I wanted to begin by asking you straight up… if you have ever considered – and if you haven’t if you would consider – what heroes you would be to over half this city; how courageous you would be seen as; what a landmark, seismic decision it would be seen as; and the tremendous amount of publicity you would garner – and not just locally… if you became the first station in Las Vegas that broke with the tradition, trend, and frankly, monotony… of nothing but right wing talk radio 24/7 in this city – AND… you appointed me the new host of your morning drive show – in whatever capacity we should decide upon.
And I’m not just talking local publicity, I’m talking national. Las Vegas. Liberal talk radio. It’s a publicist’s dream. Not to mention, given my 30 years in this city – mostly in the entertainment business – and the contacts I’ve made, how I could add to that publicity. I spent the majority of my life on the road and eventually here in Vegas as an entertainer, where self promotion is necessary for survival. And just for the record, I won the Variety Entertainer of the Year Award, not twice, not three times… but once. I also have been given some prospects that I could exploit this position to get national appearances myself, which would just add more publicity.
And just so you know… this wouldn’t be the first time I did the morning drive slot here at KDWN. When I first started doing liberal talk here at KDWN, back when it was owned by Albert Williams and Claire Reis was the gen’l mgr, I did a 3-hour weekend show on Sunday nights. I was up against Matt Drudge on KXNT, who, of course, did right wing talk radio. The ratings increased measurably. And I’ll show you how much in a moment.
Shortly thereafter, I started bugging them to give me a regular daily spot, like, morning drive?! It took awhile – like, a year and a half, but finally they relented. And after 3 months, Claire pulled me off the air. I asked her why. She said “I don’t like what you do.” I asked what it was I did she didn’t like. She said “You spend too much time bashing the president.” I said something the the effect of “What do you care? All of your other hosts spend the rest of the day defending and praising him.” And then I said “You don’t think your ratings increased significantly this past quarter?” And she said “We’ll talk about them when they come out.”
And then the then Arbitron ratings came out, and they had increased – again, measurably. In the quarter I was on, KDWN gained a full share, and KXNT lost a full share. ( Show ratings )
Another host at the station, Pete Moss – one of the sweetest and most radio savvy people I’ve ever met – he told me that at any other station, I’d be able to write my own ticket with the ratings I’d just garnered. He also told me it wouldn’t matter here at KDWN, because they were more concerned with ideology than ratings. And he was right. After the ratings came out, Claire fired me.
Fortunately, one of my listeners liked what I did enough that she offered to sponsor me and pay for me to be on the air. Which we did, starting with a daily morning show on 1230 KLAV, and then back here to KDWN on Saturdays, which kinda’ brings us to today.
And yes, you’d get your fair share of complaints – you do now – but guess what? They’re listening. And yet, right now in my Saturday afternoon slot, I get calls all the time from people on the right who say they wished I was on 5 days a week. And they’re conservatives. And surprising as it may sound, I’ve actually established close on-air relationships with some of my conservative callers. We fight on the air, then they call me after the show, several have invited me to dinner, or for drinks – one marijuana distributor offered me free pot, which I don’t do, but it was nice of him to offer.
And I think part of the reason behind that is… I’ve always geared my show… towards people on the right. Most liberal hosts, few that there may be, cater to liberals, and it becomes an echo chamber, similar to what all right wing talk radio is… preaching to a like minded choir. I preach to the choir of a different church, if you will – and it’s rather unique. And it works. And it always has.
One of the things I say from time to time on my show, and not completely in jest… is the primary reason conservatives listen to right wing radio… is to hate liberals. But the conservative host serves as a conduit for that hate. With ME, they can eliminate the middle man and hate directly. And then I say, it’s nothing I’m particularly proud of, but that’s the reality. They laugh… then they complain… and they keep listening.
Add to that, there aren’t many shows on this station for locals on either side of the political aisle on which to call in and talk. This would address that. And for what it’s worth… there aren’t many local shows who can take calls for almost an entire hour, and never run out of calls. That’s what happens with me every Saturday afternoon. There’s no question it would be even busier during morning drive – not to mention – invigorating.
As well… it’s not like I’m a threat to the status quo or anything like that. The reality is… Nevada has already gone blue, both state wise and nationally. And it did the last election as well. But those blue folks have no daily voice or venue they can listen to… or call in and talk to. So I dare say… they would be grateful, they would be loyal, and perhaps, even more willing to listen to other programs on KDWN. And that would only add to the right wing audience I’ve always had and will always have.
As for the expected revolt from some of your listeners, of course it will come, and it will, for the most part, be temporary. It’ll be similar to when Nike announced they were appointing Colin Kaepernick to be their new spokesperson. The loud minority cried foul, and right after the announcement on Sept. 4th, Nike’s stock price took a hit. Seven days later, on Sept. 11th, Nike’s stock had rebounded and was actually higher than it was right before the Kaepernick announcement. And you know this wasn’t a willy nilly decision by Nike. They did extensive test marketing and research prior to it. As for my show and this station? I’ve already done the test marketing and research for you. They complained when I started doing Sunday nights? And the stock / ratings went higher than where they were before I started. Same thing with morning drive. They complained when I started? And the stock / ratings went higher than where they were before I started.
And if you’re worried about losing sponsors, I can tell you that this station didn’t the last time I did AM Drive. And if a current sponsor were to threaten to cancel? I would tell them this. The reason you advertise on this station, or any other station, or any other venue period… is to reach the greatest number of potential customers you can. The last time this guy did morning drive, he gave us the highest ratings we had ever had during the morning drive slot, because he had our regular listeners who love to hate him, and he brought a whole new group of like minded listeners… who hate to love him. Oh wait, that didn’t sound right…. who hate to hate him. That’s better. And we are completely confident the same will happen this time.
So while I may not be your Huckleberry? I could be… your Colin Kaepernick. Initially reviled by the loud minority… but beloved… by the quiet, fashionable majority. But after a little bit of time? BOTH will wear me on their feet, even if one group blackens out the Nike swoosh.
So… before I go any further… I’d like to ask what you think of this concept, and if you recognize the sheer, unadulterated brilliance of it, as well as, not only how it will not hurt KDWN, not only will it HELP KDWN, but be a GAME changer… for KDWN, in more ways than one?
I’m recalling during our meeting when I compared the prospect of my doing the morning drive slot to Nike making Colin Kaepernick their spokesperson. I mentioned that the loud minority would cry foul – just as they did after Nike’s announcement. And while Nike’s stock did take an initial hit, just seven days later, it had rebounded to higher than it was before the announcement.
I also mentioned that this wasn’t a will-nilly decision by Nike, and that they’d done test marketing prior to making that decision. I likened that to me having already done the same test marketing – by having already done the morning drive slot – and succeeding to the point where KDWN’s stock/ratings were much higher than they were before me.
I have to admit, I felt somewhat validated on Friday when the stock market was crashing – again – when the only company in the Dow whose stock gained because their earnings crushed analyst’s expectations – was Nike.
Going big, going brave, daring to be different – and being the first to do so – pays dividends in the end – just like test marketing has shown it will. And that applies equally to both Nike and KDWN.
And naturally, my first hope was to once again become a paid employee at KDWN – however – seeing as you’re contemplating going with a no-cost syndicated show, I will hereby offer my talents (which are considerable(!?) ie: quick wit, sharp mind, creativity – along with exhaustive and comprehensive research) at no cost to the station. Instead, I would sell spots to run where the national ones otherwise would.
You rightly mentioned during our meeting that the morning drive slot was the front door to the station. All I can say is, with Brian Kilmeade – or any other host on the right – that door will remain the same width it is now. With me? I guarantee your front door will be much wider. And the wider the door? The more people who can enter – and will.
Thanks for reading, and I wish you and yours a safe and peaceful Merry Christmas.