Industry Views

Sabo Sez: Try It, You’ll Like It

By Walter Sabo
CEO, Sabo Media Partners
A.K.A. Walter M Sterling
Host, Talk Media Network

imThis week, I started a five-night show on Audacy’s WPHT, Philadelphia. Thank you, market president David Yadgaroff. Because of my tenure in the industry, I received a flattering, humbling number of emails from colleagues in radio. THANK YOU. The support and encouragement are appreciated and certainly needed!

There was a pattern to the notes beyond the kind thoughts for my future. Almost every note hoped that the example of my show’s non-political content would compel other broadcasters to stop their political speeches and start a broader, real-life focused conversation. These emails were from CEOs, program directors, news directors, owners, and hosts. My response is, why me? If the note writer believes broader content would be good for their business, why don’t they put it on the air, today?

It would be fun to speculate on the answer to that question. It would also be pointless because the real answer is…  just do it!

Radio executives love to copy success. I am mystified by why they are copying failure. Almost all politically focused talk stations are declining in audience and gaining in demographic age. Daytime TV talk shows cover much broader topics that capture younger demos, are growing in audience and, as a category, generate $5 billion in annual revenue.

Broader topic menus work well. Thanks to enlightened owners, my company has launched many stations and hosts that are not political. Of course it works, life is what your target listener is discussing with their friends right now. Follow my example. Your audience will grow, and you’ll generate more revenue.

(EDITOR’S NOTE:  Walter Sabo will be appearing on a panel discussion titled, “Beyond Politics” at TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond on Friday, June 7 at Hofstra University on Long Island. For information, click here.

Walter Sabo has been a C Suite action partner for companies such as SiriusXM, Hearst, Press Broadcasting, Gannett, RKO General and many other leading media outlets. His company HITVIEWS, in 2007, was the first to identify and monetize video influencers. HITVIEWS clients included Pepsi, FOX TV, Timberland, Microsoft, and CBS Television. He can be reached at His nightly show “Walter Sterling at Night” is debuted this week on WPHT, Philadelphia. His syndicated show, “Sterling On Sunday,” from Talk Media Network, airs 10:00 pm-1:00 am ET, now in its 10th year of success.