Leaner, Cleaner, Simpler – 2017 and forward!

Oh how much difference a year makes!

Last year at this time I reported to you about the status of 4 of the 5 broadcast entities that I hold responsibility for, and for reasons that I will explain, none of those entities any longer exist. But growth was aggressive this year and the results proved it. More on that in a bit as well.

Last year at roughly this time I was able to tell you that we had moved the late night show up to afternoon drive here locally on AM 970 The Answer. Pretty much everyone was happy with the move. Advertisers got a much better time slot. The station picked up a big, white hot show that was locally produced, and of course the audience numbers were bigger. We rebranded/imaged the content away from the “Late Night” persona and fought like mad to step up the pace. Our new focus began to reinforce the findings  of some study work that had been done on our audience. This in  addition to rolling into an election year we had intense interest! We were given an opportunity to shine and we tried as best we could to take advantage of the opportunity. And towards the end of our first full year in the timeslot, and focusing on the things that our audience study told they wanted we enjoyed the most listened to single hour of the day for the station for two of the final three months. In measurement by cume and in share we have consistently tripled what had previously been in the timeslot previously. We are by no means satisfied and ramping up additional strategies to promote, attract, and deliver what talk radio listeners need.

In addition our Syndicated work continued to grow, and in fact we had the largest expansion of syndication we have had in more than three years. More than a dozen additional television markets, and more than two dozen radio affiliates picked up our products.

More on all of this as we go along.

AM 970 The Answer also saw some additional weekday changes due to the untimely knee injury of New York legend John Gambling. Between his grandfather, own father and himself the John Gambling show had been on the air in New York consecutively in excess of 90 years! We miss John but wish him well with his recovery and with all the playtime he’s getting with his grandkids now. The new line-up for AM 970 since runs like this:

The line-up runs:
6am – Joe Piscopo
10am – Mike Gallagher
1pm – Dennis Prager
3pm – Michael Medved
5pm – Kevin McCullough

An astounding line-up and a quick pace. Join Us Daily. http://am970TheAnswer.com

Another change taking place today:

With the audience growth of afternoon drive on AM 970 at 5p and the continued consistency on AM 570 at 3pm our sales team has begun to utilize the power of both station’s dayparts to add revenue. In addition to hosting the talk show on AM 570, I’m also the daypart host for the entire afternoon drive on the station. Hence I literally am on both stations as the PM drive host against each other. But considering all the other non-traditional ways I’ve been creatively inserted into almost every on-air possibility, this seems normal to me now. When you add up the amount of commercials endorsed, newscasts produced, daypart hosting, anchoring of our special cause campaigns, and the actual hosting of talk shows, mine is the most heard presence on the cluster of two stations.

The Kevin McCullough Show (nationally daily syndicated) is in as high a demand as ever, releasing daily at 4pm EST, and covering for a national audience the biggest stories of each day. The biggest markets – Los Angeles, Phoenix, DC, and Atlanta release at 5pm EST.

Over time seeing the effect of the synergy between the two daily broadcasts, cross promoting the efforts of each, it sort of hit me that the task was being complicated by two many different “brands.” In reality the shows are in essence the same–a look st the breaking news of the day through the lens of Kevin McCullough. My job is to ensure they know what is happening since they last tuned in, what it means to them, and why THAT matters. When you combine that effort with my desire to obliterate confusion, amplify truth, and to pursue clarity, I realized we are making the process harder than needed.


Hence as of 2017 we will pare down the number of “talk shows” and in their place–Monday through Friday–create sort of an endless stream of content. “Kevin McCullough Radio” will replace both “The Kevin McCullough” as well as “After Hours with Kevin McCullough” and narrow our focus even more on reporting the breaking news of the day/minute and provide even better for our listeners “what it means” to the listener and “why it matters.” And when we are off air, the resource to keep “Kevin McCullough Radio coming will be found online and via social media.

With the election of 2016 finally behind us. Breaking news and front page stories will dominate the conversation as opposed to a primary focus on politics. My Monday-Friday team is excited about this and we are all gearing up for the pace this will put on all of us.

The News That Makes You Think” will now be powered by “Kevin McCullough Radio” having been picked up by two more networks and now has 1200+ affiliate releases each day.

Baldwin/McCullough *LIVE* — This broadcast came to an uncelebratory end, after about eight years. And in its place is an infant broadcast that works to draw an audience via television as equitably as it does the long term radio listenership of Baldwin/McCullough *LIVE*.


Radio Night LIVE — This broadcast took the timeslot of Baldwin/McCullough. Adapting the highly successful imaging and format from the previous “Late Night with Kevin McCullough” the show focuses on a humorous, sometimes tongue in cheek, irreverent look at the news and news makers of the week. The popular “Ladies Lounge” feature was carried over as well–featuring the voices of brilliant women in media. The house band is The Hot Sardines who had helped us beat up the cold NYC late nights previously as well. The response to the new show has been as strong as any work we’ve ever launched – 15 new television affiliates (most in major markets) and an additional number of new Salem Media Group radio markets as well. We stand in teasingly grateful for the supportive team at BizTV, SalemMediaGroup, GCN Radio, and the extended affiliate family we are unable to name here. The new show has expanded the footprint of what was already the most syndicated live weekend radio talk show in production. The staff has expanded from 4 to 7 persons and the feedback we continue to receive confirms this signature product of our portfolio is still a hot performer!

Digital Listenership has also become a high priority for us. Given that every station we are on (for the overwhelming most part) has begun to use digital streaming, given that we are now podcasting every episode of every show, and given that TuneIn, IHeartMedia, iTunes.com, ChristianRadio.com, ConservativeRadio.com, GCNLive.com, all have track of separate streams it is nearly impossible to know exact numbers on who is where. But that’s not to say that we aren’t able to track some, and what we have uncovered is just humbling. On my two primary stations in New York alone, we fluctuate between 200-300k streams per station per week–this includes all doorways into the station–apps, websites, and the aggregators. On the CRN network they report 750k-1,000,000 streams per month. Obviously those numbers are network/station-wide so our portions of them are much smaller. Our podcast archives are seeing dramatic growth. Since the launch of our SoundCloud page we’ve seen an increase year over year since the first month of 5000%. More than 112,000 individual users have or are using the archives at any given time. And our podcasts have been promoted on more than 1400 different web-page urls, and more than 300 individual listening apps. (And none of that includes any numbers for iTunes which Apple does not release.) This also doesn’t account for any viewership live via our television partner “BizTV’s” digital delivery, nor any of our numbers of online viewing each Saturday Night via UStream.


TheBingeThinker.com – The online home of all things written editorial from me went live last year. A couple of exciting developments from its first year online. The first is that dozens of my columns on news or political editorial went viral. The second is that we have launched two additional verticals of editorial and will aggressively be promoting them equally to the op-ed in 2017. “Resource Startegies” focuses on helping readers access the massive brain and knowledge of some of the best people I have access to from every area of life. A food motivated vertical will also look at varieties of food and various subsets of subjects. We are also adding writers for these verticals and if you have interest in joining us we’d b eager to take a look at some of your work.


FoxNews — Many have noticed, and a few have asked, “Are you a regular contributor on the FNC now?” To be very clear about imagethe exact parameters of everything: “contributor” is a very tricky word in the hallowed halls at Fox. And though I am now a weekly guest/commentator on the News Channel, I am not yet an official contributor. My name came up in the conversation of those who make those decisions, and we prepared the materials needed for the application process. I will keep you posted as no one would love to be a contributor at the most watched news channel than yours truly. None the less if you perceive that I have been contributing a great deal of commentary to FoxNews mostly on Happening Now weekday mornings, you would be correct. Usually Wednesdays or Thursdays you will find me cheerfully disagreeing with a bevy of center lefties and attempting to get clarity mixed into the equation at every turn.

Final Tally — For now, and we know this number will move soon, but with the new networks, stations, digital users, podcast downloads, and the limited metrics we can see, we are confidant that we have never reached as many people as we are now. Unique radio outlets now being reached number 787+, daily affiliate releases of any single piece of content we produce 1780+, digital universe total reach 900k-1.2m per month, television affiliate households reach 66 million households. Put a different way, there is no day of the week content we are making isn’t being heard or seen.

At the beginning of this new year I want to pause, reflect, and thank YOU for making all of this possible. I also renew my solemn commitment to you to do all of it to the very best of my ability and to the highest quality that can be found in talk radio! With the headlines screaming out for someone to try to make sense of it all, I am eager to man my post and help you–each day–for the coming year–do just that!.

Thanks for joining me, thank you for your prayers (I will never view them as mere platitudes) and here’s to many more hours spent together on television, internet, smart-phone, tablets, and of course radio!

Talk, talk, talk…

When I was a kid I dreamed of doing radio. 

When I was 8 I built a broadcast transmitter out of an old CB my grandfather let me have and would “broadcast” every afternoon after school.

When I was 14 I got an actual on-air gig board-oping and doing the weather forecast twice an hour at a 100,000 FM station in Dallas on Saturday nights 6-midnight.

When I was 19 I was producing morning drive at a 100,000 FM in Chicago. And at 21 was hosting late mornings.

At 25 I locked in to talk radio and I was done! As in a cooked goose. I never have wanted to do anything since. 

At 31 I got my first full time talk gig in Market 3. The date? September 10, 2001.

I was on-the-air for 9 hours the next day.

At 33 I got called to the mound in Yankee land. Felt I literally had gone to media paradise.

Five years ago I was honored to crack the Heavy Hundred of Talk Hosts for TALKERS magazine. 

I’ve been increasingly humbled to know that my toil is not in vain.

At 4:30am EST I begin selecting news for a series of newscasts that now populate stations on multiple networks, more than 600 affiliate releases in all.


At 3:00pm EST I talk to the greatest city in the world for the early side of rush hour. 

At 5:00pm EST one version of me addresses Southern California and the nation.


At 5:00pm EST the live version of me continues the breaking news and passionate pursuit of clarity in New York.

At 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm, 12am, 2am, & 4am one version of me continues the conversation to the nation.

On Saturday night in 300+ cities on radio, and in 44 million TV homes I get to laugh, poke fun, and let go of the week that was in news.

What’s funny is all this journey later and I’m still broadcasting in the afternoon, and hanging out on-air on Saturday nights.

Today TALKERS named me to the top 40 talk hosts in the nation for the 4th year in a row.

This year I’m proud to say I’m friends with an overwhelming number of the Heavy Hundred and very proud that 11 of my Salem colleagues made the list as well!

In addition for more than 36 months in a row we have ranked in the top 11 according to audience size.

I love what I do! I’m grateful to get to do it! 

And am truly grateful to get to work under the direction of the two most legendary NYC Radio Execs ever: Phil Boyce and Jerry Crowley.

Both of whom teach me daily how much more I yet can learn, can grow, and can become.

Thank you to every single one of you that listen and that let me into your lives.

I’m more grateful than I can even express!

And I want to keep giving you what you’re looking for: the pursuit of clarity!

Thank you so much!

Communication University: Ideas vs Labels

I’m not sure why I started pondering it. I was on the stage at a recent Talk Radio conference. And while it held a significant portion of the industry within one room, it wasn’t open to the public.

Just the Salem Media Group family doing what we hadn’t done in over a dozen years–get our local and national hosts in one room–and discuss how to sharpen our skills as talkers in a blitzkreig news year that is happening fast and furiously.

My role within the setting is kind of odd. I’m not a newbie, even though I’ve only been back on the Salem airwaves a bit more than three years.

My boss–the man some would say–and I’m one of them–who is the most successful programming mind for talk radio in the nation–Phil Boyce had asked me to sit on a panel. The panel would demonstrate the far reaching diversity of the voices we have on air within the Salem ranks.

Two Democrats, Two Republicans, Three Independents, A former member of Saturday Night Live, A former host of local television in Cleveland, Three former producers (for other shows) who have since all gone on to make their living doing their own shows now, A former Buddhist, An agnostic, A pistol packing mama–who was homeschooled in Oklahoma, A former New Age guru, A former hippie, A New York daddy–who was homeschooled in Texas, A man who does Sinatra impressions, and another man who I believe to be the world’s greatest living impressionist.

Phil Boyce was to moderate the panel. Certainly enough diversity on the panel to envision a conversation about seeking to do great radio to reach the biggest faith, family, and values audiences in the nation.

Phil’s questions were spot on… Given that Salem Media tries to reach certain demos, how can we do that, be people of such varying diversity and differences and be successful with the mission. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of comments our fellow industry colleagues gave us complimenting us on how we made them think.

You see I don’t live in one of the Bible Belt markets. I’m in the belly of the beast every day, and one of the things I was able to say to the crowd gathered was: always know who you’re audience is–not who you WANT them to be. The second point I was allowed to make on the second round of questioning was: always be genuine. Listeners spot phonies–be who you are.

Much of the panels throughout the day also focused on how to get a message of faith, families, God, nation, and recovery across to people that disagree.

I have ideas about that.

I have them for two reasons.

1. I do an abundance of broadcasting daily speaking to many different audiences. In fact it hit me as I sat there, I was the only host in the building that does a show on all three levels of what was represented there. With a daily national reach, a daily local Christian content–faith driven show, and a drive time hard core newstalk afternoon broadcast. On the weekend I talk to the nation again in what attempts to be a funny-let-your-hair-down Saturday night poke at the news.

2. I also have achieved some level of success on all levels. Even at the conference colleagues asked my advice or opinion on a feature or bit or idea for their shows. I guess considering I’ve just celebrated my 31st anniversary since my first job in radio, some people think I might have learned something along the way.

One of the things I HAVE learned is one that I believe in the election cycle before us cannot be understated.


One of the mistakes that talk radio tends to make over and over and over again is the lazy option of positioning discussions, issues, and personalities by labels.

Ive done it, and find myself sometimes still doing it.

But I want to change that, and have been diligently working to do so for a few years now.

Using labels allows us to be relegated to insignificance, and our enemies to marginalize us without having to have an honest discussion. And if you don’t care about convincing anyone of anything, you’ll be happy as a clam.

It seems many in talk radio like that position.

I don’t.

I refuse to give 4.5 hours a day of on-air time, hours more of prep, hours to commute to and from studios, slogging bad weather to get to a microphone, if all I get to do is spin wheels, and refer to people as “dopes.”

Because anger is easier than humor, and few people are funny to begin with, and even fewer are funny and still a decent human being, the on-air resorts to what comes easiest for him/her.

Given that I’m also not against anger, if what I’m dealing with is merits genuine moral outrage (remembering that being genuine is lesson one.) But I also know that the human ear has only so much tolerance for anger before auto-tune-out occurs.

Which is why talk radio would do itself a huge favor if the talent would invest their time in learning how to tell better stories.

Note that my paragraph describing our diverse panel required labels to give you an immediate picture of who was there.

But had you been in attendance you would have walked away with an amazing reality that we–all the very different voices on that stage–could care about and work with another in the business of communicating IDEAS.

When you discuss the implications of state entitlements vs personal choice you open a different door to the participants in that conversation than when you label democrats evil and republicans selfish.

The truth is there are flaws in many ideas and the very best ideas should continually be pursued. Some who are left of center in their viewpoint dislike the free market of ideas because when their idea loses merit, instead of admitting truth and going back to work on attempting to perfect their thinking abilities, they label the person who exposed the weakness in the idea, and when that doesn’t work they shut down the discussion completely.

In the 2016 race one third of Americans will identify as Democrat, a little less than a third will identify as Republican. Leaving a little more than a full third to be courted and convinced.

And if our discussions centered on ideas vs labels it might well be more than that third that might be swayable.

But it depends very much on the soundness of the ideas being presented and how well those ideas rise on the basis of the inherent truth found within them.

Friends you don’t have to be in talk media to use this lesson effectively — and even make a difference in this year’s election.

Talk about ideas as much as possible.

Use labels as seldom as needed.

Watch the depth of your discussions deepen. And watch minds be opened to, and perhaps even change… Right before your very eyes.

Obama: “I’m brilliant… No guns for you!”

I don’t know about you but my ears have grown weary with the amount of condescension we have endured–from a man who is in essence our employee–for the last 8 years.

Even when announcing his executive orders, commenting how he can see the second amendment “on the paper” (a fact he sounded as though he wished he could change.) Then going on to say that has taught “constitutional law” and that “he knows a thing or two about it.”

The hubris was met with satisfactory affirmation there in the East Room of the People’s House. But across the airwaves (see above still shot) he just looked angry.

So with that as his opening context he proceeded to list a series of events we are all intimately familiar with, said some words about how awful those experiences were–as if we hadn’t lived them–and announced initiatives to add restrictions to the ability of law-abiding people to purchase guns, while announcing zero initiatives that would’ve had any impact on the awful situations he had just taken the time to retrace for us.

After all the hype, urgency, anger, and all-to-convenient alligator tears–he finally had given us the pressing gun reform he had promised for such a long time.

In reaction to today’s announcement by the President, I felt it was important to offer some genuine fact-based analysis and response to a government that attempted to further swipe freedoms from law-abiding people.

I was told by some community leaders, pastors, and law enforcement that it was the best “unpacking” of the matter by anyone in the media today.

Those were very kind and encouraging words to hear, but I will let you judge for yourself. All I want to do is to help people think more clearly.

Listen and weigh in on the comment section below.

And if you’d never want to miss another broadcast. Please go here: http://soundcloud.com/KMCRadio and subscribe for free!

An Amazing New Chapter in Clarity…

In the constant growth of a media career there are times I have looked back and asked what would’ve happened if I had not met that person, gone to that event, experienced that moment, or learned that lesson.

There are many in the media business that are mostly focused on “being” (the biggest, the most influential, the king maker, the road others must go through… On and on), but my friend I want to be about the “doing.”

Because there is work to do.

Because justice has been forgotten, goodness has been mocked, morality labeled as hypocrisy, and a thousand other elements of life that are upside down, backwards, and far from where they should be.

That’s why–my friend–I want you to journey with me. It’s not about telling you what to think, it’s about improving our ability TO think. And beyond that to exact wisdom upon a culture.

Winning elections is only effective if the character of the people involved lives up to the billing.

But doing goes beyond influence. It involves standing when no one else stands with you. It involves speaking when others attempt to drown you out. It involves showing up when everyone else has given up.

“Obliterating confusion” means calling spades spades but also seeing past the charades even in our own lives.

“Amplifying truth” is a desire that we never fully satisfy yet are always striving for.

And “Pursuing clarity” is one of the most vital pursuits the human mind can seek.

And while I claim to do none of them perfectly, I’m praying that YOU as a co-journeyman with me will adopt them as your life’s call.

In our world, our nation, our politics, our home, our marriages, our families, our careers, and hobbies, in all of them we can stand a bit more clarity. We could use decisively more truth. And we will never get there without deciding to obliterate the confusion around us.

So welcome.

Welcome to The Binge Thinker!

It’s my hope that you find this to be a place online and in your daily community that you gain more than you give. And love as much as you learn.

I look forward to the journey!