Neal Boortz knows what he’s talking about. He has been on the radio for forty years. He’s on more than 200 stations. He knows the industry.There is, in talk radio, a trend toward “friendlier” talk — non-confrontational hosts who try to explain both sides of the issues with discernible biases, but no hard lines.Talk radio, at its core, is about entertainment. The best hosts, from Boortz to Limbaugh, are entertainers first. They have bright lines, stand for something, and make it enjoyable to listen to. In an interview with Radio Ink, Boortz gets into this:
“I can see where [Smerconish] would want to go on the air and say ‘The type of talk radio I do, that’s what the consumers want. That is what they are going to be looking for in the future.’ It’s a great sales pitch to get people to sign on to your show. I still think what the consumers are looking for is, number one, entertainment. They want to be entertained. It can be a liberal, a libertarian, or a conservative. It can be far-left or far-right. If they are entertained, they are going to tune in. The ratings are going to be there and the advertisers are going to be happy.”
By the way, this is also why there are so few top notch liberal talk radio programs — liberals still have problems with humor. Oh, and to drive Boortz’s point further home, Talkers magazine reports that in March, after all the Sandra Fluke hubbub, Rush Limbaugh’s ratings are measurably up in most markets.