Rush Limbaugh: The Man Who Redefined Talk Radio
Larry King was the man who made me want to become a Radio Talk Host and Rush Limbaugh was the man that redefined what Talk Radio was, and made all Talk Hosts change their style.
The superior sound of music on FM radio was killing AM radio. So, many stations around the nation that were on the AM band were about to go out of business. Then came the invention of Talk Radio. Talk was a format that did not care as much if the audio quality was a bit lower.
At first, all radio hosts tried to sound like Larry King. It was all interview-style format all the time.
The fairness doctrine was repealed, meaning hosts no longer needed to put on the opposite opinion of whatever was said on the air, and Talk Radio went to the opinion host.
This new style was sad to listen to at first. Hosts had no idea how this was done. They were afraid to voice their opinions and begged for calls.
Then came the Shock Hosts who said the most offensive things imaginable and screamed at callers before hanging upon them. People listened because they could not believe what they were hearing. But advertisers did not want to be associated with anything so offensive and the audience soon became tired of all that childish yelling.
There was a host in Sacramento California who's ratings were off the charts. He was being scouted by a man named Roger Ailes. Mr. Ailes moved Limbaugh to New York City for a local show and, after he was done with that, a national feed to all AM talk stations that would have him.
Rush Limbaugh was an overnight hit. He was provocative. Fearless. Funny as hell. He was able to deliver his opinion in the most entertaining way anyone had ever heard on Talk Radio. Ratings as stations that carried him soared so high other talk stations quickly signed on to carry his show. In some cities, local coffee shops and restaurants opened "Rush Rooms" so people could listen while taking their lunch break.
Over 600 stations carried the Rush Limbaugh Show. Numbers like that had never been seen. Decades went by and he held those ratings, they never went away.
Love him or hate him Rush Limbaugh showed talk show hosts across the nation how it was done. To this day Radio Talk Hosts still mimic his style.
Love him or hate him he proved to be one of the greatest broadcasters in the history of radio. His ratings and the love his audience had for him prove it.