Talk radio’s the big winner in the election
Not everyone in America is happy with the results of the presidential election.
Some are disappointed. Others are protesting. And then there are those who require emotional rehabilitation. Some colleges are even offering therapy dogs to console grieving students.
A number of Hollywood celebrities pledged, before the election, to move out of the country if Donald Trump won. Best advice to them – visit www. americanairlines.com.
Best advice to the rest of the Never Trumpers – get over it. And start working together with all Americans on the process of reuniting and rebuilding this country.
What they don’t realize is – outside of their monolithic circle of friends – there is a huge number of people who are not only satisfied by the result of the election, they are elated with it.
Speaking in general terms, those still celebrating would include small business entrepreneurs, the law enforcement community, the military, the coal industry and workers in U.S. manufacturing.
Operative phrase – speaking in general terms.
But there is no need to speak generally when referring to one business that is feeling very bullish over prospects for the next four years. Talk radio.
There can be no doubt that – one way or the other — Trump will provide plenty of fodder for the talk radio hosts and callers. Just as Barack Obama has for the last eight years. And as Hillary Clinton would have done, if she won the election.
One particular talk radio executive who is wearing a broad smile these days is Russ Whitnah, vice president/general manager for Salem Broadcasting. The company owns 118 radio stations nationally – most of them presenting religious programming, but others specializing in conservative newstalk. One is WNTP 990-AM in Lafayette Hill.
Of course, it is not unusual to see Whitnah smiling. He is one of the most positive, energetic and uplifting people you ever could meet. But he has a special bounce in his step these days.
One reason is that he was a staunch supporter of Trump, and never waivered in his belief that the political outsider could win. The other is that he is enthusiastically looking forward to retirement from a long and decorated career in the radio business at the end of the year.
“I was very blessed to come along at a time when talk radio started its climb in popularity,” admits Whitnah. “It captured a segment of the American public and there is no reason to believe it will stop gaining in pop-
Whitnah has been a very active part of the Greater Philadelphia community during his 23-year stay in the area. He was very instrumental in bringing some of the biggest names on the national political scene to the area for a number of public meetings and town halls. But his connection
to the Philadelphia area didn’t come naturally. He grew up in Oklahoma and spent time in Iowa and Harrisburg before coming to the radio station on Ridge Pike that once housed legendary rock and roll giant WIBG.
He took over sisterstation WFIL and oversaw the conversion from rock and roll to religious programming. Then, he turned his sights to WNTP.
“The timing was right,”
reports Whitnah, about the bold move that attempted to introduce another 50,000-watt newstalk station in the same market. “The CBS affiliate, 1210 WPHT, already had the biggest name in conservative newstalk, Rush Limbaugh. We felt there was room for another newstalk station, especially from a different perspective.”
In 2004 WNTP debuted with the tag: “Intelligent Newstalk.” While Limbaugh has become a radio superstar with his bombastic style, most of the hosts throughout Salem Broadcasting’s syndicate use a more reasoned approach. They are led by Dennis Prager and include other lower-keyed show hosts such as Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Mike Gallagher and Larry Elder.
“They are more my style,” admits Whitnah.
The exception is nighttime host Mark Levin, who brings a confrontational style of fire and brimstone.
“You need a bit of variety in your programming,” explains Whitnah.
For at least the next four years, the variety probably will be provided by the ever-colorful news conferences of president-elect Trump.
“It’s been a great run for me with newstalk radio,” says Whitnah. “And what better way could there be to end my career than to go out on a high note. I sincerely hope that’s what the Trump presidency will be. Either way, it’s going to make for more exciting times in talk radio.”
Tony Leodora is president of TL Golf Services, host of the weekly GolfTalk Live radio show on WNTP 990-AM and host of the Traveling Golfer television show — as well as editor of GolfStyles magazine. He is former sports editor of The Times Herald. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.