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Charlie Sykes Stepping Down From WTMJ

Charlie Sykes 620 WTMJ Milwaukee RightWisconsinCharlie Sykes will retire from his daily 830am-12pm show on Scripps News/Talk 620 WTMJ Milwaukee at the end of the year.

Sykes, who has hosted the mid-morning slot on WTMJ since 1993, will also leave his Sunday morning television program on WTMJ-TV. He will remain as editor of RightWisconsin.com, that he created in conjunction with the stations. Jeff Wagner will move up from the 12pm-3pm timeslot to Sykes’ 830am-12pm slot starting on January 3, 2017. A new host is being sought for the 12-3pm show.

Sykes has received much press in recent months as being one of the few conservative voices to come out against Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and questioning the conservative media’s role in it. Sykes, however claims that this campaign did not have a role in his decision to step down.

“It has been both a pleasure and honor to work here,” said Sykes. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to be a part of the momentous changes that have taken place in Wisconsin over the last two decades. This is not a decision that I made either lightly or recently and it was not driven by this year’s political season. I made this decision more than a year ago for both professional and very personal reasons. My father died when he was 63, and I will turn 62 this year, so this year has always been circled on my calendar. Frankly, if I was ever going to make a move, it was now. While I am stepping back from my daily radio duties I intend to remain an active voice. I want to write more, travel more and pursue new opportunities.”

WTMJ host Charlie Sykes will step away from his daily radio show and weekly television show at the end of 2016. For 23 years, Sykes has hosted mid-mornings on WTMJ. He also has been the host of “Sunday Insight” on Today’s TMJ4. During that time he has been one of the most listened-to talk show hosts in the Midwest and he has shaped the political conversation in Wisconsin. Beginning in January, current midday host Jeff Wagner will move up to 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. with a new show to be announced for 12-3 p.m.

“It has been both a pleasure and honor to work here,” said Sykes. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to be a part of the momentous changes that have taken place in Wisconsin over the last two decades. This is not a decision that I made either lightly or recently and it was not driven by this year’s political season. I made this decision more than a year ago for both professional and very personal reasons. My father died when he was 63, and I will turn 62 this year, so this year has always been circled on my calendar. Frankly, if I was ever going to make a move, it was now. While I am stepping back from my daily radio duties I intend to remain an active voice. I want to write more, travel more and pursue new opportunities.”

“I’ve enjoyed working with Charlie since the early 90’s, and have always respected his smart, authentic approach to his show. I know his audience appreciates that, too,” said Steve Wexler, vice president of Scripps Radio.

“Charlie Sykes is one of the most talented broadcasters in America. His voice is not only an important one in Wisconsin, but across the country. His daily impact has influenced public thought for decades,” said Tom Langmyer, vice president and general manager of WTMJ and WKTI and vice president, news/talk/sports programming – radio for The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP).

Sykes was a nominee for the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for Personality of the Year.

Sykes recently published his eighth book, “Fail U. – The False Promise of Higher Education” and is already at work on his ninth, a look at the future of the conservative movement. His previous books include, “A Nation of Victims”; “Dumbing Down our Kids”; “Profscam, The Hollow Men”; “The End of Privacy”; “50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School”; and “A Nation of Moochers.” He was co-editor of the “National Review College Guide.” His political commentary has been featured on CNN, NPR, CSPAN, ABC, PBS, Fox News, Bloomberg Television and he is currently a contributor to MSNBC. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Weekly Standard, Commentary, and a host of other publications.

During Sykes’ career at WTMJ, he raised more than one million dollars for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight and supported WTMJ’s Kids2Kids Christmas Program and other station and community initiatives. In addition, he created and served as the editor-in-chief of RightWisconsin.com. RightWisconsin.com is an online community that distributes the conservative perspective on the day’s news through a website, audio, video and a daily newsletter.

Jeff Wagner, current early mid-afternoon host, will move to 8:30 a.m. to Noon. New programming will air from noon to 3 p.m. The search for a host for the midday program has begun. WTMJ will announce the new lineup before the end of the year and the new host lineup will debut on Jan. 3, 2017.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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