In a major programming move, talk radio heavyweight (and my professional mentor) Hugh Hewitt will be taking over Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated morning drive time slot, starting next Monday. The revamped Hugh Hewitt Show will air weekdays from 6-9 am ET, from coast to coast. Hewitt is widely hailed as one of the sharpest intellects in conservative radio, and perhaps the best interviewer in the business. He's gained an even larger national following over recent months thanks to his participation as a panelist at four separate CNN/SRN Republican presidential debates. He's also emerged as a near-ubiquitous presence on television, particularly as a staple on NBC's venerable Sunday morning chat show, Meet the Press, and across CNN's lineup. The announcement was made public last month:
SRN simultaneously announced that Hugh Hewitt will move from his current 6pm-9pm ET time slot to the morning slot of 6am-9am ET vacated by Bennett. A replacement for Mr. Hewitt will be announced soon by SRN...Hugh Hewitt currently airs nationwide on 343 stations and will take his program to mornings beginning April 4th, and will move to Washington, DC to do the show inside the beltway. Mr. Hewitt’s radio career has taken off in the last year with a new found love for breaking news and what to think about it. He was given an opportunity to expose his great knowledge and talents to the country when he was selected as a panelist on the CNN presidential debates. He has already conducted more interviews with the presidential candidates than any other host, and has become the “go to” show for this campaign...“Hugh is uniquely equipped to carry on the legacy established by Bill Bennett with ‘Morning in America’,” said CEO Edward Atsinger ...
“In 25 years of broadcasting on television and radio I have never been as excited as by this opportunity to build on the enormous platform Bill Bennett has constructed,” said Hugh. “It is already a show for influencers across the country, and I plan to maintain that influence, making this a ‘must listen’ for every mover and shaker in America, from a stay at home mom or dad to CEOs and government leaders,” said Mr. Hewitt...Hugh’s first morning broadcast will be Monday, April 4th. Soon SRN will announce a star performer who will join the lineup replacing Hugh in the all-important 6pm-9pm ET day part.
The full announcement includes the news that longtime SRN morning host Bill Bennett will stay on with the network as a commentator and maintain a significant on-air presence: “Keeping Bill in the Salem family, doing what he loves to do, was very important to us and we have found the perfect opportunity,” said Salem Senior VP Phil Boyce. “Bill will be a huge contributor to the morning show going forward, and has already lined up some amazing interviews that will continue his legacy." Since that initial press release was published, Salem has also confirmed that Southern California-based talker Larry Elder will replace Hewitt in the "evening drive" day part. Elder's show will air nationally from 6-9pm ET. Meanwhile, listener favorites Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved will remain in their traditional time slots across the network.
Editor's note: Salem Media Group is the parent company of Townhall Media.