In the likely event that you weren't listening, you might want to know that there have been big shakeups in Denver's conservative talk-radio world recently, as KHOW 630-AM's Mandy Connell replaced KOA 850-AM's Mike Rosen, who retired, and Ross Kaminsky took over Connell's morning show slot (which has about 60,000 weekly listeners).
It's a major jump for Kaminsky, who's been on the B-Team in Denver radio for about 10 years, subbing here and there for the starting lineup of hosts on different stations but remaining on the sidelines with his own shows. He started in radio in 2006 as a guest and then fill-in host for former KFKA host Amy Oliver, who works at the conservative Independence Institute. Kaminsky's KHOW job realizes his "dream of creating a second career in radio." (He's been a professional financial markets trader, and he writes weekly for the American Spectator.)
I asked Kaminsky via email how he'll differentiate himself from other radio hosts, whether on other stations or on the same station. For example, he's going mouth-to-mouth in the morning time slot with infamous Denver talker Peter Boyles on KNUS 710-am.
Kaminsky: I don't really spend much time thinking about that. I just do my show, my way, focusing on things that I think make a good blend of interesting, important and fun. I also think that my professional background in financial markets as well as my personal background (such as that I've visited more than 60 countries and all but 2 of the United States) gives me an unusual perspective. I'm not about a political "team"; I'm a registered independent, not Republican. I'm about ideas more than about parties, about outcomes more than who gets credit for them. I'm about freedom -- basically an Objectivist, neither a conservative nor a liberal -- though I generally have much more in common with conservatives on the issues that I care most about.
Although I'm fundamentally non-partisan I have strong opinions about which politicians and which parties are likely to be better than others.
Do you want progressives to call in?
Kaminsky: I enjoy talking to callers, especially those who disagree with me. Some of my absolute favorite conversations are with liberals/progressives, and some of my favorite moments on radio are when I can get them to open their minds to reconsidering their views, particularly on issues of economics and fundamental liberty. (I'm not a social issues conservative and find most talk radio about social issues to be tedious and unproductive unless it's really at the top of the news such as gay marriage was for some time.)
Will you conduct investigations and latch on to stories (e.g., Boyles on the birther issue, Caplis on Tim Tebow)? If so, what kind of stories might you chase?
Kaminsky: I don't think you'll see me doing investigative work, nor will I generally "bulldog" a topic for days or weeks on end unless it were something truly massive such as 9/11 -- and I hope I never face a topic that horrendous. Instead, I'll focus more on trying to make the most interesting possible discussions surrounding news and public policy along with talking about all sorts of aspects of daily life, family life, etc. My show is definitely not going to be all politics all the time. I will also endeavor to bring listeners very interesting interviews -- not just interesting guests but posing questions to them that other hosts might not think of.
Any other comments?
Kaminsky: I view my new job as a tremendous opportunity but I also realize that the people who have given me this opportunity had -- and will in the future have -- other choices, and that I can't take anything for granted. My goal is to bring such good content to the show that the ratings and revenue numbers leave management no reason to think about needing anyone else for the KHOW morning drive, which I believe is one of the premier talk show jobs in the state of Colorado. There couldn't have been a better way for me to start the new year.