10 Questions with ... Steve Malzberg
February 5, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Over 30 years in talk and sports radio, including WABC, WWRL, and WOR/New York and the WOR Radio Network. Launched new syndicated and online show via Newsmax,com and Newsmax.tv in February 2013.
1. You've been doing online shows and will be online as part of the new show with Newsmax (which will also air on terrestrial radio) -- how have you found doing shows online as opposed to broadcast? Is there a difference in your approach, or in the audience you attract? What are the challenges and benefits of doing an online show?
This isn't just an online show. It's not just a "radio" show with a camera for streaming purposes. Chris Ruddy has a vision for a true, multi-platform program, and you can see it with the state-of-the-art TV studio that he has built for this show. It will sound great on radio as a radio show, but if you watch it on Newsmax, you will get a real bonus. This does present a challange, but a very exciting one. There will be a lot that I will be doing for the benefit of the viewer. There will be callers, and "callers" via Skype and Google Hangout. Guests will be video friendly where possible, and, of course, I need to wear makeup! I think we will attract the "regular "radio listener and a whole new audience who visit Newsmax each day, as well as those driven to the site from hearing the show on the radio.
2. There's been a lot of talk in the industry about conservative talk radio, and some consultants and observers have asserted that the days of hardcore conservative talk are over and the future is with less confrontational, less partisan hosts. Do you think that's what the audience is looking for, or is there still a growing audience for identifiably conservative (or, for that matter, liberal) political talk?
I don't put much stock in that. I think we are a conservative nation, with conservative values. You do not need to shout or call names to make your point. But people want hosts and shows with passion. With me, they get passion, great interviews, a sense of humor and entertainment. Did I mention modesty?
3. You've had the opportunity to interview a wide range of guests. Who was the most memorable? And who haven't you interviewed that you'd like to get?
Memorable: Probably Phil Simms the day after he won the Super Bowl with the Giants.
I would like to sit down with President George W. Bush. I'd like to review specifics of the media coverage that he received, and have him respond to it honestly. I'd show him pictures from the protests that called him a murderer, that had him in the crosshairs, that showed him with blood dripping down his face. I'd ask him his feelings about the TV movie that aired showing him being shot, while he was still a sitting president. I'd ask him about the names he's been called by the leftist media. And I'd ask him to open up about the presidency of Obama. I probably wouldn't get what I would be hoping for, because he has too much class, but I'd like to try.
4. Over the years, you've stirred up a lot of reaction in the media as well as among listeners. What do you think is the biggest misconception about you and what you do?
That I am mean and angry or that I shout. Wrong... I am PASSIONATE about what I do and the issues I am talking about. When people meet me they often say that they had expected the person from the air. Don't get me wrong, I am as real as they come, both on and off the air... I'm just different on and off the air.
5. Are you using social media in conjunction with your show? Is it a prep source, is it a listener engagement tool, is it entertainment, all of the above, none, some? Will Twitter and/or Facebook be a part of your new show?
Absolutely. You never know where you are going to find that next great story! Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Google+ are crucial sources for getting the listeners and viewers more involved in the show, and fun! My audience will be able to find me all over the web! This goes back to the idea behind the show: We are a true multi-platform program that is going to utilize every means necessary to reach our audience.
6. How DO you do your show prep? What do you use, and what's your process?
I am always watching the cable news shows. They can guide me in a certain direction. I am always searching the net, too many sites to mention. The news of the day is a must, and then I narrow down the rest by what is of interest to me. If I am not passionate and interested, then how can I get my audience into it?
7. Has the idea of someday running for office crossed your mind? Can you see yourself ever crossing over to be a candidate yourself?
I thought about running against Chuck Schumer when he was a Congressman in Brooklyn. Simply put, NO WAY. The media in this country gives those on the left a pass while going for the jugular of those on the right. Al Sharpton's past is now sealed, but every word a conservative ever said is fair game. No candidate could stand up to that scrutiny.
8. Of what are you most proud?
I am most proud of my son. He's 13 and amazing. He get's mostly A's, plays hockey and baseball, has a heart of gold and knows more about politics and current events than anyone his age. He is my life. Career-wise, 30 years all in NYC, not bad. My success in PM drive on WOR in my home town against the "cross-town-rival" was very sweet.
9. Of all the issues out there -- the stuff of which you'll be talking on your show -- pick one, and only one: What's the most pressing issue facing America right now? If you had to set a priority list of what needs to be addressed, what's number one on that list and why?
As many as there are right now, Iran, unemployment and underemployment, etc..I believe that we have yet to come face to face with it. President Obama may get two appointments to the US Supreme Court. If he replaces the swing vote, and/or a conservative, I believe with all my heart that the Constitution will be history, and so will the country as we have known it. Abortion, guns, education, affirmative action, more regulations,etc., will all go Obama's way for the next 40 years.
10. What's the most important lesson you've learned in your career?
Be careful what you say. When you talk for three or four hours a day, mostly without a script, you say things that you later wish you hadn't, or it comes out the wrong way. The best thing to do is say "sorry" as soon as you realize that you said it, and explain what you meant to say.