I first met Charlie Sykes more than 25 years ago when I was a Senior at the UW. He was speaking at a conference of collegiate journalists in Evanston, Illinois and as the author of ProfScam was emerging as one of the most insightful critics of higher education at the time. He was so entertaining that when I found myself organizing the next year’s conference I had to lock him in on the panel. That’s right, I put Charlie I my panel long before he put me on his!
On Tuesday, my friend Charlie announced his retirement from his weekday radio show and weekly television program. After 25 years in local broadcasting, 23 with WTMJ, he’s heading into semi-retirement. He’ll continue to write and contribute to the conservative movement, but he’ll no longer have to drag himself out of bed at 4:30 every morning.
I’ve had the honor and good fortune of working for him and even guest hosting his show on occasion over the years. I can assure you he’s not going to disappear, as much as his many critics may hope he will. At 62, he’s just taking greater control over his schedule. Kudos to him.
A full analysis of his impact on local, state and national politics is intertwined with a look at the power of the medium of talk radio in general. Along with his colleague Jeff Wagner, and local talkers Mark Belling, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna and Dan O’Donnell down the dial at WISN, Sykes has helped create and maintain an important crucible for conservative thought and news analysis in Southeast Wisconsin.
Rather than examine the medium itself, however, Sykes’ announcement affords me an opportunity to examine his unique impact on the community and causes I care deeply about. More…
Edge Messaging President, Brian Fraley featured on Charlie Sykes’ Right Wisconsin Week in Review where they discuss the Paul Ryan-Donald Trump meeting, Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Paul Ryan challenger Paul Nehlen, UW Faculty “No Confidence” votes and the Under-Covered story of the week.
I joined The Pundit Panel with Charlie Sykes at Insight 2016 with Brian Sikma of Media Trackers and RightWisconsin Managing Editor Collin Roth discussing a wide array of topics from local elections to the presidential primary.
This was a refreshing change of pace. On this week’s episode of the Half Hour Happy Hour, I put Charlie Sykes in the interview hot seat. He sounds off on the Walker for President operation, the sleepy state of the State Supreme Court race, the reporting decisions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and more. He looks back on his 22 years as host of Midday with Charlie Sykes on AM 620 WTMJ in Milwaukee and he gives a glimpse into his upcoming new book.
I asked him how long he planned on continuing his radio show. Watch the show to see his surprising answer and catch my weekly rundown of current events with Nik Nelson. More…