It’s official: Joe Walsh inaugurates WIND talk show

The only votes Joe Walsh needs to worry about now will be the ones counted by Arbitron.

Salem Communications announced Thursday that the former congressman has signed to host a Monday-through-Friday talk show on WIND-AM (560), the conservative news/talk station marketed as “AM 560 The Answer.”  Confirming a report here last week, his show will air from 7 to 9pm, starting March 25.

“There are few politicians in Illinois or anywhere in the country that garner as much attention as Joe Walsh,” Jeff Reisman, general manager of Salem Radio Chicago, said in a statement. “Joe is an outspoken defender of freedom, and because of his firsthand experience in Congress, he brings a unique perspective to the national conversation as our country searches for answers during these challenging times.”

To accommodate the addition, WIND will follow Walsh with syndicated hosts Mike Gallagher from 9 to 11pm, Dennis Prager from 11pm to 2am, and Hugh Hewitt from 2 to 5am. The rest of the current lineup will remain intact.

Walsh’s deal, negotiated by agent Steve Mandell, could lead to national distribution, depending on how the show performs in the ratings locally. But for now, Walsh needs to prove he can pivot from being a provocative guest to a capable host.

Still sounding very much like a politician, Walsh said Thursday: “We're at a crucial point in this country, and I'm excited to take the debate right to listeners throughout Chicagoland via the airwaves. The radio program will be a great platform to help grow a freedom movement which is already gaining momentum right here in Illinois. I intend to do with this program what I did as a U.S. congressman — speak plainly, speak directly, not worry about political correctness, and engage in respectful, engaging debate with all viewpoints. This is just too important of a time for all of us to do anything less.”

Walsh, 51, a Republican maverick and tea party firebrand who served one term in Congress, began talks with WIND after he was defeated for reelection by Democrat Tammy Duckworth in November.

In the latest Arbitron survey, the station ranks 34th in the market with a 0.6 percent share of listeners and a cumulative weekly audience of 178,400.


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)