Charlie Sykes has retired from his radio show, but he’s not dead. He’s still going to remain an active voice for common sense conservatism here and nationally. However, his voice will no longer be a daily presence on the Wisconsin airwaves.
But don’t think for a minute that Talk Radio is dead, or dying, here. Not even close.
First, let’s be clear, Mark Belling was and remains the dean of conservative talkers in Wisconsin. This Marconi Award-winning broadcaster has been on Newstalk 1130 WISN for more than a quarter century. He regularly fills in for Rush Limbaugh on the most-listened to show in radio history. He has shown no indication that he plans to follow Sykes’ lead and retire early.
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…
I was a panelist on Sunday Insight this week.
The show was pre-empted by coverage of the Orlando terrorist attack. But you can still catch the show online, here.
We talk about the GOP and Donald Trump, Hillary clinching the nomination and Aaron Rodgers giving up dairy.
I joined Charlie Sykes, Mikel Holt, Michelle Litjens and Dan Adams on Today’s TMJ-4 in Milwaukee for Sunday Insight.
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.