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The Mt.Rushmore of Radio

by Jerry Bader

Yeah, this one is shop talk, but I share it with my audience because of the Rush Limbaugh omission. I'm not denying what Howard Stern has meant to the industry; he's a giant. But if you're going to pick one or the other, Stern or Limbaugh, it's laughable that Stern would win out and this has nothing to do with the content of their respective shows.

Rush Limbaugh created a radio format. He was the first conservative talk radio host after the death of the Fairness doctrine, which had prohibited such hosts on the radio. His success led to other conservative talk shows which, by the mid-1990's, created the conservative talk format. And that format, despite the dreams of those who wish it would go away, continues to thrive.

The closest you can come to that type of impact on the industry is the creation of the rock and roll music format, and that took several high profile DJs. And...you can argue that NBC pioneer David Sarnoff is a better pick than Paley. Although that one is close. Marconi is a slam dunk, of course.