“I just have to say, as a listener of Rush over the years and then getting into the industry, I will
tell you flat out; I have never been more inspired by a human being. The way he handled his
sentence, the way he handled the last year of his life. So many of us would have said, ‘where’s
the nearest beach? I’m headed there.’
Rush cared more about the audience, but he loved what he did, which kind of dovetails into this business recognition—that he stuck it out and inspired millions of people in the last year, not just the last thirty, but in the last year especially.” Jason Lewis said as the guide for Remembering Rush.
“It’s not about right or left. It’s about up or down. It’s about totalitarianism versus liberty. Those eternal values never change. And that’s why when we hear the words of wisdom from Rush, it’s apropos. It’s relevant today. You know, there’s been a lot of talk about this program, the Rush Limbaugh Show continuing, and I’m here to tell you it is going to continue. We’re going to stay on top of all of the current topics like we did yesterday, like we’ll do today, like we’ll do the rest of the week and into the future right through the end of the year. We are going to revisit Rush’s wisdom, while at the same time talking about the news of the day, while at the same time taking your calls, while at the same time taking Rush’s wisdom, and applying it today.” Lewis stated in his bold monologue as he opened the program.
The announcements of about the future of the program was brought into focus with the Rush’s wife Kathryn Adams who’s been a well respected name in political circles as a direct descendant of John Adams, who’s also been cited as one of Rush’s heroes in American history, Adams Limbaugh has been joining the program on the Excellence In Broadcasting Network for open line Fridays; it seems that Rush’s hopes have become the compass by which Kathryn, Jason Lewis, Mark Steyn, James Golden (Bo Snerdly) production staff and other legendary EIB hosts have perfected in the wake of Limbaugh’s tragic passing in February.
“These are the valuable insights, the forward thinking aspects of El Rushbo that we’re going to tap into while we cover the issues of the day. We’ll be doing this right here on the Rush Limbaugh program for a long time to come and we want you to join us every day, at the same Rush time, at the same Rush hour, at the same Rush station to hear our conversation, to take your calls and to hear Rush’s words of wisdom.”
“I just want to set the record straight on that, because there’s been a lot of misinformation out there and we’re going to be here guiding you through the travails of the day.” Lewis explained. “I think something that Rush always inspired in all of us, that we could reach for new heights, that we could create something out of nothing, and that we could work hard to pursue the American dream,” Rush’s wife Kathryn Adams Limbaugh shared on the program.
The emphatic focus on Rush’ Limbaugh’s continued commitment to change the conversation, promoting the freedoms outlined by the First Amendment to open lines of communication and to challenge everyone to use their voice to engage in even politically charged socially uncomfortable issues have connected Rush with his audience of millions and millions. Open lines and his storytelling, broadcasting excellence and background in entertainment paved the way for the ratings that grew to become legendary, dominating with the 200 million listeners and close to 600+ affiliates behind him.
Jason Lewis feels it is important to highlight the preservation of the republic and how essential the need to develop awareness and furtherance of the work Rush devoted years to through his efforts of respect the inherent elements afforded to Americans. All as a means to maintain what he felt was fundamental to making sure that the American Dream would be preserved.
The crossroads, summed up by Jason Lewis explaining the urgency of the issue as Remembering Rush guide Lewis spoke on regarding the program where the Rush guides assume the driver’s seat behind the golden mic, and Rush sits shotgun. Filling the program with the unique content from today’s news and Rush’s impassioned words from his past broadcasts for a multidimensional road trip through some of the most pivotal moments of Rush Limbaugh’s career.
“That really is the key to America—that’s what Rush was trying to preserve for those three plus decades.
I don’t want to sound pessimistic because that was his great attribute, to always put a positive spin on things. But, we’re at a crucial point here; keeping the American dream alive,” Lewis described assuming the show guide role and went on to provide a brilliant QH, while maintaining the EIB commitment to bringing the audience quality content, no holds barred.
I am grateful for the phenomenal talent and wisdom that I could glean from my conversations with who I believed to be a talent “unicorn” when I worked with him more than a decade ago: the host of The Jason Lewis Show. Someone who has been nothing but a wonderfully supportive and talented colleague from my time working in the news talk format to myself and many others. I am proud to say I still 100% stand by the initial assessment and am ecstatic that audiences have been exposed to the “candidate formerly known as Jason Lewis” (as he sometimes refers to himself on the program) I had the pleasure of working with as he brings positivity and hope to the guides that have been working on the Remembering Rush team. Lewis identified the secret that led to longtime friend and colleague Rush Limbaugh’s success, and his comprehensive understanding of the power of Rush’s focus on entertainment through humor—citing how he could reinvigorate the program and format while also perfecting the “Rush-off” method of handling critics and haters.
“The one thing they cannot tolerate is people making fun of them, or irreverence, and he did that right from the get go, and that A) captured people he might not have otherwise captured, but B) made the point in the most profound of ways, and I think that was his real secret.” Jason Lewis explained the method Rush mastered to emerge victorious every time, dismissing the source of hateful messages in a very tongue in cheek manner, armed with the honesty and humor of the iron-jawed warrior.
This was briefly mentioned on the program by Lewis as well where he spoke with a listener stating, “We cannot unilaterally disarm. That’s number one policy wise or politically, politically speaking. But number two, the politically correct notion of banning humor. Don’t ever tell people they can’t make fun of other people. That is what it means to be human.” Lewis said on the show.
“The word going forth should not be ‘nobody can tell a joke or poke fun at people.’ The word going forth the maximum should be to make fun of others and be prepared to have somebody else make fun of you. I do not want to live in a humorless society. It is exactly what’s wrong with this woke culture.” Lewis speaks with gusto of Rush’s philosophy coming through that has helped many laugh at themselves and understand there’s no harm in laughing/joking/poking fun with others.
I asked Jason Lewis about the opportunity to be one of the show guides on Remembering Rush on the Excellence In Broadcasting Network and how much it has meant to him.
JL: You bet it’s a great pleasure to be back on the EIB network although this time a bit more bittersweet with the passing of Rush. It’s simply hard to overestimate his impact on the industry and frankly on saving a.m. radio, in-particular a day part that heretofore wasn’t doing that great. He’s going to be missed greatly.
CP: What are your thoughts on the stalled efforts to bring a Rush Limbaugh Day to Rush’s home state of Missouri?
JL: Of course the state of Missouri should honor their native born he’s a radio icon regardless of your particular political opinion. He had a fantastic impact on society, the country and of course broadcasting, but more than that, it’s high time the culture starts honoring conservatives the way they honor liberals. One of the problems with getting our viewpoints out there is this cultural bias against limited government, free markets, America First, so we’ve got to get in the game, so to speak, and fight for these sorts of things so that people remember the Reagans, the Rush’s and the truth about President Trump.
As the news of a potential Rush Limbaugh Day being celebrated in his home state of Missouri stalled after passing initially in the House of Representatives, it’s clear that the legacy Rush has made on his home state is nothing lost on all Missourians. “There’ll never be another Rush Limbaugh. I mean all the people in talk radio owe a great debt of gratitude to Rush Limbaugh. Great humanitarian, great guy.” Rep. Billy Long shared about the lasting impression that Rush has had on those in his home state of Missouri.
I was alarmed at the amount of angry knee jerk reactions that my first piece on Rush Limbaugh received. I am aware that the name ‘Rush Limbaugh’ is as divisive and polarizing (if not moreso) than many of the figures that have once served this country in a public capacity and insuring their message, no matter how the opposition, is always front and center, with the mission of forging a connection with the voters. Rush has always had his lines open and attempted to take as many calls as possible. The evolutionary process of many years of consuming the political opinions of those like Rush and the partisan political news radio programming niche that he carved out and dedicated his life to, have shaped many political ideologies and beliefs. Rush striving to incite a political conversation with the country, identifying the limitations of blindly following the powers that be down a rabbithole of silence, led to the outcome of the legendary Rush Limbaugh Show. The development of a program that made a place for those who felt
ostracized, forgotten, misunderstood, feared the judgment of speaking out, wanted to expand their understanding of politics, or simply be entertained.
I thought conducting a factual, unemotional and spin-free deep dive could maybe help to explain the logic behind the piece of legislation in the mix to provide Missourians with a day to honor the legacy (that has been amended and currently stalled but not out of the realm of possibility from making it back to the floor) celebrate pioneer hailing from the state of Missouri. Rush Limbaugh Day would be observed to honor the legacy of who was an undeniable and brave trailblazing pioneer in the radio broadcasting space:
● Great message to young people that does not need or require any clarification regarding political allegiances or affiliation but rather to highlight one point—how this boy grew up like you in this state in this area and was able to make his dream come true because he was not afraid of being truthful even when you might feel nervous. This is an universally age-appropriate message that could be communicated through one of the various children’s books written by Rush and his wife Kathryn and I believe it would be relatively harmless.
● Realities of cancel culture and not actively censoring yourself because of having different beliefs or opinions on a topic than one’s peers. The seriousness of this issue for adults who’ve lost jobs, struggled to recover from a post on social media from many years ago, I think it could be a powerful message to show kids in late middle and high school that their teaching staff is in place to offer a judgment-free assessment and act a confidants in face of the inevitable teenage issues that are rooted in the similar arbitrary circumstances that impact their daily lives and eliminate the dangers of struggling while
internalizing their feelings.
● As children are in high school they are in a position where they’ve absolutely already had a “dream job“ that they fully intend on making a reality at the age of 14 but that doesn’t always pan out and the work ethic of someone’s like Rush in a competitive field like broadcasting is a powerful story of success that I think you could inspire a lot of young people to pursue internships externships summer jobs or begin their college search sooner rather than later because they have a success story from their own state that is celebrated for not just making it into the business he wanted to work in, but revolutionizing that he entirety of the operation often be to struggle under that feels absolutely paralyzing that could be too a young person wins a lifelong dream to work in media.
Rush Limbaugh Day was proposed to be annually observed statewide, though initially passed by the House, was removed from the bill that his home state had proposed for the Senate and the Missouri Governor to lawfully enact the proposed legislation.
Albeit, shut down for now, I see no issue in honoring trailblazers like Limbaugh and can see the merits of his story being told. A story demonstrating the incredible work ethic coupled with fearless commitment to stand out. Personally, I am grateful for the many jobs that have been created in the industry I began working in years ago, as it has manifested in phenomenal opportunities for people I respect and admire in this business; all while Rush continued to bring advancement to AM radio.
January twelfth each year is hereby designated as “Rush Limbaugh Day” in Missouri. Citizens of this state are encouraged to celebrate the day by participating in appropriate events and activities to remember the life of the famous Missourian and groundbreaking radio host.
On May 11, 2021 the bill was amended to include the following: “The portion of Interstate 55 from State Highway AB to Hopper Road within the city of Cape Girardeau in Cape Girardeau County shall be designated as “Rush Limbaugh Memorial Highway”. The department of transportation shall erect and maintain appropriate signs designating such highway, with the costs to be paid by private donations.”; and Further amend said bill by amending the title, enacting clause, and intersectional references
“[Limbaugh] encouraged his listeners and viewers to reach for their dreams and to push onward beyond the naysayers and discouragers that we all encounter in life,” Rep. Sara Walsh shared.
The talent at EIB, from Snerdly AKA James Golden and others who have been grieving the loss of a loved one so close he’s been identified as family. The strength that’s come from Katheryn, Snerdly, Ken, Mark, Jason, Rush’s brother, David and so many more serves as a testament to his character, as this is a crew that has embodied the epitome of strength, even in the face of some seriously hateful threats about Rush as “Rest In Piss” trended during their bereavement. I’m not sure that I’ve seen a lot of evidence to the argument that hate ever truly wins for anybody, in the end.
The elements of the unshakable faith of a music format radio talent choosing to pursue the dream he has to establish a niche format that had not been explored or tested, failed to deter his career, an endeavor that proved successful and defied the odds to grow into a fully functional dynasty, that actively would change the game, so that it could never be played the same again. The ability to overcome all of those hurdles in the face of the pressure that his professional reputation was effectively left hanging in the balance should it fail and potentially derail his promising career, fueling his fire. All in all, at Rush Limbaugh’s legacy, at the very least proves to be a great example of seizing the power of the American Dream; with nothing able to derail or destroyed his laser focus and ability to net significant results, and all within a remarkably short period of time, but that’s exactly what he did.
Rush Limbaugh’s career has effectively become known for the contribution of the partisan, niche content to blow the format wide open clearing the brush on the path that welcomed in The New Deal of talk radio—creating jobs for decades, inspiring his millions of listeners, encouraging his audience to fearlessly, unapologetically speak up on divisive issues; these lessons all a testament to the legacy that is poetically apropos—transcendent of the preconceived boundaries and limitations challenging the medium and highlighting the power that the microphone can wield.
The universality of Rush’s messaging was uniquely designed in a similar fashion that EIB had adapted—laid early on in the professional journey, the blueprints outlined the flawless design of the infrastructure streamlined the operational aspect for programmers. 600+ affiliates, and the chance to sit on the precipice of the bright future for the industry during the persistent and well-rounded strategy that focused on the long game and provided a methodical approach that would help to seamlessly function as a one stop package deal for programmers to invest in the future of their station, the potential of Rush Limbaugh and the hand in rejuvenating the landscape of talk radio. The choice for programmers presented by the syndication team in one buyer-friendly package wherein at the fingertips of market manager decisions to utilize EIB for a three hour block would result in a low maintenance investment of resources rewarding them with the unavoidable boost in ratings for the daypart. The principles all laid in the foundation on which the Excellence In Broadcasting daily program was built, and consistently delivered to the audience.
The contribution Rush Limbaugh has made to the broadcast industry is immeasurable in size and scope, and still, the impact of Rush Limbaugh’s ingenuity is still tangible. I suspect that Rush had designed what would become the past, present and future of the program with meticulous clarity at the outset. The enigmatic history of the intricately documented and unprecedented efforts of Rush Limbaugh over the years managed to morph into the very special EIB product that’s being broadcast today.
I’d be willing to bet this perhaps had been a feature built into Rush’s vision from its inception. Managing to provide the programming and production prowess of the EIB team, guides and the millions of grieving listeners through the stages of grief in a gradual, tasteful manner that is a fitting reminder that provides the audience the powerful presence that Rush has always brought to the airwaves. This presence, of course, is not going to simply disappear. In fact the golden mic has been able to offer a semblance of comfort to the show guides as a reminder that no matter what, as the decorated award winning talent, with that microphone, the sky’s the limit.
As Rush eagerly managed to fill the studio with the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning and sparkled as the gold medal of the news format, radio, innovation and confidence, the resolution that has been sought by the EIB team and show guides on the airwaves for millions of grieving listeners through the Remembering Rush format has been a powerful exemplification for the legacy that Limbaugh has made across the country.
Chrissy Paradis is a BNM columnist and veteran sports radio producer. She’s worked in Las Vegas, Washington DC, Raleigh and Hartford helping personalities such as Rob Dibble, Tim Brando, Steve Cofield, Adam Gold and Joe Ovies. You can contact her on Twitter @ChrissyParadis or by email at Chrissy.Paradis@gmail.com.
HLN Sees Uptick In Viewers Comes Before End of ‘Morning Express’
HLN sees an uptick over the holiday weekend with a marathon of the Emmy award-winning political drama “The West Wing” that originally aired on NBC.
Almost all the news outlets suffered brief declines during the Thanksgiving week (for the week ending Nov. 27). The lone cable news channel to see an uptick was HLN, which aired a holiday weekend marathon of the Emmy award-winning political drama “The West Wing” that originally aired on NBC from 1999 thru 2006.
But the positive news at HLN was short-lived as its parent company Warner Bros. Discovery began a new round of layoffs for the news division on Dec. 1. Among those let go, HLN’s long-running program “Morning Express with Robin Meade” ended after a 17-year run. For Nov. 21-25, it averaged 147,000 viewers, including 30,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research — a relatively normal amount for the now-defunct morning news show.
WBD’s downsizing also comes at a time CNN had posted its lowest-rated primetime adults 25-54 demo in over 30 years as well as its lowest-rated total day 25-54 demo since May 2014.
In the daytime, ABC’s “The View” continued to reign as its No. 1 talk show averaging 2.373 million viewers from Nov. 21-23. Its Thanksgiving Eve telecast (Wednesday Nov. 23) drew 2.591 million viewers — the most-watched edition of “The View” since Mar. 31, 2022. Their guests on Nov. 23 featured actor Kumail Nanjiani (“Welcome to Chippendales”) and legendary R&B singer Patti LaBelle (“A New Orleans Noel”).
ABC’s “GMA3: What You Need to Know”
topped CBS’ “The Talk.” and the recently-installed “NBC News Daily” (which replaced “Days of Our Lives”) for the 11th consecutive week.
“GMA3” improved on the previous week in total viewers (+2 percent – 1.615 million for Nov. 21-23 vs. 1.580 million for Nov. 14-18), drawing its largest overall audience in 4 weeks (since the week of Oct. 24, 2022) and it’s second largest of the season. Of course, the program’s recent bump in ratings may be attributed to associated tabloid fodder (link: https://pagesix.com/2022/12/01/amy-robach-and-t-j-holmes-not-ashamed-of-their-romance/ )
“The Talk” averaged 1.512 million viewers (from Nov. 21-23); “NBC News Daily” 1.2 million (Nov. 21-22).
Five Fox News Channel daytime programs also accomplished besting “The Talk” and “NBC News Daily” during this week, based on total viewers (with three of them also topping “GMA3”):
“America’s Newsroom” (9-11 AM/ET; 1.804 million)
“Outnumbered” (11 AM/ET; 1.764 million)
“The Faulkner Focus” (12 PM/ET; 1.667 million)
“America Reports” (1-3 PM/ET; 1.519 million)
“The Story” (3 PM/ET; 1.514 million)
Cable news averages for November 21-27, 2022:
Total Day (Nov. 21-27 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)
- Fox News Channel: 1.225 million viewers; 160,000 adults 25-54
- MSNBC: 0.556 million viewers; 62,000 adults 25-54
- CNN: 0.428 million viewers; 83,000 adults 25-54
- HLN: 0.174 million viewers; 38,000 adults 25-54
- CNBC: 0.118 million viewers; 29,000 adults 25-54
- Fox Business Network: 0.098 million viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54
- Newsmax: 0.094 million viewers; 9,000 adults 25-54
- The Weather Channel: 0.085 million viewers; 15,000 adults 25-54
Prime Time (Nov. 21-26 @ 8-11 p.m.; Nov. 27 @ 7-11 p.m.)
- Fox News Channel: 1.664 million viewers; 189,000 adults 25-54
- MSNBC: 0.791 million viewers; 74,000 adults 25-54
- CNN: 0.433 million viewers; 88,000 adults 25-54
- HLN: 0.238 million viewers; 51,000 adults 25-54
- CNBC: 0.208 million viewers; 55,000 adults 25-54
- Newsmax: 0.118 million viewers; 15,000 adults 25-54
- The Weather Channel: 0.091 million viewers; 14,000 adults 25-54
- NewsNation: 0.068 million viewers; 13,000 adults 25-54
- Fox Business Network: 0.064 million viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54
Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:
1. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/21/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.484 million viewers
2. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/22/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.451 million viewers
3. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/23/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.131 million viewers
4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 11/21/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.091 million viewers
5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/22/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.063 million viewers
6. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Mon. 11/21/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.040 million viewers
7. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Tue. 11/22/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.900 million viewers
8. Special Report with Bret Baier (FOXNC, Tue. 11/22/2022 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.834 million viewers
9. Special Report with Bret Baier (FOXNC, Mon. 11/21/2022 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.788 million viewers
10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/23/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.745 million viewers
22. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/21/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.951 million viewers
148. Erin Burnett Outfront (CNN, Mon. 11/21/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.769 million viewers
339. The West Wing “Hartsfield’s Landing” (HLN, Sat. 11/26/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.372 million viewers
348. Varney & Company (FBN, Mon. 11/21/2022 10:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.360 million viewers
420. Shark Tank “Shark Tank 813” (CNBC, Mon. 11/21/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.275 million viewers
643. Highway Thru Hell “(716) The General” (TWC, Sun. 11/27/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.151 million viewers
671. Newsnation: Rush Hour (NWSN, Fri. 11/25/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.141 million viewers
Top 10 cable news programs (and the top programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:
1. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/22/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.444 million adults 25-54
2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 11/21/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.439 million adults 25-54
3. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/23/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.417 million adults 25-54
4. Special Report with Bret Baier (FOXNC, Tue. 11/22/2022 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.391 million adults 25-54
5. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/21/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.385 million adults 25-54
6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 11/22/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.358 million adults 25-54
7. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Mon. 11/21/2022 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.352 million adults 25-54
8. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Mon. 11/21/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.347 million adults 25-54
9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 11/23/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.340 million adults 25-54
10. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Tue. 11/22/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.335 million adults 25-54
67. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/21/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.180 million adults 25-54
68. Erin Burnett Outfront (CNN, Tue. 11/22/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.178 million adults 25-54
201. How It Really Happened “Yosemite Mur:Evil Side Pt2” (HLN, Mon. 11/21/2022 12:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.099 million adults 25-54
230. Shark Tank “Shark Tank 1213” (CNBC, Tue. 11/22/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.088 million adults 25-54
477. America’s Morning Headquarters (TWC, Wed. 11/23/2022 9:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.046 million adults 25-54
555. Varney & Company (FBN, Mon. 11/21/2022 10:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.038 million adults 25-54
603. Newsnation: Rush Hour (NWSN, Mon. 11/21/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.033 million adults 25-54
Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research
Douglas Pucci is a Bronx native and NYU graduate analyzing news television ratings for Barrett News Media. He did an internship at VH1’s “Pop Up Video” in 1997. After college, Pucci went on to design, build and maintain websites for various non-profit organizations in his hometown of New York City. He has worked alongside media industry observer Marc Berman for over a decade reporting on all things television, first at Cross MediaWorks from 2011-15 then at Programming Insider since 2016. Pucci also contributed to the sports website Awful Announcing. Read more: https://programminginsider.com/author/douglas/
Andrea Kaye Learned Tough As Nails Attitude From Her Marine Corp Parents
“My fantasies didn’t involve radio as a kid, but they did involve my voice. And they did involve using that voice in some way to influence.”
Her mother called her ‘dynamite in a dress.’ Andrea Kaye had an explosive energy and temperament. Her mother may have been right about her daughter’s intensity, but she was wrong about the dress.
“She thought I was going to be like my older sister, in a dress, playing with dolls. I was a tom-boy as a kid,” Kaye continued. “I was riding a bike with no shoes, riding like a crazy kid, and scraped off all my toenails. Our neighbors, ‘the Reen sisters’, comforted me while Mama wrapped my feet in bandages.
“We called them the Reen sisters because all four of them had ‘Reen’ at the end of their names; Doreen, Maureen, etc. Another time I jumped off an air conditioning unit and almost bit my tongue in half. To this day, my family still laughs about that stuff.”
Her tomboy ways kept her a regular fixture at the Camp LeJeune emergency room. But even when she wasn’t getting into scrapes while playing, she got into scrapes and arguments over politics.
Also as a kid, Kaye would have intense conversations with her Uncle Jake, a Colonel at Fort Benning. “All the adults in the room would ask why he was arguing with a child,” Kaye explained. “My Uncle said, ‘Because she’s making a darn good point.’ He made me feel respected. He never treated me like a child.”
Both parents were in the Marine Corps. Kaye never seemed to shy away from being called a ‘military-brat.’ The kid was tough as nails. She brings some of that toughness to The Andrea Kaye Show, which broadcasts on Monday-Friday from 6:00-8:00 PM on The Answer San Diego.
Her mother grew up on a dairy farm in a little town near the Mississippi and Louisiana border. Not far from where Kaye went to high school, Slidell High. “Mama knew what hard work was,” Kaye explained.
Her mother worked extremely hard each day, especially after her mother Mary Lee got burned in a house fire. She had to help raise her younger sister while running the farm. “Compared to what she had to do on the farm, the Marine Corps was a vacation,” Kaye explained. “Mama has a tee-shirt that reads, ‘Not as Mean, not as Lean, but still a Marine’. Could be why she beat four cancers in three years. Not what you would call a ‘fluffy’ life.”
Kaye’s grandmother on her father’s side, worked in a textile mill in Opelika, Alabama. This was the same mill in which they filmed Norma Rae, starring Sally Field.
“With nothing but sixth grade education there weren’t many options,” Kaye said.
The work took a toll. Her grandmother lost most of her hearing and got black lung. Her dad grew up on a dirt floor and dreamed of a better life with travels to foreign lands and was thrilled to join the military as a way out. He believed in the American Dream and instilled that inspiration in Kaye.
“We’d drive around and he would show us the neighborhoods we could live in if we got an education and worked hard.”
They had a lot of love while growing up in the family, but Kaye wouldn’t call it an emotionally nurturing childhood. Marines who were battle weary and from tough and impoverished childhoods aren’t necessarily the types to coddle.
But they were the types to play lots of board games and cards, like gin rummy. Rides at amusement parks across the country were a family staple.
“We’d watch lots of movies and TV, especially musicals,” Kaye said. “Who knew two Marines could love The Sound of Music and Fiddler on the Roof so much?”
One time her mother bribed Kaye’s brother and his friends with cookies and cake if they would watch her perform songs from The Sound of Music.
“Mary Lee was my mother’s mom. She had to be tough because her husband died while my mom was in the womb,” Kaye said. “She didn’t have time to be nurturing with four kids and a dairy farm to run.”
She said Mary Lee would babysit often.
“She didn’t believe in sugar-coating for kids,” Kaye said. “One of my sisters asked her what a dead person looked like?”
Mary Lee packed the kids into the car and took them to a viewing with a dead man in a coffin and said, ‘This is what a dead person looks like.’
“You asked her a question and you got an answer,” Kaye said. “Mama was the same.”
That didn’t mean her parents didn’t love them, Kaye explained.
“They didn’t believe like today’s parents that everyone should get a trophy and everyone had to be happy every day. We were raised with the pragmatic truths of life. They were all about supporting what we wanted to do. There were no barriers to those dreams. That was instilled in my sister, brother and me.”
Kaye was born at Camp LeJeune Marine Corps base, living in the base housing Tarawa Terrace, also known as “Terrible Terrace”. They moved around a bit but settled in the New Orleans area.
“I loved everything about the military,” Kaye said. “I loved the bases, uniforms, marching, the regiment, the chain of command. I loved the military bearing and authoritative presence they had at all ranks. I was mesmerized by it all. Daddy was a Vietnam vet and when he was deployed, multiple times.
“Me and my siblings and Mama went back to the dairy farm with grandma,” Kayes said. “My father never talked about his time in the service. We had no idea what he did. My sister, Donna, who we just called Sister, asked Daddy once what he did for a living. He said, I shoot the bull all day. So when she was asked once what her dad did, she told them, “He shoots bulls.”
The mystery of the military was part of the allure. Kaye was so enamored with the military, she gave some thought to how great it would be if she could attend West Point after the family had visited. Her mother and father brought the military with them when they took a break from the base.
“Even though I love the military, I had a love and hate relationship with regiment when Dad and Mom took us on a vacation,” Kaye said. “We had to get up at 4:00am. It wasn’t like my father was harsh like the pilot Bull Meecham in The Great Santini. Still, we had a very specific way of doing things. I learned to fold clothes according to regulation”
Kaye was always interested in going to college, imagining where she might enroll. She ended up choosing Louisiana State University to study political science.
“LSU was an amazing experience,” she said. “Louisiana is like being in another country. The language, food, culture. LSU is the perfect educational community of the unique culture. I embraced every aspect possible. I joined a sorority and lived in the house. Spent Saturday nights in the famous Tiger Stadium called Death Valley, and ate my weight in crawfish. I wanted the big university experience, and I got it.”
She’d thought about becoming a lawyer, perhaps a Supreme Court justice.
“I became obsessed with politics during my teen years,” Kaye explained. “I studied political science at LSU, admitted as a 17 year-old. I also gave some thought to becoming an attorney. In my family there was a constant theme of justice, of right and wrong. I have always been fascinated by true-crime.”
Kaye said her parents were always concerned about justice, committed to their beliefs of right and wrong. Always looking to improve her circumstances, instead of working her normal summer job at Fasulo Drugs in Slidell, she got a job in the French Quarter selling timeshares.
“I was able to make more money in six or eight weeks over the summer than I’d make all year working at the drugstore,” Kaye explained.
It was then Kay recognized she had an aptitude for sales. During her third year at LSU, she decided to switch her major to business. “I’m glad I did. There’s such an intersection between politics and business. I already loved politics and needed to learn more about business.”
She visited La Jolla, California after she graduated from LSU. It was a quick vacation but she fell in love with the area, and state. After graduation she started her first corporate job with No Nonsense panty hose.
“I was going around to K-Marts and other retail stores around Louisiana,” Kaye said. “I traveled around the state. It was a great first out of college job, but not a life choice. I earned my bones at No Nonsense. It was a grind.”
She couldn’t shake her love for La Jolla and San Diego, so she quit her job at No Nonsense and moved to San Diego, where she was hired by Xerox.
“Xerox sent me to Las Vegas, a branch of the San Diego office,” she said. “You have no idea how hot it is to be in a suit in Las Vegas when the temperature is 115-degrees. Still, I’d take it over the Florida heat and the mosquitos in New Orleans.”
After a year in Vegas, Xerox relocated her to San Diego. Xerox is where she made her bones, working in one of the toughest industries, and for a legendarily tough company.
Kaye said she may live in California, but her soul is on the New Orleans Bayou.
“I love, love, love Louisiana,” she said. “Down to the core of my being. One of the reasons I left was because after the oil industry crashed, so did the economy. There was a not so funny billboard outside Lafayette that said, ‘Last one to leave, turn out the lights’. The economy had completely tanked.”
At the time she left for California, Kaye said she didn’t understand her soul connection with New Orleans. “I didn’t know how much I’d miss it. I try to get back at least once or twice a year and still have family and friends there.”
The transition from sales to media wasn’t all that difficult for Kaye. She said every company she worked for required her to do some kind of media work.
“When I was with No Nonsense, I would join radio stations on the air when they were doing promotions from a parking lot. They’d talk to anyone. I would say, ‘I’m Andrea from No Nonsense. Come and check us out.’ It wasn’t difficult for me. I just wormed my way in and identified myself and the product on the air.”
She has ‘acted’ in corporate industrial videos and some infomercials. Again, this came naturally. She ended up getting an agent.
“It’s different in New York and L.A.,” Kaye said. “In those cities you can get an agent for particular things. An agent for acting, and agent for modeling. In San Diego, they only had agents that were a one-stop-shop. You were required to do any medium the agent put you up for. You’d be called upon to audition for commercials on TV, or a model in print ads, even some acting gigs.”
Kaye appeared in one movie, Lore Deadly Obsession. The film was about real-life serial killer and cannibal Richard Chase, who killed six women and drank their blood in the late 70s. He was dubbed ‘The Vampire Killer.’
“That was the first time they used the term ‘serial killer,” she explained.
Kaye is married but never had children. “It just wasn’t my dream,” she said. “I never had the fantasy of staying home and starting a family. That was Sister’s dream, and she fulfilled it. So did my brother. My fantasies were about living a life that was different. Bigger and brighter than my folks and their folks before them. Just as each generation behind me lived a bigger and brighter life than those before.
“My fantasies didn’t involve radio as a kid, but they did involve my voice. And they did involve using that voice in some way to influence.”
Jim Cryns writes features for Barrett News Media. He has spent time in radio as a reporter for WTMJ, and has also served as an author and former writer for the Milwaukee Brewers. To touch base or pick up a copy of his book: On Story Parkway: Remembering Milwaukee County Stadium, available on Amazon, email email@example.com.
Should the Media Support Police?
BNM’s Rick Schultz writes Never has the danger to police officers been greater, and never has the thin blue line been under such attack, so where is the media?
Never has the danger to police officers been greater, and never has the thin blue line been under such attack.
So where is the media?
This past weekend, Fox News @Night hosted a discussion about public support for the police and, in doing so, highlighted a group dedicated to wounded officers and their families.
Retired Las Vegas Police Detective Lt. Randy Sutton of TheWoundedBlue.com joined host Trace Gallagher to discuss the current state of affairs from law enforcement’s perspective.
“Well, when it comes to America’s crime crisis, something appears to be missing in society and in mainstream media, covering and honoring law enforcement officers who are wounded or killed in the line of duty,” Gallagher began. “I want to know why it is that mainstream media, and that society, feels like, you know what, the war on police is not worth covering?”
“This news network is pretty much the only one that’s giving the truth out about the war on cops. Last year, 207 police officers lost their lives in the line of duty. Almost sixty thousand were physically assaulted in the line of duty, Trace,” Sutton responded. “They’ve been shot, they’ve been stabbed, they’ve been beaten. And yet, you don’t even see it in the newspapers. It’s barely covered because it’s not politically expedient for the political Left and for the mainstream media to even cover.”
Gallagher then drew attention to a graphic showing a mid-October statement from the National Fraternal Order of Police, @GLFOP, which read…
The spewing of anti-police rhetoric by some political and media figures as well as the failed policies of rogue prosecutors and judges, are placing our officers in greater danger. This culture of lawlessness must stop!
“A lot of people don’t know when officers get injured, not only is the officer affected. But the family and a lot of things change,” said Marcus Mason, San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputy, who was injured in the line of duty. “I spent about a month in the hospital, so my family had to drive to and from home, daycare, dropping off children, and doing different things to get people to work to get people to come see me and things like that. A lot of financial things are a burden put on your family. And so, The Wounded Blue was there to help my family in making those things easier. Whether it’s paying for gas or the increase in groceries and things like that, and making things easier for my family to be able to come and spend time with me.”
TheWoundedBlue.com’s mission, as stated on the website, is to improve the lives of injured and disabled law enforcement officers. They place a strong focus on de-stigmatizing mental health within the law enforcement community, in addition to providing peer support and community outreach. Their emergency phone number – (702) 290-5611 – provides “immediate trust, validation, and confidentiality, which breaks down barriers when a person is in a vulnerable state.”
Vickie Speed, whose brother-in-law was “executed in the line of duty,” joined the panel to share part of her sister’s recovery story after the violent episode.
“We got involved with Randy because he actually stepped in to help her with PTSD and trauma and I saw what he did,” she said, noting that she also lost her husband to cancer. “Just losing my husband alone, I just had a real passion to give back and not just help widows, but I’ve actually run into law enforcement that’s now retired, that’s reaching out.”
Gallagher pointed out that while the group’s mission is crucial to families recovering from such tragedies, the real shame is that Wounded Blue is needed in the first place.
“My peer team, amazing people,” Sutton said. “All of my peer team are officers who have been shot, stabbed, beaten, run over. And you know what, but I fully believe this, that the American people believe in their police and want to help. They want to have an avenue to help. And now we’re giving them that avenue by supporting these wounded officers, by going to TheWoundedBlue.org and giving what they can, can make a difference. In fact, they might even save a life.”
The question posed by Gallagher, although never definitively answered, is whether the mainstream corporate media will ever reflect the widely-held sentiment of most Americans. The feeling is that law enforcement should be applauded and supported, especially on the heels of a violent attack.
Rick Schultz is a former Sports Director for WFUV Radio at Fordham University. He has coached and mentored hundreds of Sports Broadcasting students at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Marist College and privately. His media career experiences include working for the Hudson Valley Renegades, Army Sports at West Point, The Norwich Navigators, 1340/1390 ESPN Radio in Poughkeepsie, NY, Time Warner Cable TV, Scorephone NY, Metro Networks, NBC Sports, ABC Sports, Cumulus Media, Pamal Broadcasting and WATR. He has also authored a number of books including “A Renegade Championship Summer” and “Untold Tales From The Bush Leagues”. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @RickSchultzNY.