on the air and off the air. I do what I do and am Fearless (the name of his current show heard through Glenn Beck’s Blaze Media). If that makes people uncomfortable, I will deal with the consequences. The ratings speak for themselves and actually do speak for themselves.”

Somebody, please get this man a radio show!

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