Archive for August 2013

Boston Globe post on National Radio Day

August 20, 2013

The Right Frequency was featured on The Boston Globe’s website in a posting about National Radio Day, Aug. 20.

Of the day, the article said, “[O]ne trend that appears obvious is the shift to talk radio away from music radio due to the demand for music being satisfied by iPods, YouTube and a variety of electronic factors.”

“And when it comes to talk radio, one of the very few experts on the subject, Fred Lucas, author of ‘The Right Frequency,’ a history of the remarkable influence talk radio has had on Conservative politics in the United States, is well aware of the trend.”

“Radio is becoming more widely used than ever before,” Lucas said. “There are more portals through radio, and I mean talk radio, flows today than ever before. When one considers the portable electronic devices in use today, the numbers are staggering. Talk radio influence appears to be never ending.”

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.


Hannity, Limbaugh Cumulus Drama Now Including Savage?

August 18, 2013

It was a roiling week for talk radio as three of the biggest names made news regarding the negotiations with Cumulus.

For weeks, speculation over where the top two hosts in the United States, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity stood with their contract with Cumulus.

Now, according to unconfirmed news reports this week, Limbaugh is sticking with Cumulus, Hannity isn’t and Michael Savage — the antagonistic voice on the air — expects to move into Hannity’s coveted 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. drive time slot.

This is the latest in the chaotic careers of the hosts who are all profiled in The Right Frequency, an Amazon Kindle bestseller for more than three months running.

Politico reported:

Sources familiar with the negotiations confirmed that Cumulus and Hannity were expected to end their affiliation. Meanwhile, the sources told POLITICO that Limbaugh was likely to re-up his affiliation with Cumulus in “virtually” all markets indicating a change in talks since late July, when Cumulus has threatened to drop both hosts.

But Talkers, the talk radio industry bible, reported that Hannity essentially fired Cumulus.

“Hannity is fed up with the Dickey Brothers and the alleged bullying culture of Cumulus Media saying privately, ‘The Dickey Brothers are the single worst operators in the history of radio.'” 

Savage, who has made a career of lambasting his on-air competitors, made a gleeful prediction.

“I predict, right here, right now, that I Michael Savage and the Savage Nation is going to take over The Sean Hannity Show time slot by the end of the year. I am the heir apparent to afternoon drive on the east coast and around America on Cumulus stations, which have the most powerful stations in the radio world.”

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

‘Radio Has the Best Pictures’

August 18, 2013

A post on One News Page discussed the upcoming National Radio Day and The Right Frequency.

“Radio communication was around since the 1800s in some form, but became a commercial force in the 1920s, when commentators such as H.V. Kaltenborn ruled the airwaves. The story of these early radio voices through the current talkers such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck is told in “The Right Frequency: The Story of the Talk Radio Giants Who Shook Up the Political and Media Establishment” by Fred Lucas (History Publishing Co.),” the post says. 
It continues, “National Public Radio enthusiastically declared in 2011, ‘That’s right – one day is set aside to celebrate radio. At NPR, we honor it every day, but we’re happy to have an excuse to pay it extra special attention.’ Seeking to answer the question, “Why would anyone want to celebrate radio in this digital age?” NPR asserted three points: 1.) “Radio is one of the nation’s most accessible forms of media.” 2.) In times of crisis, radio can be the only source for emergency information, and 3.) Quoting NPR correspondent Susan Stamberg, “Radio has the best pictures.”
The Right Frequency explains how radio talkers spanning two centuries from Walter Winchell, Bob Grant and Sean Hannity have painted the clearest pictures, rarely leaving ambiguity on the hot political and social issues of the day.”

Radio Surived and Thrives Through Media Revolutions

August 18, 2013

Silobreaker, a publication on technology, carried a recent posting on The Right Frequency.

The article said, “The book explains how radio not only survived but thrived despite various media revolutions over the past 90s years. It also details milestones in the radio era such as the Payola Scandal of the early 1960s and the end of the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine in the late 1980s, both of which contributed in its own way to the proliferation of talk radio.”

The piece was posted just days before National Radio Day on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency. 

Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin as GOP Moderators? If Only RNC, Candidates Had the Guts

August 17, 2013

With CNN and NBC out of the running for hosting 2016 GOP presidential primary debates, three of America’s biggest talkers could step forward, the Washington Examiner first reported this week. It would be a ratings bonanza if the candidates and the RNC have the guts to do it.

“Miffed that their candidates were singled out for personal questions or CNN John King’s ‘This or That,’ when he asked candidates quirky questions like ‘Elvis or Johnny Cash,’ GOP insiders tell Secrets that they are considering other choices, even a heavyweight panel of radio bigs Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

“They told Secrets that they are eager to bring in questioners who understand Republican policies and beliefs and who have the ability to get candidates to differentiate their positions on core conservative values.

“The move comes as several conservatives are pressuring the party to have Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin ask the debate questions. “It makes a lot of sense. We’d get a huge viewership, they’d make a lot of news and maybe have some fun too,” said one of the advocates of the radio trio hosting debates.”

Talk radio has helped shape the outcomes of Republican presidential primaries in the past. Below is an excerpt from The Right Frequency about the role of talk radio in the 2000 Republican presidential primary.

Bill Clinton was getting little attention in his final year in office, 2000, as most of the attention was focused on the presidential race.
Hosts weighed in heavily to the Republican primary, which had become a two man race between Texas Governor George W. Bush
and Arizona Senator John McCain by the end of 1999.
Rush Limbaugh threw all his support in the 2000 primary to
It is always impossible to know how much impact talk radio had
on primary voters, but it is certainly reasonable to view talk radio
having greater influence on a primary, when the choir seeks guidance
in making a choice, than in a general election when the choir
already knows what notes to sing and listens to the preacher for reaffirmation.
So it would be with Limbaugh’s near daily lambasting of
McCain, even more than he built up Bush.
“The way the primary system is set up today, talk radio has more
of an influence in encouraging primary voters to vote than general
election voters because talk radio has a higher audience of people
who are more in the extremes of both the left and the right,” said
Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers Magazine. “And statistics do
indicate that the turnout for primaries are more o the zealots than
the average person in the middle. Any radio show that specifically
targets the extremes is likely to galvanize voters. I would think that
talk radio has a bigger influence in primaries today than it does in
the general election.”
McCain had a mostly conservative record, but his support of
campaign finance reform was untenable to many conservatives, as
was his eagerness to “reach across the aisle” and work with
Democrats. Most Republicans liked him in spite of, not because of,
the McCain-Feingold bill. Still, because of his biography as a war
hero, a significant numbers of voters were enamored by him. The
mainstream media especially loved him, because he kept things
interesting, but also for the campaign finance reform proposal.
When McCain trounced Bush in the New Hampshire primary
by a surprising margin, it posed the question whether the inevitability
of Bush’s nomination would happen.
Limbaugh warned that even though the media is “orgasmic”
over McCain now, they are “love ’em and leave ’em liberals” if he is
the Republican nominee (a prediction given credence by the 2008
One of Limbaugh’s parodies featured a McCain supporter
singing, “He’s the candidate I adore. He can keep my tax cut and I’ll
be poor. And I’ll send him more.”
The National Annenberg Election Study found that post New
Hampshire primary listening to Limbaugh negatively affected the
voters feelings about McCain. This is significant since Limbaugh’s
focus on McCain really began after the senator’s victory in New
Hampshire. The Annenberg study also found that the impression
Republican voters in Super Tuesday states had of McCain took a
negative turn after listening to Limbaugh. So there is evidence to
show that talk radio can impact the outcome of a primary election.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

No Host Informs, Enlightens, Crystallizes Thinking and Still Entertains Like Mark Levin

August 14, 2013

Mark Levin, one of the most brilliant conservative commentators, spoke recently on the Sean Hannity program about his new bestselling book, “The Liberty Amendments.

“The second way that is never actually been tried in an effective manner, it’s never actually been done. But it has as much legitimacy and authority as the other method. And it bypasses Congress,” Levin said, explaining how to pass a series of constitutional amendments.

“Essentially, you need two-thirds of the states to inform Congress that they’re going to hold a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments just as if Congress has a meeting and propose amendments,” Levin continued. “And at that convention, amendments can be debated and discussed and so forth. But they don’t become part of the constitution unless three-fourths of the states, when presented with them, adopt the amendments.”

Levin’s talk radio career is chronicled in The Right Frequency.

He began with WABC in New York before going national a few years later. His book, Liberty & Tyranny was a huge success. Just before the release of The Right Frequency, Levin wrote, ““Fred Lucas not only delineates the roots of talk radio as a venue for communicating conservative political thought in the 1930s and 40s, he explains how it has become, in the 21st century, the life force for the conservative movement and the voice for conservative ideals on the current political landscape. Anyone who loves talk radio will love this book.”

Below is an excerpt from The Right Frequency about Levin’s career.

Perhaps no other radio host can speak words that inform,
enlighten, crystallize thinking and still be entertaining the way Mark
Levin does. While critics have described the program as “anger theater,”
it is more passion than anger. Levin goes through rants, and
throw out terms like “New York Slimes” referring to The New York
Times and “Hillary Rotten Clinton,” referring to the former first
lady and secretary of state, and telling know-nothing callers, “get off
the phone you big dope.” But he also delivers monologues that are
quite professorial.
Levin can be most accurately described as a very passionate conservative
with a great sense of humor and even greater intellect. His
show with 8.5 million listeners became prominent during the Bush
years, the program and Levin became a true political force during
the Obama administration thanks largely to Levin’s book “Liberty
and Tyranny,” that became a cultural phenomenon and proved that
ideas matter. Levin was not a trained broadcaster, or aspiring media
star from the beginning. Rather, he was a whiz kid who leaped into
the Reagan movement in 1976 and stayed on board through the revolution
in the 1980s.
Levin skipped his senior year of high school to go to Temple
University, where at the age of 19 graduated Phi Beta Kappa and
magna cum laude. Shortly thereafter, he was elected to the local
school board, making him the youngest school board member in the
state of Pennsylvania at the time. He graduated from Temple Law
School at 22, and then became active in politics.
He was a foot soldier for Reagan’s effort at the state level in
Pennsylvania to rest to the Republican nomination away from
incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976, a losing battle that still
saw Reagan come extraordinarily close.
He was then part of the Reagan revolution in 1980, when Reagan
won the nomination and trounced Jimmy Carter to become president
Levin was deputy assistant Secretary for Elementary and
Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, and
Deputy Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior before he
moved up to the Associate Director of Presidential Personnel and
eventually became the Chief of Staff to Attorney General Edwin
After his career in government, Levin went into private practice
and later became the president of the non-profit Landmark Legal
Foundation, based in Leesburg, Virginia, where he lives and broadcasts
his radio show from. As president of Landmark Legal, he
became an enemy of the National Education Association, the
nation’s largest teachers union, over their questionable funding of political campaigns. He also brought legal action against the
Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service and other federal
agencies regarding federal grants. While many public interest
non-profits tend to be press release factories, Landmark Legal was
never a publicity hound, working quietly and taking press calls as
they came, but hardly ever calling a press conference.
“Landmark Legal Foundation is a great passion of mine because
it is a relatively small legal group which has done truly amazing
things both before I came here and now that I am here,” Levin said.
“And we have enormous challenges. Our opponents are much more
heavily funded and more numerous.”
A fan of talk radio for 30 years, he became a frequent legal analyst,
penning op-eds for National Review and other publications,
and appearing as a guest on the Rush Limbaugh radio show.
Limbaugh gave him the name “F. Lee Levin,” jokingly after the
famous defense attorney F. Lee Bailey. In 2001, the American
Conservative Union honored him with the Ronald Reagan Award.912
After Hannity reached national syndication, Levin became a frequent
guest and occasional guest host. Hannity gave him the name
“The Great One,” a phrase callers to the show continue to use.
Levin took to radio well enough that in 2002, WABC gave him a
Sunday afternoon program.
WABC had brought on the increasingly popular Savage Nation
for the Monday through Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. slot. But in 2003,
Michael Savage had a contract dispute with WABC’s sister station
KSFO in San Francisco. So WABC dropped Savage from his valued
slot as well. It was Levin’s gain, who went to five times per week in
starting September 2, 2003. Savage’s show was quickly picked up
by rival WOR, but Savage was not the fit for the New York City
market that Levin was. Levin shot to number one in his timeslot in
the first 18 months on the air. Still, Levin was only heard by
northeastern states in and around the big apple despite broadcasting
from his “bunker” in a “non-descript building,” which was his
Northern Virginia home.
His first book “Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is
Destroying America,” was released on February 7, 2005, and hit the number three spot on The New York Times best-seller list.
His second book was “Rescuing Sprite,” a completely non-political
book about Levin’s family and the shelter dog they rescued, who
they named Sprite, as a companion for their dog Pepsi. Sprite’s previous
owner treated him very poorly and the Levin family nurtured,
and became very attached. It turned out that the dog they believed
was six or seven years old was actually closer to 11. After about two
years, Sprite became sick and was suffering, and had to be put to
sleep. The anguish that commonly hits so many families hit the
hard-edged Levin very hard. Levin explained that he first began
writing an essay about Sprite to deal with the loss. But later, added
background to fill in the blanks and it became a book. “I can’t
describe the depression I felt,” Levin said. “I was in agony. I thought
maybe if I wrote the story, I could explain to myself what I was going
By 2006, his show was nationally syndicated by Citadel Media
Networks, breaking into 50 cities, including 17 of the top 25 markets.
918 “We’re about to enter a golden age,” Levin said. “The 2006
elections leading to 2008, with Hillary Clinton. We’ll be bigger than
ever, and I can’t wait.” Like virtually everyone else at the time,
Levin believed Hillary Clinton was destined to be the Democratic
candidate for president.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.


Conrad Black: Limbaugh Has 30 Million Listeners Because News Media Failed its Watchdog Role

August 14, 2013

Media mogul and author Lord Conrad Black told CNN that Rush Limbaugh is so popular because the American news media hasn’t been doing its job.

Asserting that the main stream media has withdrawn as a government watchdog, Black said the public is turning somewhere.

“And the country is uneasy about that. I think that’s why Rush Limbaugh has 30 million listeners and the network newscasts have declined,” Black said.

The Right Frequency goes into detail how Limbaugh led a media revolution that challenged the longstanding ideological monopoly throughout most of the media. The book also explains how and why much of the media moved leftward in the late 1950s, early 1960s. Limbaugh emerged on the national stage in 1988 and created a successful commercial model not just for talk radio but for an alternative media.

Black went on to say, “I think that there is a very large number of Americans that felt instinctively that the national media and the political establishment had unjustly destroyed a distinguished administration, which Mr. Nixon had in his first term, and had scuttled the effort in Vietnam and had never ceased to congratulate themselves for doing it.”

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.