A blast from my BTR past

Howard Kurtz interviewed me about five weeks ago regarding my work at BlogTalkRadio and the network as a whole. I had expected the article to come out earlier, but it’s out today and gives prominent mention of my interview with John McCain last year:

The press wasn’t paying much attention to John McCain last fall when he called Ed Morrissey from the campaign trail and spent 38 minutes fielding questions.

“You sound pretty chipper for a dead guy,” the radio host told McCain, whose presidential campaign had been all but buried by mainstream journalists. The Arizona senator joked that his wife had performed “mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.”

The radio show McCain was calling isn’t heard on the air, and averages perhaps 1,000 listeners. Morrissey’s program is one of 3,400 carried on the Internet through an outfit called BlogTalkRadio, which has quietly emerged as a populist force in cyberspace.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a national name, but it’s a great way to connect with blog readers,” says Morrissey, a conservative who has interviewed other GOP candidates. “There’s an immediacy to it, a connection greater than when you’re just putting words up on a Web site.”

I’m not sure if Kurtz knows that I left BTR, but it doesn’t really make much difference. In the article, he calls me a “true believer”, and I still am. The offer to work at Hot Air fit my goals better than being an employee at BlogTalkRadio did, but it didn’t change my evaluation of BTR as a concept or its usefulness for bloggers who want to build stronger connections to their readers. I’m glad that my departure didn’t become an issue for Kurtz’ story.

Kurtz’s article does a good job of covering the variety of hosts and direction of the network. That piece is hard to grasp, mostly because shows come and go at about the same rate as blogs, and for the same reason. People start shows and drop them, replaced by people who start new shows. Some find they have nothing much to say, and some discover an obsession to podcast they didn’t know existed.

Also, check a little further into the story to discover how Kurtz got Keith Olbermann to name himself runner-up for Worst Person in the World.