Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Charlie Sykes Leaving Radio

The long-time conservative morning host of the biggest station in Milwaukee, WTMJ, is stepping down. Sykes has gotten famous nationally in the past year as a leader of the Never Trump movement. From Tom Taylor's column...

Charlie Sykes has recently wondered whether conservative talk radio “went from being the counterweight to creating our own alternative reality.” From his late-morning perch at Milwaukee’s news/talk WTMJ/620, he’s been one of the leading gatekeepers at talk radio, and now Charlie and employer Scripps announce he’ll leave at year-end. He says the decision “was not driven by this year’s political season.” He’s near the age that his father died at (63) and he says “I want to write more, travel more, and pursue new opportunities.” (He’s spent 23 years at ’TMJ.) Scripps Radio VP/Steve Wexler has “enjoyed working with Charlie since the early ’90s, and have always respected his smart, authentic approach to his show.” In the long Republican nominating campaign, Sykes has been a critic of Donald Trump, and he predicted on a recent NPR Morning Edition show that “there’s going to be a reckoning in conservative talk radio...The illusion that conservative media was about ideas has been shattered.” WTMJ’s sliding noon-3pm personality Jeff Wagner into Charlie’s 8:30am-noon slot, while searching for a new early-afternoon host. Jeff spent 18 years at WTMJ and says he’s looking forward to getting a first bite of the day’s news.