Less than a week after Air America Radio refugee Randi Rhodes signed off with her last broadcast, libtalker Ed Schultz announced that he too is ending his radio show.
Schultz began his decade-old radio program today by saying he will air his last three-hour weekday broadcast on Friday and start an hour-long weekday show accessible from the Internet on May 27, the day after Memorial Day. (Audio after the jump)
Schultz today responded to those he described as naysayers falsely claiming he is "being taken off the air," although based on his own words he is being taken off the air, albeit voluntarily. Here is what Schultz told his radio listeners about the change (audio) --
Well, let's get it done here for the last time in this format. Good to have you with us, folks, here on the Ed Schultz radio show and thank you for all your support and loyalty over the last ten and a half years, but all good things have to come to an end sometime. ... I've always said that this is where America comes to talk and the reason being is that, well, I've enjoyed your phone calls and your company and your association over the last ten and a half years on the Ed Schultz radio show.
In case you missed it, I announced last night on "The Ed Show" on MSNBC that I am going to change formats and I'm also going to change the delivery of the audio of me, and it's all on me, folks. First of all, let me clarify a few things. I own this radio show. I'm not corporately owned, I'm not owned by a group, I own this, I earned it, I owned it, I bought it, I did it, and I did what a lot of people said couldn't be done. But wait a minute, there's other people involved. There's a lot of folks that have had their mitts on this show over the years that have brought it to where it is and I appreciate it and the list is too long to name them all.
But the bottom line here is is that things change in life and I'm not getting any younger (Schultz turned 60 this past January). I mean, I feel good but I cannot be tied down to a three-hour format anymore and do what I want to do and I just want to do other things. So, being in a position of ownership having its privileges, I'm not being taken off the air as my hometown newspaper reported. There is no spin here by some of the low-rent media websites that are out there, these bottom feeders that think they know everything and I guess they don't know how to use a telephone. But this is on me and I've thought about it for a long time. I didn't think that this day was ever going to come but it's here and I am going to step away from a three-hour format and syndicated radio and I'm going to go to the Internet, because it offers me a different platform and certainly the audience won't be as big as it is right now, not to say that it's terribly huge but the fact of the matter is is that times are changing with social media, with schedules, with people, with the consumption of how people get their audio and their news and the flexibility of my schedule. So this is what I want to do.
This may surprise Schultz -- avid NewsBusters reader that he is -- but I take him at his word about this. In addition to his radio show that has aired since January 2004, "The Ed Show" on MSNBC with Schultz out front began broadcasting in April 2009. He also owns a seasonal business, a fishing lodge deep in the Canadian north alongside the aptly-named Wrong Lake, that keeps him busy every summer.
For a guy who just hit the big 6-0, that's a lot on his plate, and I'm not surprised he's cutting back. Schultz will still get to pontificate, over the Internet and on MSNBC, and do that much more of what he dearly loves, which is fishing, based on how much he gushes about it.
Something else Schultz talks about a lot -- conservative dominance of talk radio. His loathing for Limbaugh and Hannity borders on the pathological and he's railed incessantly over the years at the alleged obstacles that prevent liberals from gaining more influence in the industry. Will it cross Schultz's mind at all that what he is doing is a textbook example of why this disparity continues?
Update: Schultz's radio show ends tomorrow, but with a guest host, so his last show actually hosted by Schultz aired today.