The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

04 December 2007

CNN Anchor Latest To Try Talk Radio


Lou Dobbs Plans "Moderate" Show, Will Challenge Hannity

Joining the ranks of so many other actors, anchors, pundits and assorted n'er-do-wells who have tried and subsequently failed in talk radio, CNN anchor Lou Dobbs today announced he will take a stab at national syndication.

And rather than find a nice, quiet timeslot to slip into, Dobbs is set to directly challenge Sean Hannity in afternoon drive! How big does one's ego need to be to believe that could be viable?

Even more baffling: Dobbs somehow believes there's a untapped market for "moderate" talk radio out there.

Go ahead Lou, stand in the middle of the road and see how that works out.

From today's press release:

Lou Dobbs to Launch National Radio Talk Show in Partnership With United Stations Radio Networks, Inc.

Prominent CNN Anchor and Best-Selling Author to Hit the Afternoon Airwaves

Each Weekday Beginning March, 2008

The Lou Dobbs Show Will Occupy Gap Between Conservative and Liberal Talk Radio

NEW YORK, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Award-winning broadcast journalist and author Lou Dobbs announced today that he will be bringing his influential and popular point of view to a coast-to-coast radio audience with a new daily Talk Show.

The show, tentatively titled "The Lou Dobbs Show," will be produced, distributed to affiliates and sold to advertisers by United Stations Radio Networks, Inc. ("USRN"), a privately-held radio programming company based in New York. Dobbs, who is best known as the anchor of the nightly "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on CNN, has become an ideological flashpoint himself in recent years and is certain to bring his insightful journalism along with his provocative views to this new daily program. Lou Dobbs and United Stations Chairman/CEO Nicholas J. Verbitsky made this announcement today in New York City.

"Lou Dobbs brings a true independent voice to Talk Radio, occupying the vital middle ground between the conservative and liberal voices that dominate much of the segment today, particularly as we move toward a critical election for our country," said Verbitsky. "At the same time, this announcement demonstrates the growing importance of the Talk Radio segment to the industry today, both on AM and increasingly on FM. We look forward to stirring up the competitive mix in Talk Radio."

Commenting on the announcement, Dobbs remarked, "The political climate is rapidly changing. Independents are registering at an unprecedented rate and will determine the outcome of the 2008 election. I'm excited to be adding my voice to the talk show arena and have an opportunity, along with my listeners, to help enrich our national dialogue."

United Stations, an independent leader in network radio programming, will collaborate with Lou Dobbs to create the daily content for this new Talk Radio series. The program is slated to begin daily broadcasts on March 3, 2008 and will be fed to affiliates live-via-satellite each weekday (Monday through Friday) from 3 - 6 pm Eastern Time. The format of the program is still in development, but both newsmaker guests and caller interaction are expected to be important components of the program along with stories brought to the forefront by Dobbs.

Your Radio Equalizer isn't doubting the clear fact that Dobbs has a lot of television fans, but he's won them over mostly by taking conservative views on issues such as illegal immigration. Until he repositioned himself that way, Lou had never seemingly gained much traction with the audience.

More important is that Lou's move means the celeb crowd still hasn't learned from the failure of so many talk radio novices. Let's call it Whoopi Syndrome.

Just what does it take to put together a three- hour daily talk show, especially on top of his current workload? Where are the available stations ready to carry this new program? Why would anyone cancel Sean Hannity for Lou Dobbs?

This is truly a half- baked plan, good luck guys!

UPDATE: The NYT weighs in

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site.

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  • why would anyone dump Hannity??

    Brian again is being dishonest

    Hannity in many markets has a .2 rating, out of NY, Hannity has horrible ratings.......

    and Dobbs became popular because he positioned himself as an Anti-bush Republican, kind of like Michael Savage

    con radio is dying a slow death, just like conservatism in general

    The audience is too smart for con lies.. as is America

    By Blogger Jared, at 04 December, 2007 15:01  

  • Actually you're lying. I'm allowed to see national rating for major market and medium markets. More often that not, Hannity has great ratings. Why are you lying?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 23:38  

  • A snowballs chance in hell that boring talker Lou Dobbs will beat Sean Hannity in anything. Not even walking faster then him.

    Lou Dobbs is boring. And CNN is a lost Cable News Network along with it's counterpart MSNBC.

    Good Luck Mr. Dobbs. But you better have a lot of money saved because your failure is guaranteed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2007 23:44  

  • Actually, as much as I disagree with Lou, he might end up having a lot of success. Some stations may dump Hannity but, more than likely, the competitors of Hannity stations would be wise to put Lou head to head against him.

    Brian, you make the mistake of calling Lou a "celebrity". He's been in broadcast journalism for 35years.

    What I don't get is that Lou is a traditional Republican who just recently converted to an "Independent Populist" position. It seems you'd embrace someone like Lou. You're such a huge fan of O'Reilly who holds almost the same exact viewpoints except, of course, Lou's a Harvard trained economist meaning he actually understands monetary issues which leads him to an Anti-NAFTA stance. He also garners about 800,000 viewers a night, many of which may chose to use talk radio. Isn't that good for our business? And as hot button as the illegal immigration issue is (where I totally disagree with Lou) don't you think that will make some hot and lively talk? Or is it you fear that Lou having success in radio could boost CNN's numbers and erode Fox and Hannity even more?

    Partisan hackery, Brian. You reject conservatives who no longer subscribe to party principles and the Republican label. No wonder the party is tanking.

    By Blogger Dave Carroll, at 05 December, 2007 08:27  

  • Dave, they hate Dobbs because he may be very Republican in his positions, he broke with the neocons, and the neocons, for all their whining about the Mexicans, are chomping at the bit to have even MORE in, because the neocons hate the blacks and they'll gladly put up with illegal aliens just to run the blacks out of their workplaces.

    Dobbs shrewdly built his new media identity on the illegal immigration issue, realizing he'd have a long shelf life, with the neocons intending to do absolutely nothing about the open borders, lest their cheap labor force be threatened.

    Dobbs' success in general will hinge on his determination to buck the neocon power structure and exposing ALL of the crimes and abuses of the neoconservative movement, as even more American conservatives clue in to the fact that neocon principles are antithetical to conservative, moral positions in general.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 05 December, 2007 12:47  

  • “Why are you lying?” Because he’s a liberial. Without lies what else would he have.

    By Blogger pf1, at 06 December, 2007 00:59  

  • Yeah, hash. One thing is obvious. Neocons actually probably hate traditional conservatives almost as much as liberals. And because they have such tunnel vision, anyone who disagrres with them is a liberal or traitor. That's why their numbers are declining and their supporters are deserting them in droves.

    If you listen to a neocon ranting, I swear to god it sounds like a 10 year old mama's boy. Well, actually their just taller versions of the insufferable self absorbed little punks they were.

    By Blogger Dave Carroll, at 06 December, 2007 09:47  

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