Ed Schultz’s move to end his radio show is another sign that political talk radio is dying.
MSNBC’s Ed Schultz told his audience that he is tired of doing 3 hours of weekday radio, so he is ending radio show, and moving to a one hour long web based weekday show.
Schultz told viewers on The Ed Show,”Really, this change will give me the flexibility to be on the road, to do the kind of shows I want to do here for the ‘Ed Show’ on MSNBC…This is on me, I just don’t want to do a three-hour talk show anymore, and a lot of it has to do with tread on the tire.”
All of that might be true, but Schultz is also the company man who told his audience that he wanted to leave 8 PM and go to weekends, when it was later discovered that he was pushed into the weekend wasteland to make room for the disastrous Chris Hayes experiment.
The fact that Schultz will be moving to the web is another sign that political talk radio is dying as a genre.
The same demographic problem that is killing the Republican Party and Fox News is also pushing talk radio closer to extinction. As generations change, the market is drying up for over the air political talk radio, “Depending on where you set the hash marks, you’ve got 80 to 90 million millennials about to take the reins of the American economy, and to them, these people are crazy uncle acts,” radio consultant Holland Cooke said. “It’s about stuff they don’t care about, and it’s the same thing every day. Ultimately, that demographic is going to work against us. In the meantime, ratings speak for themselves.”
Liberals and progressives have found success by doing an end around traditional talk radio, and moving to the web.
Variety reported, “Broadcast radio is hurting itself,” says Ron Hartenbaum of WYD Media Management, who manages talk personalities like Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller. “If you continue to take away program choice, consumers who want that choice will find it somewhere else.” Indeed, Hartenbaum cites robust growth for progressive talk in newer venues — including satellite radio, mobile apps and video simulcasts of programs — as evidence of the shift, and the viability of such personalities.”
Political talk radio is slowly and steadily dying. Rush Limbaugh’s ratings have collapsed in major markets, and other right wing talkers aren’t as popular as they used to be. Those of use who listened to Schultz on the radio will miss his show, but Big Ed is ahead of the curve on this one.
In the next decade or so the Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage genre will be viewed more like a crazy old man screaming on the street corner. Their time is ending, and liberals are already poised to dominated the Internet based talk radio platform of the future.
Ed Schultz is getting out while Rush Limbaugh is staying behind to man the sinking talk radio ship.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association