Industry News

Jerry Springer Dies at 79

Jerry Springer, the controversial television and radio host whose eponymous TV program ran for 27 years starting in 1991, died on Thursday (4/27) at age 79 after a battle with cancer. Springer’s TV show was savaged by critics for its exploitation of the seamy side of American culture, but it was a ratings sensation in the daytime television battles. Springer’s personal background was interesting. A child of holocaust survivors who was bornim in London, Springer got a law degree from Northwestern University, served on the Cincinnati City Council before exiting in a prostitution scandal, returned to the Council a year later and eventually served as mayor of Cincinnati. He ran unsuccessfully for governor of Ohio as a Democrat. He moved into television news and won regional Emmy Awards before debuting his own soon-to-be-a-hit TV show that began as an issues-oriented program. Springer was part of the Air America liberal talk radio experiment during the early 2000s in which he hosted the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET show. In 2005, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian (who then was special features editor for Inside Radio) interviewed Springer. Read his interview here. Also, author, professor, and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan included Springer in a chapter of her book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016). Read that excerpt here.