most important talk show hosts

Mon Apr 17 19:59:43 EDT 2006


Not to complicate matters but I think you must indicate whether these people
were before or after 1986 when the Fairness Doctrine was dropped.  There
could be no Rush or Hannity or their ilk if it still existed today.  

Of course Rush has to be on the top of the list as the person most
influential during the post-fairness period.

There are so many, but Joe Pine for his contentiousness and Bill Balance for
his sexual undercurrents both broke new ground way before '86.

I am not sure where you would place Ed and Wendy King of KDKA, Pittsburgh
but they were, if not the first, one of the earliest teams to do talk; but
-- they did one-way talk; only their side of the conversation was heard as
they rephrased, repackaged and restated what the caller was saying. It is
tough to imagine if you never heard these two extremely bright and
entertaining people who were on the air for about twenty years. 

Was not Larry Glick a great influence over the 38 states reached by the WBZ
signal? I think many talk hosts were influenced by his creative quirkiness.
And I think that Guy Mannela (sp) was one of the first (certainly early)
sports talk hosts (before Ira Apple made him open up his show to general
topics of the day.)

Then there are those who have been influential as people either to copy or
be sure not to copy.  Larry King comes to mind in this category only because
he is now one of the rare polite and balanced interviewers who actually
seems to care about his guests and what they have to say. (See earlier
comment about pre and post fairness)

I hope you will let us read your article. (You may quote or not quote as you
see fit).


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Donna Halper
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 4:20 PM
Subject: most important talk show hosts

Folks, this is NOT an ideological question.  I've been asked to do a 
journal article (this is for an academic journal) about the most 
influential talk show hosts (past or present).  I don't care about their 
politics-- this isn't about their politics.  It's about their influence, 
their following, how they changed the genre.  So, who do you consider to be 
the most important, most worthy of being remembered for their impact on 
talk radio?  They can be right wing, left wing, secular, religious, you 
tell me, but just give me one-- or two at most, and your reason for 
choosing the person(s).  Your opinions are appreciated, and I don't need to 
quote you unless you want to be quoted.

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