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Mike Broomhead Found a Home as Talk Radio Host

Mike Broomhead said he found a new home as a radio talker, adding he liked the platform and that it was exhilarating to cover so many topics.

Jim Cryns




If you’re gonna be dumb, you better be tough.

That’s not only my personal mantra in life, it’s the title of Mike Broomhead’s book. 

When I spoke with Broomhead, he was driving from Fort Myers, Florida to Daytona. He’d just cleared all the Disney traffic in the Orlando area, and it was 58 degrees in Orlando. But nothing keeps people away from Mickey. 

Broomhead has been in morning drive for 15 years. You can hear him on weekday mornings, 8-Noon, on KTAR 92.3 FM, as a guest host on the nationally syndicated Glenn Beck Show.

He grew up in Florida. Not Miami, Palm Beach, or even Fort Lauderdale. Broomhead grew up in the murky and beautiful areas of the state. So pristine is the land you can still see God’s fingerprints. 

“I’ve always loved Florida,” said Broomhead, who now lives in Phoenix. “I miss driving to the middle of the state. I don’t miss the ocean and beaches so much. I like the swamps. I like the redneck central Florida. There is so much agriculture. My best friend’s dad owned some produce packing houses. We’re talking about a very rural area. Florida at one point had more beef cattle than Texas. The grass is so lush. We had tomatoes growing and orange groves. It’s really something to see.

The recent devastation caused by Hurricane Ian was hard to look at wherever you lived. Up close and by a native of the area, it can be traumatic.

“My brother is a Captain in the Sheriff’s office,” Broomhead explained. “He drove me out to Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel. It’s really hard to fathom the devastation in the area.”

Broomhead said he’s confident the area will be rebuilt to its pre-hurricane condition. “It makes sense. Perhaps not everybody will rebuild who owned homes before the storm, but the area will see new people. There are so many big resorts that I know they’ll rebuild. The streets are cleared and work is already underway.”

A number of the big resorts are still closed, some had been flooded through the first and second floors. Immediately following the storm there was absolutely no power, no fresh water. The causeway connecting the island to the mainland was severely damaged and closed.

“When my brother was deployed to the search and rescue team right after the storm, his wife was home with the kids,” Broomhead said. “They had no internet or electricity, so from Arizona, I was telling them over the phone more information about their immediate area than they could find.”

The oldest of three brothers who were raised by a single mother, Broomhead got his first job by the time he was twelve. On his own by 16, he eventually earned his GED and, with dreams of being a cowboy, he moved to Arizona to become a bull rider.

Bull rider. Somehow I can’t see Hannity or Levin doing that.

“The first time you ride and you get to that eight-second whistle it doesn’t matter which bull or what your fear is, you feel 10 feet tall,” Broomhead explained. “It is the best feeling of accomplishment because it’s terrifying,” 

Broomhead decided early to go into the trades. Becoming an electrician sounded appealing. 

“I was just out of high school and knew I wasn’t going to college,” Broomhead said. “I worked since I was 12 and kind of fell into the trade. At 18, I knew absolutely nothing.”  Broomhead went to school to study to become an electrician.

He began electrical work on Sanibel Island and Captiva, cutting his teeth. 

“I did a lot of electrical estimation work and learned quickly,” he said. “I made decent money and had my own business, but I had to close it because of the economic crash of 2008.”

Even before his business went under, Broomhead had been voicing his opinions on a larger level. His brother Tom was killed in Iraq on Memorial Day in 2003, and Broomhead began to speak out at largest pro-troops rallies across the country. He was only two years older than Tom. 

“We fought like crazy as brothers do,” he said. “But we stuck up for each other. Our parents divorced when I was 14 years old. It was mom and the boys against the world. We were very tight knit and I have absolutely no regrets.”

He was called upon to debate against the anti-war crowd on both television and radio and is still highly requested around the country to speak at events. Mike joined the George W. Bush campaign as a volunteer in 2004 and has had the privilege of being the master of ceremonies for two Presidential visits to Arizona. 

For Broomhead, everything began around telling Tom’s story. 

“I was traveling with veterans groups, telling what I thought was a unique story about my brother,” Broomhead explained. “Then you get around the other families and learn what their kids did, what their siblings did. The veterans have done so much and aren’t asking anything for it.”

Broomhead was a regular caller to radio shows, still discussing the troops.

Fate decided to turn Broomhead from an electrician into a radio talker. A friend was called upon to do a shift at a small radio station and asked Broomhead to co-host. He didn’t know what he was doing. 

“She called me to co-host with her,” Broomhead said. “Apparently, I did well enough as I was asked to do a show on Saturdays for an hour. I had to learn to work the breaks, talk to people on the phone. It was so hectic I don’t recall what I said on the air.”

Broomhead felt he’d found a new home. He liked the platform and said it was exhilarating to cover so many topics that were running through his mind. 

“I was asked to speak at pro-troops rallies. I went on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox. Glenn Beck had me on.”  

In just a few years, Broomhead went from calling into a local radio show to hosting the number one morning drive show in Phoenix, as well as being a popular public speaker, TV host, and frequent guest host for Glenn Beck.

“Somebody was looking out for me,” Broomhead said. “I love what I’m doing, but I’d trade this career for another ten minutes with my brother. It opened doors, but it was laid in front of me, presented to me. It’s amazing to see what has happened, how blessed I’ve been with it all.”

Broomhead said his approach to his show and radio is, to be honest. 

“I wasn’t trying to get my own radio show, this was never anything I thought I’d do. I decided if I was going to do it, I had to take it seriously and I wanted to be honest. Glenn Beck became a good friend and I learned a lot from him. He was like a mentor. We’re very different in a lot of ways. He helped me learn the business side of things. He had a working man’s perspective.”

When Broomhead talks on the air, he said he envisions talking to some guy in a work truck. The way other announcers talked to him when he was on a job site.

“I always picture somebody listening while doing their job. We’d listen while we worked over lunch. Sometimes people get mad, sometimes they smile. My political leanings tend to come out. But I talk about issues people deal with. At the end of the day, people are just trying to feed their families. That’s the way I approach things on KTAR.”

His first radio station was very conservative and Broomhead said he was made to feel like a preacher. 

“I would say things to the listener congregation. They all believed the same thing. I think now I’m more of a missionary and I have to win my audience over.”

 He’s a conservative but not a whack-job.

“I try to be fair with people and I don’t try to take myself too seriously,” he said. “I want to understand people. I’m not saving the world. I’m not curing cancer. But I have to be compelling, have spirited conversations. I may not agree with some people but I’ll be respectful. I will ask them to come back if it has been a civil conversation. We are not going to agree on everything.”

His book, If you’re gonna be dumb, you better be tough, was written with writer and author Lisa De Pasquale. De Pasquale wrote for and wrote a piece on Broomhead.

“The publisher asked if I’d like to do a book; let me tell my story,” Broomhead explained. “I said yes, if Lisa was the person I’d work with. We talked on the phone for 45 minutes at a time. She’d tape me and transcribe my words. It was really cathartic. A lot of tears. We talked about my brother and I growing up together.” 

In the recent elections, Broomhead was called upon to host a debate in the gubernatorial election. He explained there’s an agreement with public access television and Citizens Clean Election Commission. If one candidate doesn’t show, as in this case, Katie Hobbs chose not to, there would be an interview with the other candidate. Kari Lake was the other candidate so Broomhead hosted an interview with Lake.

Hobbs, governor-elect for Arizona, refused to debate Lake saying, ‘Debating a conspiracy theorist like Kari Lake — whose entire campaign platform is to cause enormous chaos and make Arizona the subject of national ridicule — would only lead to constant interruptions, pointless distractions, and childish name-calling.”

“That’s how that interview came about,” Broomhead said. “I’ve discussed some of the election controversies. I’ve said on the air, ‘If you have a problem with voting machines, take a look at the maintenance records.’” 

Exactly. You want to check to make sure the pilot is sober before you take off.

“I’ve known Kari Lake for about 5 years,” Broomhead said. “I like her. We don’t agree on something. I don’t believe everybody cheated or was in on a conspiracy. At some point you have to say we’re moving on.”

Broomhead explained how John McCain always won by double-digits. 

“The problems tend to come from party leadership here in Arizona, inside the Republican party,” Broomhead said. “McCain was hated. There was such a disconnect with party voters and leadership. If election fraud is your lead issue, you’ve got a very small pool to draw from.”

Broomhead would like to see more agreement, or at the least more conversation. 

“It’s about right and wrong, not Right and Left. It doesn’t mean you call the other side out all the time. If you’re just chirping, it does no good.” 

Broomhead loves doing his show, but he would also love to do a stand-alone podcast. Right now they package his show into a podcast. 

“That kind of long-form platform would allow me to have conversations without constraints,” he said. “If I’m having a great conversation with someone I would love to stay with it. Extend the conversation.”

Looking back at his life, Broomhead said he finds he can become frustrated that he couldn’t do more. 

“I see people on the radio who have done well, but they give generously. I give my time when I can. I write checks when I can. I want to make a difference in people’s lives.”

BNM Writers

Airing The Tyre Nichols Video Was A Necessity

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, hard sounds to hear. But they aired.

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Far be it for me not to address this outrageous and embarrassing instance in humanity. After the videos of Memphis police brutally beating Tyre Nichols were shown on television there really seemed to be more outrage emerging from society this time than from the media, for a change. One would think that’s how we wish things to be.

In instances like this, where the video and audio images are far from brief but are instead chaptered as they unfold, there are few options other than to let them run their course. Clocks — breaks hard and soft — are out the window, just as in live coverage.

Because that’s what this was, only the live this time was us, and as we all absorbed and reacted to actions disapprovingly familiar yet somehow foreign at the same time, the impact was still becoming apparent even though we already knew the outcome.

It’s happened before.

Not always like this but we’ve seen it before, police encounters shown on the news overtakes and become the news.

It takes effect as the sights and sounds are digested, dissected, and discussed, often before their potential impact could really be imagined.

In 1991, when the Handycam footage crossed screens for the first time and we learned Rodney King’s name, we didn’t know then but we had a feeling.

We were on the right track, though as newsrooms evolved and street reporting incorporated a different type of storytelling.

I was a cop in 1991. Changes came. Some.

It’s 2023, I’m no longer a cop. Changes will come again. Some.

Turning points — or the overused watershed moments — mean just as much to the news media as they do to law enforcement.

The “why’s” that make this a turning point are more society and community based this time around than they were in 1991.

At least I think so. And I don’t think it makes a bit of difference who’s involved this time.

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, and hard sounds to hear. But they aired. Where they couldn’t air, they were described in great detail; descriptions sometimes can be worse than the real thing. Sometimes, not this time.

And they should air, they shouldn’t stop airing. This is what happened and this is what people need to see and hear and this is exactly why we are here.

Warn them, provide them with a heads up that they’re not going to like what happens next. It’s life and we show life, and we show what some of us do with it when it’s someone else’s.

Overall, I would say the news platforms held their composure, even after the videos were released. I saw, read, and heard some refreshingly neutral coverage, even from outlets where I expected hard turns into the lanes on either side of the road.

Legitimate questions were asked by anchors and reporters and much of the time, the off-balance issues were raised more by those on the sidewalks and those on the other side of the cameras and microphones.

As much as I find myself in disagreement with what I often see on the cable networks — all the cable networks — I did find a sense of symmetry watching CNN’s Don Lemon speak with Memphis City Council Chair Martavius Jones in the hours after the videos were released.

Regular protocols be damned, Lemon and producers lingered patiently as Jones, visibly overcome by emotion, struggled to regain breath and composure enough to be able to speak. Rather than cut away or move to other elements, they stood fast and it became an example of what often requires no words.

There were fewer punches pulled on other platforms as well.

The sounds of the screams, the impacts, and the hate-filled commands were broadcast through car radios.

As were Tyre Nichol’s calls for his mom. They aired. They had to.

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BNM Writers

Does the Republican Establishment Get It?

For many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections.

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In a move that seemed to go against the wishes of the patriotic American grassroots, the Republican party on Friday re-elected RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel. 

The media immediately took notice, as many on television and radio are now wondering why the party would re-elect a chairperson who has been so unpopular with the base of its party. 

Grant Stinchfield discussed this issue Friday night on his program, Stinchfield Tonight, which airs on Real America’s Voice network.

“Ronna McDaniel holds on to her chairmanship of the Republican Party. By a whopping total of — what were the numbers– 111 to 54. Harmeet Dhillon only received 54 votes. Mike Lindell 4 votes. This is proof to me that the Republican establishment is dug in,” Stinchfield — formerly of Newsmax — said. “Don’t tell me they’re out of touch. See, you tell me they’re out of touch, that implies ignorance. They’re not ignorant about anything.”

As sentiment for Dhillon grew in the days leading up to Friday’s vote, many influential politicians and party donors publicly offered her their support and endorsement. These included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), as well as donors Mike Rydin, Dick Uihlein, and Bernie Marcus.

Also on board were musician and outspoken conservative John Rich, along with the state GOP of Nebraska and Washington State. Countless journalists and media personalities, such as Charlie Kirk, Miranda Divine, and Lou Dobbs, also came out publicly in support of Dhillon. Former President Donald Trump remained neutral, not making a public choice of either of the three candidates.

For many of Dhillon’s supporters, the deciding factor was public sentiment across the party’s base.

“They’re reading the same chat boards. They’re getting the same emails I’m reading. I will literally post something about this race when I was supporting Harmeet Dhillon. There was not one comment – not one – that supported Ronna McDaniel. Everyone wanted change,” Stinchfield said, noting that the party elite saw the same groundswell of support for change.

“Now, nobody has an issue as Ronna McDaniel is some evil kind of person. I don’t believe she is. I believe, though, that she is part of the establishment. She’s been around too long as far as the establishment goes. And she’s been ingrained in doing business as usual. It’s not working.”

In making their choices known, many Dhillon supporters simply pointed to the scoreboard during McDaniel’s reign.

“Think about where we are. 2018, we lost the House. 2020, we lost everything. 2022, we won the House, but we should have really steamrolled the House and we should have taken back the Senate, which we didn’t do,” Stinchfield said. “That means we’re on a real losing track since she took over. I don’t like being on a losing track. I like being on a winning track.

“Something has got to change when you talk about all of this. So how does Ronna McDaniel get 111 votes and Harmeet Dhillon only get 54 votes, when everyone, every Republican voter I talk to said it was time for change?” pondered Stinchfield.

And even more than the losses, for many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections. The most recent example of which came in Arizona, where presumptive gubernatorial favorite, Kari Lake, was “defeated” when countless voting irregularities occurred in some of the state’s most deep-red areas.

“Under her watch, Democrats instituted a mail-in ballot scheme. That may be even worse than losing, when you talk about the House and the Senate and all these things. The fact that we now have a junk mail-in ballot scheme across the country under Ronna McDaniel’s watch is serious trouble. Very serious trouble,” Stinchfield said on Friday. “And so the reason it is is because the Democrats are rigging the system.”

For years – until Donald Trump descended the golden escalator and took the world by storm – the Republican party had the reputation of being the party of the rich. Rush Limbaugh used to refer to this wing of Republicans as “the country club crowd.” President Donald Trump flipped the narrative completely, offering a clear vision of hope and patriotism to working-class America.

Reputable polling — such as Richard Baris’ Big Data Poll — consistently showed Trump running well ahead of almost every Republican candidate during the 2022 mid-term election cycle. In other words, Trump still maintains considerably more support across the country than most of the individual Senate or House candidates experienced.

Many experts believe this is because voters still view Trump as an outsider, while they view the Republican party much less favorably.

“Let’s tell you how out of touch they are, how elitist they are,” Stinchfield said, calling out the GOP establishment. “This meeting that went on, do you know where it is? It’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch in California. One of the most expensive resorts in America. You’re lucky if you get a room for a thousand dollars a night down there on Dana Point. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel, but why is the Republican Party holding an event there? Then I went back and I looked at what RedState did. RedState went back and looked at some of the expenses that the Republican Party under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership was spending money on.

“Take a look at this. $3.1 million on private jets. $1.3 million on limousine and chauffeur services. $17.1 million on donor mementos. $750,000 on floral arrangements. Now you compare this to the Democrats. The Democrats spent $35,000 on private airfare. A thousand dollars on floral arrangements. A thousand. Not $750,000. A thousand. And the $17.1 million they spent on donor mementos, the Democrats spent $1.5 million.

“Democrats know where to put the money. It’s not giving donors gifts. Donors shouldn’t want gifts. If you give money, give money. You don’t need the fancy pin to put on your lapel.”

Following her loss, Dhillon warned her party that it must listen to the base, saying, “if we ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”

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BNM Writers

The State of the Radio Industry and Technology

“As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.”

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After writing some three-dozen columns for Barrett Media, I often hear that I don’t provide a balanced view of the radio industry. Therefore, this week, I will write about the strengths and weaknesses of the radio industry. It may be a little simplistic, but it will make sense at the end. I promise.

The radio broadcasting business continues to evolve in the digital age, with strengths and challenges to consider. One of the most significant strengths of radio is its ability to reach a broad audience. Radio waves can travel long distances, allowing local stations to reach listeners beyond their immediate area. This makes radio a powerful tool for both local and national advertisers. Radio also reaches audiences in their cars, at work, and at home, providing advertisers with multiple touchpoints. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio reaches 93% of adults in the United States each week, making it one of the most widely consumed mediums. Furthermore, radio is a cost-effective form of advertising, with lower ad rates than other media forms. This allows small businesses to reach a large audience without breaking the bank.

Another strength of radio is its role in emergency communication. In times of crisis, radio can provide important information to listeners quickly and efficiently. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all radio stations to have emergency alert systems, allowing them to disseminate critical information to the public promptly. Radio can be a lifeline for communities during natural disasters, power outages, or other emergencies, providing updates on road closures, evacuation orders, and other important information. Radio can reach remote areas where other forms of communication may not be as reliable. This makes radio a vital tool for emergency responders, who rely on it to coordinate responses and disseminate information.

Despite these strengths, the radio industry faces several challenges in the digital age. One of the biggest challenges is competition from other media outlets, such as streaming services and podcasts. The rise of these digital platforms has led to a decline in traditional radio listening, which is likely to continue. 

According to a Nielsen report, traditional radio listening among adults aged 18-34 has dropped by 20% over the last decade. Additionally, many radio stations are struggling to monetize their digital offerings, which has led to a decline in revenue. However, radio has been able to adapt by incorporating streaming services, podcasts, and other digital platforms, which allows them to reach a wider audience and cater to changing listening habits.

Another challenge is the consolidation of the radio industry. In recent years, there has been a significant amount of it, with a small number of companies owning multiple stations. This has led to less programming diversity and less market competition. This can lead to a homogenization of content, with less local flavor and less opportunity for new voices in the industry. However, many smaller independent stations have survived by providing unique and localized content catering to the needs of their community.

Despite these challenges, the radio industry continues to generate significant revenue. The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) says that radio advertising revenue in the United States reached $18.9 billion in 2019. The radio industry has been able to adapt to the changing market, with many stations now offering a combination of traditional and digital programming. The industry has also been able to monetize digital offerings by incorporating targeted advertising, sponsorships, and other revenue streams.In conclusion, the radio broadcasting business is facing challenges in the digital age, but it continues to have an enormous audience reach and role in emergency communication. 

Additionally, the industry continues to generate significant revenue. As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.

If my analysis seems a little simplistic or this column doesn’t seem like my typical style, it’s because I didn’t write it. The column was written using artificial intelligence (AI). More specifically, by the hottest tech trend these days, ChatGPT.

How hot? Here are a couple of data points from a report in Axios.

  • In June, generative AI was covered in only 152 articles. Just six months later, the topic has generated roughly 12,000 news stories, according to MuckRack data.
  • At this year’s CES trade show, 579 exhibitors were listed under the show’s “Artificial Intelligence” category — more than double of those categorized as “Metaverse” (176), “Cryptocurrency” (19), and “Blockchain” (55) combined.

ChatGPT is AI technology that allows you to have regular conversations with a chatbot that can answer questions and help with tasks such as writing columns. 

ChatGPT is what Siri wants to be when she grows up.

ChatGPT is currently open and free while it’s in its research and feedback collection phase. If it’s not perfect, it’s certainly a lot of fun. It is also quite helpful when researching a topic (as long as the information you need is pre-2021). It is much more efficient and precise than Google, any other search engine, or Siri. I find myself obsessed with seeing what it knows and can do. If you try it, you probably will be too.

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Barrett Media Writers

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