Tom Leykis: Blow Me Up Tom!
Updated: Apr 5
Tom Leykis understands how radio works. He understands people and how they engage with radio. The Long Island kid who spent his first radio show playing Glen Pitney (and loathing it), became one of America's most renowned talk show hosts. He would go to war against other talk show hosts. He spoke in this podcast of the time that he challenged Neil Rodgers to a fight on the streets of Miami, and started off his shows stating that his show is the one, "not hosted by a right-wing wacko or a convicted felon". (The former referencing Rush Limbaugh, the latter G. Gordon Liddy who was rung up in that Watergate thing) In 2012, after radio ran into financial struggles stemming from debt, the arrival of social media, and dollars disappearing to digital, Tom started his own company called the New Normal Network. For years he would stream to his audience who had paid a subscription, proving that people were prepared to pay for premium content. Today you can now access his shows in podcast for with a few tiers of monthly subscriptions. (Also proving that you don't need Patreon to take 10% of your money if you can connect with people properly) We talked about the early days of his career, the demise of his relationship with radio, and I even snuck in a little baseball talk. As mentioned, he is a good follow on Twitter.
Tom and I also touched on this 1988 Oliver Stone Movie called Talk Radio, which was released when many of America's Shock Jocks were receiving the bulk of their notoriety. The movie was loosely based on the assassination of Denver radio host Alan Berg.
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"I really enjoyed your Tom Leykis interview. I live in Edmonton but first heard Tom when I was working in Los Angeles in 2007 when he was on KLSX.. I listened to him regularly when he had his live stream going and had the pleasure of attending a couple of his listener events. He's the man!" - Rick, (Edmonton)
"I just finished listening to your Tom Leykis podcast. This was your best one IMHO.
Mind you I'm a big fan of the Professor.
I love what he had to say and Im glad I'm on the right track preparing for the radio afterlife." - Fred (Halifax)