Radio is the perfect medium for political commentary — especially on the drives to and from work. It doesn’t require any visuals — just a commentator espousing his views on whatever happens to be the subject of the day.
It’s as though someone is reading the guest column section of the daily newspaper, for you to either smile knowingly and nod in agreement, or shake your fist at the radio dial as you call the commentator an idiot. It’s great fun either way.
Here are Newsmax’s picks for today’s top 12 over-the-air influencers of conservative public opinion.
No. 12: Joe Pags: Joseph Pagliarulo, known as “Joe Pags” to his listeners, was born in Amityville, New York, but his family eventually moved to Florida’s Palm Beach County, which is where he began his radio career. He eventually branched out into television, taking him to stations in Michigan and New York.
He returned to talk radio with “The Joe Pags Show” via iHeartMedia, which is now broadcasted on Newsmax TV.
No. 11: Larry Elder: “The sage from South Central” began his broadcasting career after working first as a lawyer, then as the founder and director of a legal executive search firm.
He began his broadcasting career with PBS in a series called “Fabric,” which was later renamed “The Larry Elder Show.”
He began his talk radio career in 1993 with a Los Angeles station. In 2015, the Salem Radio Network picked up “The Larry Elder Show” for syndication.
No. 10: Dana Loesch: The longtime host of “The Dana Show” and staunch defender of the Second Amendment began her talk radio career in 2008. Soon afterwards, Radio America picked up “The Dana Show: The Conservative Alternative” for national syndication.
During the 2016 GOP presidential primary season, Loesch supported Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, but after the election, she became one of President Donald Trump’s most "passionate defenders," according to The Atlantic.
No. 9: Mike Gallagher: The media host and personality got his start in radio at the age of 17 by talking his way into a Dayton, Ohio, radio station, and he never looked back.
After bouncing around the country at various stations, he launched “The Mike Gallagher Show” in 1998 and has since played host to numerous nationally recognized Republican politicians, including Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.
No. 8: Chris Plante: After working for CNN for 17 years, Plante moved to radio with WMAL, which serves the Washington, D.C., area. Cumulus Media announced that “The Chris Plante Show” would be nationally syndicated by Westwood One shortly afterwards.
Plante often fills in for other conservative talk radio hosts, including Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh.
No. 7: Hugh Hewitt: “The Hugh Hewitt Show” is nationally syndicated by the Salam Radio Network and broadcasts on the covered weekday “drive to work” times, from 6-9 a.m.
Although trained in the law, Hewitt covers a wide range of subjects such as culture and entertainment, in addition to law, politics and government.
No. 6: Dennis Prager: In addition to hosting “The Dennis Prager Show,” which is heard on nearly 400 stations nationwide, Prager launched Prager U, a series of 5-minute YouTube videos that instructs viewers on a wide range of subjects, each presenting a conservative view.
He recently co-starred with conservative comedian Adam Carolla in the feature length documentary film, “No Safe Spaces,” which discusses freedom of speech and university “safe spaces.”
No. 5: Howie Carr: Boston-based commentator Carr, like Joe Pags, was picked up to run on Newsmax TV, which began syndication of one hour of Carr’s 4-hour weekday show.
“The Howie Carr Show” has ben running since the 1980s and was initially syndicated by Entercom Communications. Carr left them in 2014 to form his own company.
No. 4: Glenn Beck: The founder the TheBlaze, Blaze TV and Blaze Radio, Beck started out in radio in 1983 but didn’t really get into talk radio until 2000, when he launched “The Glenn Beck Program” in Tampa, Florida. Within a year, he took the station’s afternoon time slot from 18th to first place.
Two years later the show went nationwide. By 2008 his voice reached out to 280 stations plus XM Radio. Today he can be heard on more than 500 stations via his company's own TheBlaze Radio Network.
No. 3: Mark Levin: Temple Law graduate Levin spent years as a guest on other talk radio shows before launching his own, “The Mark Levin Show,” out of WABC in New York City in 2002.
It’s syndicated nationally by Westwood One and reaches approximately 400 stations and seven million weekly listeners. Levin also hosts “Life, Liberty, and Levin,” a weekly show on Fox News, and is a frequent author of books on constitutional issues.
No. 2: Michael Savage: Host of “The Savage Nation” on radio, Michael Weiner, known to his radio listeners as Michael Savage, is also a frequent Newsmax TV contributor and writes a Newsmax column called “The Savage Minute.”
In March, Trump appointed Savage, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, to sit on the board of directors of the Presidio Trust. The agency oversees the preservation of San Francisco’s Presidio, a former U.S. Army fort turned national park located near the Golden Gate Bridge.
No. 1: Rush Limbaugh: The undisputed king of talk radio throughout the political spectrum, Limbaugh was honored at this year’s State of the Union when First Lady Melania Trump presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
He broadcasts each weekday from his Palm Beach oceanfront estate on what he calls the EIB, or Excellence In Broadcasting, Network. 2017 marked Limbaugh’s 50th year as a radio host, and 2018 marked his 30th year hosting “The Rush Limbaugh Show.”
Limbaugh told his radio listeners in early February that he had developed advanced lung cancer. He announced late last month that he was entering his third round of treatment.
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