Dr. Laura to XM Sirius


Dr. Laura Schlessinger is moving her syndicated radio show (which ends 12/31) on 1/3 to Sirius XM Satellite Radio, so said an AP report. She voluntarily decided to leave terrestrial radio after last August’s N-word controversy. Her Take On The Day company hadn’t made any announcements since on where she would end up. The AP story (which was later pulled with the statement, “Dr Laura story was not intended for publication on Friday”) said Sirius XM has a multi-year deal with Schlessinger.

Her current terrestrial radio show is simulcast on Sirius Channel 102 from 4 pm – 6 pm ET: “One of the most popular talk show hosts in radio history, Dr. Laura Schlessinger offers no-nonsense advice, infused with a strong sense of ethics, accountability and personal responsibility, on her daily live program.”

But come 1/3, that description may be changed a bit — something to include “No holds barred.”

In her August announcement on The Larry King Live Show, Dr. Laura apologized for using the N-word and told King that she was headed for internet radio: “I want to regain my First Amendment rights. I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special-interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I’m sort of done with that.”

Like Howard Stern, Schlessinger says freedom of speech is what attracted her to satellite radio: “The first and most important thing that appealed to me was the freedom to speak my mind without advertisers and affiliates being attacked by activist groups that just love to censor anything they don’t agree with,” she told the AP. “That just about made my heart and head explode.”

Terms of Schlessinger’s Sirius XM deal were not disclosed.

RBR-TVBR observation: So she will end up with both internet and satellite radio distribution. Certainly, any advertisers who stay or sign on with her will be likely not worried about her saying something that would offend listeners – it’s a smaller list, but one that would be hyper-targeted to her audience with little danger of being boycotted. And now she has only one station to air from, so to say, not beholden to local affiliates.