(August 18, 2010) Dr. Laura Schlessinger was reached minutes after making her startling announcement on Larry King Live that she was giving up radio at the end of her current contract, which ends at the end of the year. “I’m taking back my First Amendment rights,” she said. “It can’t happen if I’m on the radio.” Dr. Laura said the First Amendment is in jeopardy anytime special interest groups can put pressure on affiliates to drop her or for sponsors to pull out in order to silence her. She went on to say, “I have a problem with special interest groups wanting to silence people they don’t agree with and I decided that I could be stronger and freer if I stop radio.”
A week ago Dr. Laura said the ‘N’ word several times. She was so upset with herself that at the end of the hour she put on a ‘Best Of’ show and the next morning owned up to her mistake and apologized.
Dr. Laura has been on the radio dispensing advice since starting at KWIZ in 1976. Over the years she was heard on 710/KMPC, KABC, KWNK, a long run at KFI, and most recently at KFWB.
“I’m going to miss my listeners but I’ll be able to reach them through the Net,” explained Dr. Laura. But she reiterated that she was done dealing with groups that tried to silence her and others they don’t agree with. “I’m going to reach America another way.”
The decision to end her radio run was not a snap decision. “I had been thinking about this for a year,” she said. “I just talked with Mark Masters [head of her syndication firm, Talk Radio Net] and he said they just signed up this week in the midst of all this, five new stations. And Premiere Radio Networks got more sponsors this week right in the middle of this week and I was told that I didn’t have to do this. I tried to explain and I think I finally did get some understanding that it isn’t a matter of I have to but a matter of I want to. I’m looking forward to being freer and stronger to say my mind without censorship and without fear. I’m really excited about that.”
Dr. Laura will fulfill her contract with TRN and continue to do shows until the holidays at the end of the year. “Believe you me; I am really excited about this. Friday morning I sat at my desk and I said, ‘I’m done with this.’ I’m not retiring, I’m too young. I’m not quitting. I’m just going to do this in a venue that’s free of the fears and destruction and the silencing attempts.”
She reiterated what she said on Larry King. “I didn’t call anybody a bad thing. I used a word that was offensive and apologized for it before I got asked to apologize. The point is I didn’t have the intent to hurt anybody and for this they want me silenced. That’s not America. Trust me, it is the beginning and it’s not America. I’ve decided to get my voice out there in a way that can’t be silenced.”
Ed Krampf, CBS/LA vp/market manager told Gary Lycan at the OC Register: “Laura’s people gave me a heads up earlier in the day. She just wanted to make sure I knew. I plan to talk to her Wednesday. Right now, I want to let the dust settle. I like her. We have had a very good relationship and we supported one another. She lived up 150 percent in her commitment to us. I thought she did a very good job of conveying her reasons and her position and reiterating her apology.”
Sam Rubin writes about Dr. Laura's announcement and a time when he was interviewed to replace her at KFI: http://blogs.ktla.com/samrubin/2010/08/why-i-dont-believe-dr-laura.html