Veteran conservative radio host Charlie Sykes is hanging up his microphone in December after 23 years on the air – in part because he is just one year younger than the age at which his father died.
"This is not a decision that I made either lightly or recently, and it was not driven by this year's political season," Sykes said Tuesday on Milwaukee's WTMJ Radio.
"I made this decision more than a year ago for both professional and very personal reasons. My father died when he was 63, and I will turn 62 this year, so this year has always been circled on my calendar.
"Frankly, if I was ever going to make a move, it was now. While I am stepping back from my daily radio duties, I intend to remain an active voice. I want to write more, travel more and pursue new opportunities."
Sykes, who made waves this year by declining to back Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, will also forfeit his weekly television show "Sunday Insight" at the end of 2016.
Sykes, who broadcasts his daily talk show from WTMJ studios was described by the station as "one of the most well-known talk show hosts in the Midwest" and "a key political voice in Wisconsin."
Sykes is also a nominee for 2016 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for Personality of the Year.
During his reign, Sykes has raised more than one million dollars for the "Stars and Stripes Honor Flight" and is creator and editor-in-chief of RightWisconsin.com.
In his refusal to back Trump in the 2016 presidential race, Sykes told Fox News' "The Kelly File":
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"Donald Trump is a serial liar, a con man who mocks the disabled and women. He's a narcissist and a bully, a man with no fixed principles who has the vocabulary of an emotionally insecure 9-year-old. . . .
"I've cautioned my fellow conservatives, you embrace Donald Trump, you embrace it all. You embrace every slur, every insult, every outrage, every falsehood. You're going to spend the next six months defending, rationalizing, evading all that."
In a blog post Tuesday, Sykes said:
"Twenty-three years is a long time to do a radio show and most hosts don't get to go out on their own terms. So I'm lucky to have had that chance . . . But it would also be fair to say that this campaign has made the decision easier.
"The conservative movement has been badly damaged; obviously the conservative media is broken as well. So this is a good time for step back, sit down for a while, and ask 'What the hell just happened here?'"
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