Can an anti-Trump talk show host survive the Trump presidency?

Former radio talker, John Ziegler, isn’t sure…

Not gonna lie, I like Ziegler’s writing but I don’t understand what he is griping about here. He lays out some of his problems as mistakes he made in the radio biz…

Interestingly, it wasn’t because the show didn’t get ratings. While reliable data for the program’s popularity was limited, there were real signs of success in that realm.

8PM on Sunday evening probably didn’t help, either.

The business model for talk radio in general, weekend programming more specifically, and my program in particular, are all very badly broken. Good content is completely irrelevant and even ratings, on their own, can be basically meaningless.chance that their investment might not see a return.

But this is the part I found most interesting, he essentially blames Donald Trump.

After Trump’s upset win, it quickly became clear to me that there was no way for the show to be viable in the long-run. First, a technical issue  (which never would have a created a huge problem between us without the Trump situation having eroded our mutual trust and artificially increased tensions between us) spiraled into my co-host leaving the show. Then, it became abundantly clear that even the meager conservative resistance to Trump in the right-wing media was going to melt away as quickly as a candle in a blast furnace. Finally, polls overwhelmingly showed that huge numbers of Republicans not only strongly approved of Trump, but now suddenly agreed with him on even his liberal positions (even on Russia and Vladimir Putin!). The “conservative” movement had suddenly been transformed into a cult dictated by the whims of one, very unstable, and rather liberal, man.

In a remotely sane world, all of this would INCREASE the need for a national “Never Trump” show on talk radio, but that universe clearly no longer exists. It’s not just that I am “selling” a narrative which at least 80% of the audience doesn’t agree with. It’s that my view actually makes the majority of that pool of listeners truly feel badly about themselves, or makes them conclude hilariously that I am now a liberal sell-out. They would much rather hear about how Trump is kicking Democrat ass (even while he’s actually doing quite a few liberal things) and making “Make America Great Again.”

Now, I am no genius and I have been told, by people with no clue how radio works, that my Trump “hate” played a role in my show ending in Birmingham, it did not (they went local and got on an FM).

However, I will point out that many people demanded I be fired over the last year. I received more of those e-mails in in 2016 than in my entire 12+ year radio career. Oddly enough, I have received ZERO since the election.

Anti-Trump national voices have thrived. Mark Levin, Glenn Beck and Steve Deace are still viable. Surely there are some local guys left. Admittedly, they have come around as he picks his team and will continue as he becomes President.

The listeners are tribal and a bit absurd at times, but the real test will be how they react to a Trump that completely goes off the conservative reservation, which he will, and how the host react to that.

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