Inquirer columnist, former Daily News contributor and syndicated radio host Michael Smerconish announced today that he will be switching platforms, lauching a new daily show on satellite radio service SiriusXM.
"The Michael Smerconish Program" will air on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S, starting April 15. Smerconish will no longer be on the 80 terrestrial stations, including Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, where he currently appears locally. The show will run from 9 a.m. to noon daily. Smerconish says he will continue writing, as well.
Why the switch? "The appeal for me is the type of platform," Smerconish told me. "The talk radio landscape has become very ideologically-driven since I’ve been in the business. That’s not the type of program I deliver. I'm convservative on some things, but plenty of things I just don’t have figured out and that’s not the norm. That’s not how it used to be. When I cut my teeth at [Philly station] WWDB, personality mattered. Now it's ideology."
The talk radio listener has become "too old, too white, too male and too angry" for Smerconish. "We’re relying on a very a narrow group of listeners but they’re not growing a number and we’re not making any effort to grow them," Smerconish said. He does not see that changing in the future. The move to SiriusXM means reaching a different audience.
Sirius, which has 24 million subscribers, approached Smerconish about the deal, selling it to him by saying that the P.O.T.U.S. station is "politics-focused, current events-focused but you’re not going to be surrounded by people kicking the s--- out of Obama whether he deserves it or not," Smerconish said.
Smerconish does not see his style changing. "I like the front page news but I also like s---- and giggles. People will ask for your inspiration in radio and they think I’ll say [radio legend] Paul Harvey. But my inspiration is ["Seinfeld" co-creator and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star] Larry David, who finds humor in the conversations of everyday life. My eyes are always open looking for that one conversation that you’re going to talk about over coffee with your coworkers."