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Dr. Laura Schlessinger moves to Sirius/XM in 2011

DrLauraDr. Laura Schlessinger has found a new home at Sirius/XM starting in 2011.

“It’s the last bastion of uncensored free speech,” she said in an interview today. “Things are getting tighter and tighter on terrestial radio.”

She has a multi-year deal though Sirius/XM won’t specify how long.  (She is currently airing from 1 to 3 p.m. daily on 1160/WCFO-AM in Atlanta.)

Her major complaint is that there are too many political groups harassing her for every little things she says on AM/FM, citing Al Sharpton and Media Matters in particular. Media Matters posted the audio in August when she used the N-word 11 times to a caller who asked about how to respond to people who use racial epithets.

That was the last straw, she said.

“They go after my affiliates and sponsors, threaten them and boycott them” she said. “It was distracting and annoying.  It got ridiculous. I’ve had enough.”

Being called a racist, she said, was abhorrent to her. “I’ve supported inter-racial dating, adoption and marriage for years.”

Her comments about censorship echo those of Howard Stern, the often crass “shock jock” who moved to satellite in early 2006 but has not said yet whether he’ll stay when his contract is up at the end of this year.

Schlessinger, 63, said she plans to broaden her three-hour show to include interviews with experts about issues, something she rarely does now. She’ll fly into New York from Los Angeles and hold forums at Sirius/XM studios with an audience.

She already has Sirius/XM wired in her house: “I listen to 60s music.”

She also said kind words about her affiliates, most of whom stuck around even after she announced she was leaving AM/FM. “I admire the people who supported me,” she said. “I’m forever grateful. It’s too bad our society is going this way. It’s hitting Juan Williams. It’s hitting Rick Sanchez.

Though her numbers on WCFO-AM in Atlanta were modest at best, nationally she has remained one of the top talk show hosts in the country, ranking in the top 10 of Talkers Magazine estimates with 8 million-plus weekly listeners.

Though Sirius/XM has broken 20 million in subscribers and 35 million listeners, it’s unlikely she’ll be able to match that figure under the current set up.

Schlessinger, known for her espousal of marriage and stay-at-home mothering as well as her forceful mien, was a top-rated show in Atlanta during mid-days in the 1990s on what was then 750/WSB -AM. After Clear Channel-owned Premiere syndication picked her up, she was moved to Clear Channel’s 640/WGST-AM in 1999. She started live there in the afternoons and her ratings suffered. They moved her to mornings, then nights, then off the station completely by 2004. In the end, it was not a good fit.

Amazingly, nobody in Atlanta picked up her again until 1160/WCFO-AM did so in the fall of 2008.

“She never got great ratings but it was wonderful to sell,” said Jeff Davis, general manager on WCFO-AM. ” Clients recognized the name immediately.”

Davis was not pleased with Schlessinger’s actions in August because it cost him a show. “She seems pretty unrepentant,” he said. Davis is not sure who he will replace her with.

13 comments Add your comment

Adsto

November 29th, 2010
7:11 pm

This is the same woman that said she was going to retire and leave radio for good over the flack that she got for saying the “N” word . It turns out she is a racist and a liar. Years ago she refused to go to work for Viacom because Howard Stern worked there at the time. Well, Howard has been at Sirius since 1/9/2006 and now she’s going there. Make up your mind Laura, what do you stand for?

RadioGuy

November 30th, 2010
1:08 am

Tom Joyner is 10 times the racist that Laura Schlesinger is, anytime anyday!!!

The Anti-Adsto: Keeping It Real

November 30th, 2010
1:15 am

Adsto,

Actually, Dr. Laura said she was retiring from TERRESTRIAL Radio, not radio altogether.

Besides, Howard Stern’s contract with 5-year contract with Sirius ends after this December, the same time Dr. Laura is scheduled to start broadcasting on satellite.

Also, if you had finished high school, you would no to refrain from ending your sentences with prepositions, Adsto.

Obama Lovers: What Sheep!

fornic8er

November 30th, 2010
3:40 am

Dr. Laura is a bigot. As Coo-Lo would say – “forget” you!

Larry King

November 30th, 2010
9:51 am

“What’s this new thing on the N-word? Everyone’s talking about the N-word.” Yes, an actual quote from Larry’s interview with her.

hotlanta

November 30th, 2010
10:52 am

Wow my white coworker said she was making a red neck desert for Thanksgiving. Now if I had called her a red neck I would have been fired. Jeff Foxworthy made millions off his red neck jokes and white people laughed and loved it. Now if I called a white person a red neck I would be considered racist.

Tom Joyner embraces his race just like Woody Allen and Jennifer and George Lopez embraces theirs. But when Tom does it, it is a problem and threatening but when George/Jennifer Lopez and Woody Allen embraces their race it is seemed as lovely and empowering to them.

Doofy

November 30th, 2010
10:55 am

Hey! 680 The Fan is now on FM at 93.7 on your dial. Tune in to 93.7FM!

So….is WCFO picking up Dave Ramsey in January?

Real Talk

November 30th, 2010
10:55 am

@RadioGuy-How is Tom Joyner 10times the racist?
@Keeping it Real-What does Obama have to do w/this and why is that every time something comes up about race makes them Obama Lovers? You just had to get a dig in, ha!!!

Nancy Grace

November 30th, 2010
3:01 pm

@Real Talk…it doesn’t matter what the subject is about on ajc.com blogs. Somebody is always gonna through Obama’s name out. Maybe I should throw out Sarah’s? *LOL*

Sweet Mama

December 1st, 2010
11:34 am

I am just glad I will still be able to listen to her. I LOVE her. This country would be better off if everyone listened to her and followed her advice.

Anne Jones

December 1st, 2010
4:41 pm

Is Dr. Joy Brown still around? She would make a marvelous replacement. She gives advice with kindness and compassion. Dr. Laura has always been a little too full of herself.

jacky james

December 1st, 2010
10:33 pm

Enter your comments here

Auntie Al

December 2nd, 2010
11:52 am

The blogs seem sided against a comeback. I like to listen to a person, who has some directed common sense. Thank you for the info on Dr. Laura. If only my spouse would subscribe to Sirius, I would have access to a common sense female, who, unlike my neighbors, may not critique, spy and pry into our consensual married affair of over 20 years. My very vocal female neighbors openly object to me (not fully educated, hair cutting: inappropriate, personal lawn mowing: insane, and I do not respond well to them under hypnosis). State intervention is on their side… alien visits all night, every night since 2007. Good Luck, Dr. Laura! (I believe the aliens are financed by the Democrats… now for the Repubs to retake control of the purse strings!) Anyone care to share with a good shrink? If I was in Israel, or any Middle Eastern nation, this blog would be taken seriously! Listen when your kids tell you they hear voices or footsteps on the roof. Pay attention to your barking dog! This is National Security Defense! I would question Sirius more than Dr. Laura. They are probably reeling her in to keep the GREAT fantasy center stage. Terestrial uncensored free speech will probably end as Dr. Laura becomes silenced under this new contract.