Mike Huckabee Talks TV, Radio Career, Mulls Political Future

by Kate Knable  on Monday, May. 6, 2013 12:00 am  

Mike Huckabee said he has to consider how long it will take to make his daily radio program “hopefully disgustingly profitable.”

Former Arkansas governor and rising media personality Mike Huckabee is contemplating his future, including the return on investment of his year-old syndicated radio show.

“Within the next month, I’ll decide if I want to continue it or not. I know we will, but it’s just such an incredibly intensive process that I really have to decide that I want to spend that kind of time…,” he said.

“I’ve got to always weigh how much time I’m putting in it and what the return is. How long it will take to make it what I call hopefully disgustingly profitable. That’s what one always hopes for in a deal like this.”

Huckabee’s resume is familiar, especially to his fellow Arkies: two-term Arkansas governor, 2008 Republican presidential nominee and current radio and TV personality with a syndicated daily radio show, a weekly Fox television gig, several published books and some Web projects.

Huckabee talked last week with Arkansas Business about his media presence.

“The Mike Huckabee Show” is a weekday, three-hour radio show. The show is syndicated through Cumulus Media of Atlanta. It airs nationally on about 225 stations, including 10 in Arkansas.

The live show can require up to 10-hour workdays, Huckabee said. A typical day starts at 4:30 a.m., with show prep happening from then until he goes on the air at 11 a.m., with possible breaks for reading local newspapers while on an exercise bike or for taking his dogs on walks on the beach.

The show is broadcast from Huckabee’s home in Florida, where he has a radio studio that doubles as his “man cave,” he said.

“I love doing the show. I love the ability that it affords me to connect to people right then and there. You know, radio is so immediate. It’s one thing that I’ve always loved about radio,” Huckabee said. “If something starts happening, you immediately not only can start talking about it, but listeners can begin calling, being a part of any discussion within seconds after a breaking news story.”

Huckabee began picking up radio experience in about 1968 as a teenager in his hometown of Hope (Hempstead County), where KXAR-AM, 1490, is now among the Arkansas stations that air “The Mike Huckabee Show,” according to Mark Keith, KXAR spokesman. The station dropped fiery right-wing talker Rush Limbaugh in favor of Huckabee’s show live.

“The show, I think, evoked a lot of interest in our radio station,” Keith said. “I think there was an enormous amount of folks wanting Mike Huckabee as opposed to Rush Limbaugh. Mike Huckabee has a nice, lower-key approach. When Mike Huckabee came, we heard good comments. He’s a hometown boy. He’s well liked.”

(What are Huckabee's plans for 2016? See Mike Huckabee for President — Again?)



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