If you like talk radio — everything from comedy to health to finance to politics — you have lots of choices in Tampa Bay. Unless, that is, you happen to like to listen to progressive political talk radio, in which case you have few choices. Here is a rundown of the top local and national political yakkers:
Conservative: Todd Schnitt (who is also MJ Kelli on the morning show on WFLZ-FM 93.3) is the king of the local talk-show hosts. His 3-6 p.m. shift weekdays is on 970 WFLA. Longtime conservative local host Mark Larsen talks it up on 1040 AM in the mornings.
Liberal: Rob Lorei on WMNF 88.5 FM is your only local option for progressive talk in Tampa Bay. His interview and call-in show airs daily from 1-2 p.m.
Conservative: Rush Limbaugh rules the airwaves on the right nationally and in Tampa Bay (His audience of 13.5 million Americans makes him #1 on Talkers magazine's show host list). His show airs noon-3 p.m. on 970 WFLA. The same station also has Glenn Beck (#8) in mid-mornings.
860 AM has weighed in with an all-conservative talk format change after being sold to Salem Communications earlier this year. Former cabinet member Bill Bennett does mornings, followed by Reagan speechwriter Laura Ingraham (#5 in audience nationally, according to Talkers) and conservative pop culturalist and film critic Michael Medved (#9).
The other Salem-owned properties in Tampa Bay, 570 and 910 AM, broadcast a wide selection of Christian Talk format shows, including commentator Cal Thomas, Hugh Hewitt, and Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson.
Over at 1040 AM, a duo of Fox News Channel guys broadcast daily, Sean Hannity (#2 in the Talkers list) and Bill O'Reilly. The tempered opinions (sarcasm alert here) of Michael Savage (#3) and Neal Boortz (#6) fill the rest of the weekday slots on 1040, easily the most conservative station lineup in Tampa Bay.
1250 AM WHNZ includes some politically charged talk in its health and finance format, most notably the putative family values of Dr. Laura Schlessinger (#4) at night.
Liberal: Standing alone against hordes on the right is Amy Goodman, whose Democracy Now is billed as the exception to the rulers. It can be heard every day from noon-1 p.m. on WMNF 88.5 FM. (Another exception to the rulers, arguably, is the hard-to-categorize-but-left-of-center crustiness of Imus in the Morning on 1250 WHNZ.)