Today national radio talk show host Neal Boortz announced live on his program that he’s retiring from his daily show and passing the torch to his friend and colleague, Herman Cain. His last day hosting The Neal Boortz Show, which premiered on News/Talk WSB in 1993 and now airs on more than 200 radio stations with six million weekly listeners, will be January 18, 2013.
“It’s time for me and my wife, Donna, to hit the road and travel in ways that we have not been able to through most of our 42 years together,” said Boortz – also known as “The Talkmaster” and “The High Priest of the Church of the Painful Truth.”
“As my listeners know, we love traveling, and the restraints created by my daily radio show commitment have kept us on a rather short leash. At present, our post-show travel plans extend through most of 2013 and well into 2014 ranging from Florida to Alaska and Antarctica. We will then figure out where to go from there.
Boortz continues, “Believe me, this wasn’t a decision I made lightly. I love this business and everything it has afforded me. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be doing my talk show for 42 years. I’ll certainly miss the listeners and callers; but most of all I’ll miss my radio family, executive producer Belinda Skelton and researcher Cristina Gonzalez. If, in your own travels, you pass us in the BoortzBus on some highway, be sure to wave.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that Neal Boortz is the best radio talk show host in America – and arguably the best to ever be on radio,” said Dan Kearney, Vice President and Market Manager of News/Talk WSB. “It’s been a privilege for WSB to be the place he’s called home for so much of his career. “
“While Neal is ending his daily radio show next year, he is not leaving the station entirely,” said News/Talk WSB Program Director Pete Spriggs. “Listeners will continue to hear from Neal via the ‘Boortz Blast,’ a daily rant on a hot topic as only Neal can deliver it.”
Boortz further commented, “Did you know you can record those on an iPad? When I give you my 90 seconds or so of wisdom every morning you won’t know if it’s coming from Monument Valley, Alaska or the Danube River. I’ll also be keeping my blog at Boortz.com and will add a special page filled with pictures and stories of our travels.”
Boortz was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania but relocated when the Marines moved his family to Texas. Like most military brats, Boortz has lived all over the place including Hawaii, California, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida.
“By the ever-loving skin of my teeth I graduated in 1963 from Pensacola High School with something like a C- average. A good collection of Polaroid photos of a member of the admissions staff opened the doors to Texas A&M University, and off I went to Aggie land. Impossible as it seems, I was a worse student at A&M than I was in high school. I finished at A&M in 1967 and came to Atlanta where I lived until moving to Naples, Fla. in 2009.”
When Boortz joined the News/Talk WSB family in 1992, he’d already been on the radio for 22 years. His first job was at WTAW-AM in College Station, Texas while he was a student at Texas A&M University. After Boortz moved to Atlanta, he persuaded the General Manager of WRNG-AM to hire him following the untimely death of morning show host Herb Elfman.
In his early career Boortz had to find other work to supplement his meager talk radio income. Before opening his law practice Boortz worked as a jewelry or carpet buyer, sold life and casualty insurance, loaded trucks, slung mail at the post office, worked in an employment office and audited the books overnight at a sleazy motel.
During a hiatus from WRNG in 1973, the former speech writer for Governor Lester Maddox enrolled at John Marshall Law School, graduating in 1977. “This was the first time in my life that I actually paid attention in school. I passed the bar exam on the first try and went into private practice immediately.” His law practice eventually focused on commercial real estate but in the mid-’80s the Boortz client list included heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield.
After 14 months away, Boortz returned to WRNG-AM staying from 1975 to 1980. He delivered commentaries on WATL-FM from 1980-1982. He joined the station he calls the “ex-wife,” WGST-AM, in 1983. “I was 47 years old before I ever had less than two jobs. At my peak I had six,” said Boortz. “A few of them I actually did well. Coming to work at News/Talk WSB in 1993 was the first time in my career that I only had to work one job.”
Herman Cain Returns
Herman Cain, former News/Talk WSB evening host and former Republican Presidential Candidate, returns to radio full time inauguration day – January 21, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Until then, Cain continues to join Boortz for their Monday and Friday 10:35am ET segments and to deliver commentary at 8:45 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. daily.
Cain said, “Neal has spent his career as a bold, vocal advocate of what is right in this world and condemning that which is not. I promise the torch Boortz is handing off to me will blaze as bright, as bold, and as loud as ever.”
Not only will Cain inherit Neal’s microphone, he’ll also inherit the Boortz syndicated radio audience.