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New WGST morning host Michael Smerconish meets Obama

President Barack Obama speaks during a radio interview with Michael Smerconish in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Barack Obama speaks during a radio interview with Michael Smerconish in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

I spoke briefly this morning with the new WGST morning host Michael Smerconish for the first time. The syndicated host out of Philadelphia was riding the high of interviewing Pres. Barack Obama for 30 minutes yesterday.

“It was a huge coup for me,” he said. “I was thrilled.”

Read the transcript here.

GST just added Smerconish a few weeks ago, replacing local man Randy Cook.

The man sounds philosophically like Neal Boortz. (Smerconish admitted not knowing much about Boortz.) He’s pretty liberal (or Libertarian) on social issues. He has nothing against gay marriage or legalization of pot. But he’s a hawk on foreign issues including terrorism and is pro death penalty.

Is that enough to give him an edge in the mornings? It’s tough given how few people are now listening to GST pre-Glenn Beck and how little marketing GST will likely set aside for Smerconish. And much of the talk-radio audience in the South is socially conservative as well (which is why Boortz seldom talks about social issues.)

And unlike Boortz, Smerconish did go against conservative doctrine last year by endorsing Obama. Given his popularity in Philadelphia, his thoughts likely had some influence in that swing state. And that’s probably why he got the interview yesterday with the president.

“They know I’m not going to shout him down and call him a Socialist,” Smerconish said. “It’s not the type of program I run. It has never been.”

Smerconish said to me that he finds Obama very likable, though he knows many of his fans don’t agree.

“I’m a person who has decided opinions,” he said. “But I’m very hard to categorize. I don’t fit into any box. My politics are not talking points. I’m not an ideologue.” He is disappointed in the way the Republican party has gone, especially on said social issues.

He said his radio mentor isn’t the Rush Limbaughs of the world. Rather, it’s the sardonic Larry David, creator of “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Off camera, he joked with Obama about whether he had read the Book of Secrets in the film “National Treasure 2.” “I would tell you, but I’d have to kill you,” Obama joked.

He also was happy to have Mike Vick join the Eagles. This gives him another Atlanta-Philly connection to work with. But of course, he has to stick with the Eagles and Phillies over the Falcons and Braves. (”I’m a Phillies season ticket holder’).

Hometown connections are hometown connections!

He does plan to visit Atlanta next month.

9 comments Add your comment

G.Hobbs

August 21st, 2009
1:02 pm

Let’s see. No comments. No listeners. No one cares. Hand picked by the White House to lap at the altar of Mr. Obama. Do us a favor Clear Channel – - render WGST in spanish. Zzzzzzzzz. No mas.

R. Bloomquist - ex WGST PD

August 21st, 2009
1:58 pm

As much as my claim to fame in Atlanta is getting Tom “The King” Hughes and Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson off the Atlanta airwaves, even I would not have put this clown on WGST.

Chuckie D

August 21st, 2009
10:45 pm

Michael Who???

Let’s see—he endorsed Obama and of all the talk radio hosts, Michael Who is selected to interview “The One”. Just a coincidence, I suppose?

mike mangan

August 22nd, 2009
10:11 pm

Being an out of towner here in metro Charlotte we have had Michael S fill in time to time when Bill O,Reilly was on assignment.It was always welcome releif when Bill O returned Then Bill just as Bill decides to do daily talking points so we had a choice of either Michael S or Fred Dalton thompson we chose Fred here at Newsradio WSTP and he plays quite well in the south with his tennesean drawl and knowledge of where all the bodies are buried in DC..Has WGST looked to Eric Mancow Muellar for the morning show or is he already pulling great numbers at another radio station in Atlanta.Our old Big WAYS Charlotte buddy Scott Slade continues to be Atlanta,s most listend to morning voice.Good luck to the guys who replaced John boy and Billy years ago on the Old WBCY FMhere in Charlotte I know that a Randy and Spiff atlanta reunion will be great for Atlanta Radio.By the way John Boy and Billy still play well here at clear channels 99.7 The Fox even though CBS infinity own the market here with four of the top five stations in the ratings and Randall Bloomquist former haunt WBT am&fm the other that stays in the top five.

crazydiamond

August 24th, 2009
4:00 pm

I have not listened to WGST in the morning since … I don’t know when. I will give this guy a try, Just entertain me without too much bluster.

G-Man

August 24th, 2009
9:13 pm

What a great way to start the day than listening to Smerconish from 6-9am everyday on WGST. His show completes my day of good talk radio. I start with Smerconish, then switch to Boortz until 1PM, then switch to Rush until 3PM, then it’s a toss-up between Dave Ramsey and Hannity to finish the day. If I’m out and about even later, I listen to Mark Levin and/or Herman Cain, then late night with The Savage Nation. HOORAY FOR GREAT TALK RADIO IN ATL!!!

peter tinkham

August 26th, 2009
5:15 am

I gotta go …. you’re killing me!

Bob

October 2nd, 2009
8:26 am

Go to theconservativebeacon.net and listen to Josh Price’s interview with The Kimmer, that is when the afternoon drive home radio was great.

Jon

January 8th, 2010
11:15 am

Smerconish tries to appeal to conservatives but in reality he is a liberal Obama supporter. He is very clever in leading the audience to his viewpoint while playing both sides of an issue. Obama should consider hiring him now that Smerconish even convinced conservatives in the Philadelphia area to vote Obama rather than that old man McCain leaving doubts to listeners that McCain could even live another four years and then Palin would become president! The fear factor works.