Archive for the ‘Bush Years’ category

Hannity Hits Another A-List

April 23, 2014

Sean Hannity has been named to the Hollywood Reporter’s list of “35 Most Powerful People in New York 2014.”

Not bad for a guy whose talk dreams began as a carpenter listening to Bob Grant, as explained in Chapter 9 of The Right Frequency. The section of Hannity – a top ranked radio and Fox News host – is titled, “Born to Argue.”

Sean Hannity



Top 10 Again! Right Frequency Climbs Amazon List

September 7, 2013

The Right Frequency on Friday hit the #6 spot on Amazon’s History & Criticism category.

The book was also #25 in the overall radio category.

This makes four consecutive months that The Right Frequency has been on an Amazon bestseller list.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.



One Year After Release, The Right Frequency a Bestselling Radio Book

September 1, 2013

One year after its release, The Right Frequency stands strong on Amazon.

The Right Frequency, released in August 2012, reached the Top 20 over the past week on Amazon’s Radio History & Criticism category for Kindle books. This book reached the top 10 on Friday, Aug. 30. The Right Frequency also returned to the bestseller list in Amazon’s Radio category.

The Right Frequency paperback edition also returned to the bestseller list for Amazon’s History & Criticism category.

The book, that chronicles the history of talk radio from the days of Walter Winchell through Rush Limbaugh, has been an Amazon bestseller for four consecutive months.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

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.

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.

Sean Hannity in Trouble with Fox and Cumulus?

August 10, 2013

This past two weeks produced a whirlwind of rumors about Sean Hannity’s future, with both the Fox News Channel and Cumulus radio networks.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that both Hannity and Rush Limbaugh would lose 40 stations if they are dropped by Cumulus. This week, more reports surfaced that Megyn Kelly would replace Hannity in the coveted 9 p.m. time slot on Fox News.

Hannity, the number two talk radio host in the nation, had a tough road to be where he is. In The Right Frequency he describes himself as “born to argue.”

Below is an excerpt on Hannity’s career from The Right Frequency.
Though he sort of came up on it by accident, Sean Hannity
managed to make a good living from what he’s just naturally done
his whole life. “I was born to argue,” he once said. “I don’t know
why. I mean, from arguing with my teachers and, on occasions, my
parents. I think I’ve mastered the art of argument at a fairly young
age.”704 He has used that gift to soar to the number two spot on both
talk radio and cable news, and has done what both Limbaugh and
Beck could not do, maintain a huge following on radio along with a
longstanding TV presence.
The Iran Contra affair may have been the low point for the otherwise
successful Reagan presidency, but it gave Hannity the opportunity
to do what he loved with an audience to listen.
When allegations that the Reagan administration had sold arms
to Iran in exchange for hostages, and used proceeds from the sales
to illegally fund the Contras in Latin America, the Senate—controlled
by Democrats after the 1986 midterms—leapt to investigate
the matter. The main witness prompting the must-see TV moment
at the time was Lt. Col. Oliver North. Hannity heard the senators
haranguing North, and routinely called into conservative talk shows
to give his two cents.
Hannity was never a fan of handouts. In the late 1980s, he was a
contractor, painting houses, because he did not want to rely on his
parents to pay for his tuition at New York University. He dropped
out and headed west to California, continuing to work in construction
to save enough money.
“I was a contractor. I was working my way in and out of college.
Didn’t want my parents to help pay for college. So, I’m, I’m running
out of money all the time. So, that’s how I was making my living and,
I’d be 40 feet up in the air on radios, calling into talk shows,”
Hannity, who grew up on Long Island and continues to live there
today, recalled in an ABC News interview.
“The things I had to say began attracting more feedback,
spurring more people to call, until sometimes I was getting bigger
response than the host,” Hannity wrote. “Before long it dawned on
me that I ought to be on the other side of a microphone as a host
rather than a caller.”
“People say, ’I want to talk to that guy that just says what he just
said, because I loved what Ollie was doing’” Hannity recalled.707
His course in life was set.
“I’d grown up listening to Bob Grant, Barry Gray, John Gambling
and Barry Farber,” Hannity wrote. “That experience taught me early
on that a passionate argument, well made, could make a difference,
even if the person was speaking as a private citizen.
He volunteered his commentary at radio station in KCSB-FM,
the station for the University of California- Santa Barbara. It was
not a good fit, as the station did not like his politics after he
expressed opposition to homosexuality at a liberal university.
Reportedly, a lesbian caller to his program said she had a baby after
being artificially inseminated and Hannity responded he felt sorry
for her child. The university fired him, or at least banned him from
volunteering, for supposedly “discriminating against gays and lesbians.”
Interestingly enough, the ACLU Foundation of Southern
California came to Hannity’s defense. The university backed down
and told Hannity he can have his airtime, but at this juncture, he
didn’t want it.
“I was too conservative, the higher ups said, and they didn’t like
the comments one guest made on the show. So much for free speech
on a college campus!” Hannity wrote. “The station was dominated
by leftwing public affairs programs, including a gay and lesbian perspective
show, a Planned Parenthood show, and multiple shows that
accused Reagan and Bush of being drug runners and drug pushers.
The leftwing management had a zero tolerance policy for conservative
points of view and I was promptly fired.”
The northeasterner left the West Coast to go south. A talk radio
show opened up at WVNN Huntsville, Alabama in 1989 for $19,000
per year that he took, “because they gave me a microphone.” He
occasionally did a local TV debate show with liberal David Pearson,
whom Hannity described as a “fierce defender of the left.”
“When I got there, the first thing I discovered was that my New
York accent—which I never even noticed—didn’t go down easy in
the south.” But he said, “I tried to connect with callers. I read everything
that I could get my hands on, scouring newspapers and magazines.”
The program took off and was a spring board to Atlanta’s
WGST-AM, a top 10 market. Hannity moved to WGST in 1992—
as talk radio was on the verge of becoming a powerful political force
—to replace the legendary Neil Boortz, who had jumped to WSBAM.
However, because of a no compete clause in Boortz’s contract,
Boortz could not go on the air for several months on WSB. Hannity
used this time to build an audience. And it worked due in part to
Boortz’s hiatus.
Hannity became the top rated show in Atlanta, and often interviewed
Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich, the House Minority
Whip. Then, the ultimate opportunity came when he got to be the
guest host for the Rush Limbaugh Show on a few occasion, giving
him his first national exposure. After that, he was brought on as a
conservative pundit for CNN’s Talk Back Live. Roger Ailes, then
head of CNBC, liked him so much he brought him on for a few
shows on that network. He also got other TV appearances on
popular 90s talk shows hosted by Phil Donohue, Sally Jesse Raphael
and Geraldo Rivera.
When Ailes took the job running the new Fox News Chanel in
1996, he hired Hannity in September of that year to do a debate
show with New York liberal radio show host Alan Colmes. It was to
be the Fox version of Cross Fire, the long time Left-Right debate
show on CNN.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.