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The Buildup And Hype End. Huckabee Goes Live at Noon


Mike Huckabee officially launches his long-form 3-hour program on over 170 stations nationwide today. Many stations will carry Huckabee live at noon eastern while others take him on delay. And while the Sandra Fluke incident involving Rush has given Huckabee a lot of national attention he may not have received otherwise, it's now about entertaining the audience and producing ratings. And, as one 25-year network industry vet told us, it's not really about competing with Rush. "With just 38% of the affiliations actually airing the program at the same time as Rush Limbaugh’s program, it’s not accurate to represent that the two programs will compete for audiences, given the numerous delayed clearances." Huckabee kicks off his program with Mitt Romney as guest number one.

WOR-AM New York General Manager Jerry Crowley, who picked up the show, says "We like to have hosts who are rational and controlled, and don't upset the landscape in a manner that is shouldn't be upset when you are discussing issues. You've seen a lot of that recently.  Obviously, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is what Rush did. I think that it dealt a serious blow to talk radio. I think, in a number of ways, certainly advertisers have raised an eyebrow about how and when and where they want to advertise with respect to that. I just don't think it was a good thing." The Huckabee slugline is: "Conservative...and not mad about it."

Huckabee tells Radio Ink he's been taking all the hype about his show in stride. "The main thing I have been doing is a lot of prayer, a lot of crying, wetting the bed at night. One of the things that is helpful for me is I am already doing, or course, the commentaries on FOX News. Everyday, I am absorbing vast amounts of material on current events. I would probably be doing it anyway, just because that's where my interests have been for the last 30 years. It is not really in terms of mentally transferring over to getting interested in all the current topics of the day. That is not difficult. The biggest thing that I am trying to think through is what kind of guests that we can have, what kind of content is on that can be compelling, informative, and at the same time, entertaining. I want it to be a fun show. I want it to be one where rather than people listen to it for two hours a day and then have to go take blood pressure medication, I really want it to be a show where they are thoughtfully informed, they  have information that they haven't had, they get a perspective that they may not have heard. I think that's one thing that I will bring to talk radio that is a little different, having been one of the actual people on the arena floor, not just an observer. I want then to have fun. I want them to not slam the door of their car when they get out of it walking into their office building."

See more coverage on the issue at The Politico

(4/9/2012 1:37:36 PM)
Actually, the hype is just about to start. I've always respected Huckabee, but I have a feeling we're going to hear a different side of him on this show.

- Joe

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