Talk Radio and Academics, A Point of Personal Privilege
This week, I spoke to a “Lunch and Learn” and my alma mater, The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism. It is what I live for. It makes me feel young and I feel hopeful when I talk to young people who are just starting out. My career did not go on a straight path to where I am today, but does anyone’s? I wear a lot of hats, but my favorite one is hosting a talk radio show. Here is what I have learned.
Frist, I never know what people are going to say. I do not screen anyone out, but I will cut you off if you start going down a strange path or if you use profanity. “Strange path” may sound like a subjective measure, but I can assure you it will have to cross over into very strange before I cut you off. There is also a possibility I need to disconnect due to time, so if you are on the line and you start to hear the music playing, wrap it up or I may do it for you. Contrary to some people’s analysis, I do not cut off people who disagree with me. I usually let them go longer or they hang up on me, but that is what makes it fun.
All in all, I learn something every day and most people are enjoyable to talk to. But let me tell you the secret of talk radio. It is not built around the calls. Only about 1% of listeners will ever call in. Most people are listening in their cars, on their phones or in their homes and will never call in so you must make the program entertaining to them. More times than not, I have been able to be successful at doing that.
I will promise you three things. First, I will try to be informed and if I do not know, I will say so and try to get you the answer you are looking for. Second, I will try to have interesting guests that further the conversation on whatever the topic of the day is. Third, I will be intellectually honest, tell you where my biases are and be willing to praise or criticize where warranted regardless of the party. I am a conservative Republican and I do not hide that, but I respect all points of view and I learn more from having to defend my point of view than just having someone agree with me.
Thank you for listening and being the most important part of my life’s work and I look forward to doing this for as long as you will have me.