Bill Cunningham Going National
After stints subbing for Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, Bill Cunningham gets his own weekly national radio show starting Oct. 7. Cunningham will replace Matt Drudge and "The Drudge Report" on Premiere Radio Networks (owned by Clear Channel) on Sunday nights.
Drudge airs on 325 stations from New York (WABC-AM) to Los Angeles (KFI-AM), and Premiere hopes to keep them all with Cunningham, says Sean Compton, Clear Channel vice president for radio programming and a former programming executive for Cincinnati-based Jacor Communications, WLW-AM’s previous owner. Compton, son of Dale "the Truckin' Bozo" Sommers, has been a fan of Willie's since he started at WLW-AM in 1992, right out of Connersville High School.
WLW-AM will air "Live on Sunday Night With Bill Cunningham" 9 p.m.-midnight Sundays (instead of the Cunningham reruns which have aired in recent months). It will air nationally , with the final national hour often being a repeat of the first hour, Compton says. "Drudge" airs here 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Sundays on sister station WKRC-AM (550).
Cunningham will continue to do a local show 12:25-3 p.m. weekdays on WLW-AM, unlike Mike McConnell. When Premiere began syndicating McConnell’s weekday morning from WLW-AM last year, he changed from local to national topics.
Cunningham says his show will be less political than Drudge. "I try to be an entertainer, to make people laugh," he says. Sports reporter Bill "Seg" Dennison, his long-time sidekick, will appear on the national show to do NFL scores at 10:40 p.m. and 11:40 p.m., Cunningham says.
Drudge affiliates have been told that he is quitting radio to focus on his website and other endeavors. His last show will air on Sept. 30.
Willie is not a complete stranger to the national stage. He's been on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and on Hannity's and Limbaugh's radio shows, and simulcast on XM Channel 173.
So how will Cunningham do with a national show? What do you think?