Meet the “Young Guns” Transforming Talk Radio

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With 70-year-old Michael Savage off the air, program directors are scrambling to replace his content – and they’re finding Free Talk Live (and its audience) to be younger, hipper and freer. They'll be at the New Media Seminar in Los Angeles today to meet with station managers, fans and other talk show hosts.

Ian Freeman and Mark Edge, Free Talk Live Co-Hosts

Do you want to be ranted at by your crazy right-wing grandfather? Or would you rather have an actual discussion with rational people? We think radio audiences would prefer the latter which is why we’ve structured our show a little differently.

Talk radio has a reputation problem. Viewed as an aging format with an old audience and an even older set of show hosts, talk radio is in desperate need of new voices to attract new listeners. Fortunately, a recent shakeup in the industry has opened the doors for station managers and program directors to blow the dust off of the status quo: Michael Savage is out, Free Talk Live is in.

There are a variety of reasons why Free Talk Live is attractive to audiences and program directors alike: for one, the hosts are about half the age of the reigning kings of talk radio. Its audience also skews significantly younger than the average talk radio demographic, thanks largely in part to its massive podcast following. Hosted by 41-year-old Mark Edge and 32-year-old Ian Freeman, who recently topped Hollywood Reporter’s list of up and coming radio personalities, the show is gaining the ground its competitors are losing.

“We’re breaking a lot of the rules of talk radio, and our audience seems to love us for it,” said Mark Edge, co-host of Free Talk Live. “They said opening up the phone lines would be a disaster. It isn’t. They said not to give away content for free – we do. They said you have to pander to either Republicans or Democrats, and we don’t. Listeners are responding well to our liberty-based messages of decreasing the size and scope of government while increasing personal freedom.”

Edge and Freeman will be attending the New Media Seminar in Los Angeles this week and will be participating in the “Modern Day Pioneers” panel discussion. And pioneering they are – Free Talk Live isn’t afraid of going where other talk radio shows won’t, and the differences are apparent from the first few seconds of the show.

“Do you want to be lectured and ranted at by your crazy right-wing grandfather for three hours straight every day? Or would you rather have an actual discussion with rational people? We think radio audiences would prefer the latter, which is why we’ve structured our show a little differently,” said Freeman, who is one of the Young Guns of Talk Radio named by Talkers Magazine.

The show, which airs live from 7 PM to 10 PM seven nights per week, is nationally syndicated on 114 radio stations and two Sirius XM channels. Listeners can submit “Show Prep” to the Free Talk Live website, or just call in to talk about anything from abortion and police brutality to school choice and the ethics of voting. Every now and then, somebody will call in with crazy conspiracy theories to keep things interesting. The last six years of show archives can be downloaded for free via their SoundCloud page.

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Kari DePhillips
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