Radio Syndication’s Next National Talker…Geraldo Rivera?

Fox News weekend anchor and correspondent Geraldo Rivera has signed a deal with Cumulus Media to host 10am to noon on WABC-AM New York.  Rivera starts his new gig on January 3 replacing Joe Crummey who ended his show last week. Cumulus is hoping that Rivera, who is a Republican but expresses liberal views on issues like immigration and abortion, will broaden WABC’s audience which is best known for having the conservative heavy hitters Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

John Dickey, the co-chief operating officer for Cumulus Media, said the company’s market research indicated that “people are interested in hearing a different perspective, a different voice; a more balanced opinion” on talk radio, which is dominated by conservatives and which tends to draw older men. He said he expected that Geraldo would help WABC draw younger listeners and more women.

Rivera’s hiring is one of the first big moves by Cumulus since it took control of WABC and other stations through a merger with Citadel Broadcasting that was announced in March and completed in September. Most of the conservative talk shows on radio, like Mr. Limbaugh’s, are syndicated by Cumulus’s rival, Clear Channel. It also paves the way for Rivera to take the show to an even bigger stage than New York, national radio syndication.  Dickey may have tipped his hand when he said while “the talk show was solely for New York for now, there certainly is potential to do more.”

Rivera said his show would have two slogans, both of which highlight his differences: “I’m Geraldo and I’m not always right” and “Not red, not blue, but red, white and blue.”


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