Talk ra­dio’s the big win­ner in the elec­tion

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LIVING - Tony Leodora Colum­nist

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. amer­i­canair­

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 tl­go­lf­ser­

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