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The Radio Talk Show In This Political Season



Talk radio has had a big impact on the political discussions of the last several years. Since its rise during the early 90s, political talk shows have become a popular genre. 

Most of the talk show hosts around the country are conservative. The two top rated radio shows have a conservative point of view. The third highest rated is NPR's own "Morning Edition." 

The host of “War Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Radio Show” on KBET Radio, Las Vegas, Wayne Allyn Root told KNPR's State of Nevada that his job as a conservative radio host is part entertainer and part political advocate for his choice for president Donald Trump.

"Unfortunately, in America today, politics is show business," he said, "It's about entertainment. And you've got to present your facts or present your stories in an entertaining way and a charismatic way." 

He said that is one of the reasons he likes Trump is that the Republican presidential candidate presents his opinions in a high-energy way with a lot of showmanship. On the other hand, he described the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as "boring and unlikable."

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Root is also a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His first column appears in the paper next Wednesday. His new book is “Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America – And What We Can All Do To Save The Middle Class.” 

Courtesy: Skyhorse Publishing

Miguel Barrientos is a host at KENO, a Spanish-language radio station in Las Vegas. His program is "Radio Las Voz de Nevada." 

He agreed with Root that being a talk show host means being both an entertainer and a political advocate.

"Our role in the community is to be able to get information across that you normally don't get from the regular television or newspapers," Barrientos said. 

He said his station provides an alternative to the traditional Spanish-language radio station by providing a more conservative voice. 

Dan Fritz is the program director at KBZZ, Reno. In early July, the station switched from a sports-talk format to a liberal/progressive talk format.

Fritz told KNPR's State of Nevada that the station switched formats after analyzing the market and deciding it was oversaturated with sports talk and conservative talk. He said the ideology of the station's management had little to do with the decision.

"It's difficult to program a radio station from a business stand point from an ideological perspective," he said. 

Fritz said people like to listen to compelling people talk about issues in an entertaining way, whether they're liberal or conservative.   


Wayne Allyn Root, host on KBET Radio, Las Vegas; Miguel Barrientos,  host, KENO Radio, Las Vegas; Dan Fritz, program director, KBZZ, Reno

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