Why I’m leaving radio forever

This is something that might be of little note and relevance to many of you, but I’m going to share it because you’re a part of this story, whether you realize it or not.

Millions of people read this blog every month. Only a small percentage listened to my radio show; in fact, I’m not sure that most of you even knew that I had one. In any case, I did. Emphasis on did.

As of tonight, I no longer work for WLAP in Lexington, Kentucky. As of tonight, I’m leaving radio — terrestrial AM/FM radio, anyway — for good. My contract has ended, and I’ve decided not to pursue another radio gig — here or anywhere. I am nothing but thankful for the time I spent in this business, and at WLAP especially. Yes, these are the cliches one typically utters in this situation, but that doesn’t make them any less genuine. WLAP took a chance on me, gave me a show, gave me the freedom to handle the topics in my own way, and surrounded me with a highly intelligent and passionate supporting cast. I’m grateful for that, as these things are certainly not a given in this industry.

It’s not easy for me to walk away from radio. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life in this business; it’s a part of me now. That might seem like a strange thing to say, but this industry has been an integral part of my formative, “young adult” years. I didn’t go to college. I didn’t travel overseas and study abroad. I simply got into my car at the age of 20, drove to a small town in Delaware, and found a job introducing Metallica tracks overnight on the local rock station. I stayed in a tiny, roach and mice infested apartment, struggled to keep the lights on, and worked hard to earn my 16,000 dollar a year salary. And I loved it.

I didn’t love the roaches, and I didn’t love the poverty-level wages, but I loved going to bed every night dreaming of things to come. I didn’t have very many friends out there, nor much of anything that might have resembled a social life (not that I could have afforded one anyway). I spent my free time reading books about history and theology and politics, and writing long essays that nobody would ever see. I wanted to have something worthwhile to say to people, and then I wanted to say it to a huge audience; I wanted to develop my message and get it out to millions of people. I wanted to climb to the top of the radio mountain, and then use it as a platform to reach into other forms of media.

That’s all I thought about back then. I mean, ALL I thought about. Which was beneficial, because otherwise I would have thought about how pathetic it was to pay for gas with dimes and quarters, and to call the power company to set up a payment plan because you can’t afford to give them 60 dollars all at once. And I would have thought about how much I hated standing out in the cold, doing humiliating “remote broadcasts” in exciting locations, like car dealerships and hardware stores.

I realize this isn’t exactly a story of harrowing hardships, but neither is it a story of fun and frivolity.

Fast forward eight years to present day.

Something strange happened.

My goals — all that stuff about having a huge audience and getting my message out to millions — it happened. Just not in the way that I expected. It came out of left field, and it had to smack me in the face repeatedly before I even noticed it.

This website.

Between three and five million people read it every month. This month I might hit close to seven or eight million. There’s no frills to this. No gimmicks. My site isn’t even professionally designed (although that will change). I just write how I feel about things, and people read it.

This is the avenue for my message and the platform for future opportunities that radio never was, and maybe never could be. In the last few months, I’ve been approached by some of the biggest conservative websites and blogs on the internet, asking if I’d like to work with them. People in media who I respect and admire (a small list, to be sure) have reached out. Recently, a cable news channel asked me if I’d be interested in being a contributor on their network. All of this, and I’ve only been able to work on the website part-time. I’ve seen the tip of the iceberg.

Now I want to see the rest.

So, after the holidays, I’ll be investing myself full-time into my website. You’ll see me popping up on other websites, and in other forms of media; I just have to sort through all of this and decide exactly how I want to proceed. I’m making my own agenda now, which is both exciting and terrifying. I had to make a choice. Radio was stealing most of my time, yet the website presents the most opportunities. It’s a bit of a daunting thing — sacrificing a steady income and benefits in order to work for yourself, especially when you have a family to feed.

It’s a risk, but worth taking.

And I couldn’t take it without you. My readers have done the job of promoting my blog, and they do it with no real incentive. I’m not paying anyone to be my promotions team. They take that up on their own. Now, with the ad revenue, combined with the generous people who donate to the site, I can seize this moment.

That’s all you get, after all: moments. You either take advantage of them or you don’t.

On that note, I’d like to pass along just a point that has been firmly at the forefront of my mind recently. I submit this suggestion humbly, recognizing that I am at the beginning of my journey, and you might be much older and wiser, possessing the advantage of a vaster life experience. That’s why this bit of advice isn’t targeted at the older and wiser crowd. I’d like to address this to people my age or younger; people at the beginning of things, just like me. If you guys ignore everything I say about everything else, at least hear me on this:

Take risks. Big risks. Smart risks. I’m not talking about drunk driving or running naked in the snow, I’m talking about going out on a limb to achieve your goals. I’m talking about venturing into unknown territory with no safety net, no fallback plan, no cushion, and nobody holding your hand. You’ll never do anything important if you care more about having fun and being comfortable. Period. It won’t happen. There’s time for fun and comfort, but not now. Not when we’re young and have so much to do. I don’t say this because I’m some huge success story; I say it because I’m not. Not yet, anyway. I say it because I’m in the thick of it, too. I say it because my heart breaks every time I meet a person younger than me who has no ambition. So often I speak to someone like this, they tell me what they want to do in life, I tell them, “well, go do it then,” and they come back with the “yeah, but..”

Stop it.

No buts. Nobody cares about your excuses. Move across the country if you have to. Live out of your car if it’s necessary. Work six jobs if that’s what it takes. Eat one meal a day if it comes to that. Do what needs to be done. STOP FOLLOWING THE PATH THAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE LAID FOR YOU. Blaze your own trail. Make a sacrifice. Struggle. Sweat. Fail. Suffer. Do it now. Now’s the time. Especially if you aren’t even married and you don’t have kids. Why in the world are you sitting around? What are you waiting for? There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from chasing big things. Nothing.

Maybe that’s the only real value to this rambling spiel. Maybe there’s a little inspiration to be found in all of this.

Or maybe not. I’m nothing special and my story is not spectacular. I’m just a guy, writing things.

So thank you for reading it.

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381 Responses to Why I’m leaving radio forever

  1. MelMar says:

    Reblogged this on Beautiful Things from Dust and commented:
    “Why in the world are you sitting around? What are you waiting for? There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from chasing big things. Nothing.”

  2. rlcarterrn says:

    You’re not just a guy writing stuff; you’re awesome! And very inspirational. I just turned 25 & I’m already a charge nurse & preceptor on my unit & my husband & I bought a house this year & got an adorable puppy. And I volunteer for hospice in my spare time b/c I enjoy helping people in that way. And I have my own blog which I started this year b/c writing has always been my greatest passion. I’m not ready to leave nursing yet b/c I love that too but I’m so glad I had the courage to start “publishing” my writing even if it’s just on a small blog that doesn’t get a whole lot of views. You have to start somewhere, as you’ve said. Your success gives me hope. Keep up the good work! And I so agree that it makes me so angry & frustrated when I see people my age w/ no ambition or drive. I am proud of all that I’ve accomplished & yet I still have dreams for so much more. My job reminds me constantly of how short life is & it amazes me that so many young people don’t chase their dreams. Or worse yet, don’t even seem to have any dreams!

  3. You’re a bigot who mostly has the unintelligent religious sheep bah’ing at your trashy blogs because it feels good to them to have someone sound “book smart”, to speak in their place. Your ideals, your opinions, your beliefs are all worse less then a handful of semen caked on the wall in a truckstop bathroom door stall. You have no monetizable asset with your blog and now the only glee I can seep from your shallow life, is how little you will accomplish without a soapbox to scream your satanic evil Hilter’esque hate speech from. Every little gay teenager killed is blood on your devilish hands. How delightful it is to know the industry you so blindly leap into and I cannot wait to relish in your new soon to be position behind the counter at a first food chain. http://www.MentalPoison.com (A REAL RADIO SHOW)

    • Not Hairy says:

      Ahh.. Name calling in the first sentence. No reason to read farther as you’ve identified yourself as non-serious so early in your rant.

    • Dan says:

      Well, I try to stay positive, so I can give you points for unusual honesty in advertising with your web address. Honestly, man, there is a better way to be.

    • KnitWit says:

      Translation: “I AM A BIGOT WHO ACCUSES OTHERS OF BEING BIGOTED TO DEFLECT ATTENTION FROM MYSELF. LOVE ME.”

    • KD Walker says:

      “….handful of semen caked on a truck stop wall…..”
      Geez. What a visual.
      One can easily imagine that “mental poison” must have been there a time or two him (or her) self??
      Sick.

    • Christine says:

      Gotta love trolls like you who expend life’s valuable time and energy frothing at the mouth over websites they profess to abhor.

    • God loves you! says:

      keep it up matt and dont sign any contracts, you surely dont need help getting attention…all you need is a little direction. “ask, and you shall receive.”

    • Linda Matson says:

      Just who is the bigot? You must be a very angry person to rant such hate!

      • lee says:

        linda is a unpaid hooker with no medical benefits or class. Thanks for your glorious comments to Matt. May I suggest you go back to school and get therapy for your very sick mentally challenged brain. Was Linda raised by terrorists? It’s amazing she can manage to type her verbal assault and pornographic views. Merry Christmas Linda the Grinch & bitch

        • KD Walker says:

          Lee,
          Your comments should have been directed towards “mentalpoison”,
          NOT Linda.
          Don’t worry, it happens sometimes. I think most of us caught it and knew whom you meant. Lol

        • lee says:

          iiiiiiiiii yiyi! Duly noted. I hit “send” and realized instantly that poor Linda got a bashing she didn’t deserve. Thank you for calling me out! πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas to you KD!

        • KD Walker says:

          I knew you were, as Roseanne Rosannadana would say: ” gonna DIE! ”
          LOL

    • Bill says:

      To type only anonymous hate is beyond cowardly.

  4. RightHandMan says:

    Listened to you via Iheartradio nearly every day and love your blog. Wishing you the best Matt.

  5. Pingback: Sometimes, it takes faith…. | mjmsprt40, sez me.

  6. MamaBearJune says:

    Where you go, we will definitely follow!

  7. You have quite an amazing story Matt! I can only hope to impress such drive and determination on my children. Congratulations and I will continue to follow you as I myself have just submerged in the virgin waters of blogging and am seeking o
    ut guidance and exposure.

  8. True Story says:

    Your story IS spectacular- if only because of what you’ve done with it… πŸ™‚

  9. djamesbutton says:

    Awesome post, best wishes for success! I’ve certainly been linking folks to your blog ever since I come across it! I agree with you on most points, but this post especially seems relevant to me, so thank you.

  10. Eric Lucero says:

    I am very sad to hear this news. There is ONE talk radio show that I find worth listening to, and I subscribe to the WLAP podcast of your show to hear it. Now, out of no where, that’s gone. All the millions of people who read this blog missed out on something good. But if this means more success for you, then I wish you well. I still have the blog and I can look forward to your future endeavors (of which might hopefully contain a regular podcast *hint*). Keep it real.

  11. As one who is older, although I don’t know if i am wiser, my advice to you is do not give up ownership of your brand – ever! Be the one who calls the shots, start your own media company and make your contracts iron-clad.

  12. Go for it. God speed, friend. I will keep reading. As will many others. πŸ™‚

  13. Tony says:

    Never say never. But I look forward to seeing the fruits of this career change.

  14. centavita says:

    I have a grandson your age, Matt so you know I am older and wiser (hah!). In 1988, I left everything I had behind and went to Mexico. Within months we became “reluctant missionaries” . For 15 years we served the Lord on my husband’s retirement ~ after he died, my son John Scalzi asked what I was going to do. I asked him if he wanted me to move into his house – the guy was mortified! I stayed right where I was and continued to serve. It was exactly what I wanted to do. My family belittled me, all but one of my friends said I was crazy . . . but God paid my way for 7 more years. I say this: LIVE YOUR DREAM! God bless and keep you.

  15. Christine says:

    I’m fairly new to your blogs. I happened upon it, I can’t even remember how, a few months ago when I read your response to that stalking, pro-abortion nutjob. I was immediately hooked and have been reading every since. You have an incredible gift. Your blogs always leave me giggling, and yelling, “GO MATT!!” at my computer screen. You have a way of expressing things with such a delicious mix of intelligence and wit.

    I wish you all the best on your continued journey. Thank you for words of inspiration to follow your dreams and make things happen for yourself. They are words even 40-somethings like me need a reminder of now and again.

    God Bless you and your family. Have a joyous Christmas!!

  16. Brenda says:

    You are an inspiration. I am so glad you are out there trying to talk some sense into the young people today, and frankly some of the older people too. And whatever you do from here will be great and we will be out here supporting you!

  17. Jack W. says:

    Matt, I only recently found your blog and at the beginning I wasn’t sure exactly where you stood or what you were saying. For the last month or so as I’ve read your thoughts and opinions, I realize that you are much like myself, except with an ability to put on paper what you and others feel about our society, religion, politics, etc. In this day of political correctness, and in my soon to come golden years, I appreciate those who have an outlet to express those views.
    This may sound trite but during the early days of this republic, there were other young men who did the same- Hamilton, Dawes, Jefferson, Lincoln, Patrick Henry and many more and these men led a revolution of thought and action. In my lifetime I have seen the development of a segment of our society who have become lazy, self indulgent and entitled. They have become a cancer, a leech on our society while those who work and support them have become the pariah. The seminal cells of this cancer have always been there but with the help of our government it has been fed and has grown and continues to grow into a giant mouth that to sucks the lifeblood and energy out of the most creative minds in our culture. It produces nothing but poison, as it infects all those who give ear to its need as desire for more “freedom” for itself and more policing of those who oppose it. It criticizes initiative, exploration, creativity, and adventure as dangerous mind expanding rebellion against the status quo.
    To express ones opinions, if they differ from this cancer has become almost criminal and tantamount to sedition against the liberal segment who tolerate no one’s opinions but those who think like they do.
    I applaud your decision to strike out on your own if only because it is another stage in your development as a free thinker and a leader of thought. We need more like yourself who are willing to pay the price to let others know that there are many of us who think like you do, not for the sake of being the same but for the sake being the foundation of a new day which must dawn if this country is going to save itself.
    Much grace and peace to your family.

  18. Whatgoesaroundcomesaround says:

    You’re chasing your blind ambitions at the expense of others and God. You profit from instigation and conflict. Satan has promoted you.. Blessed are the peacemakers. The world doesn’t need anymore muck rakers and troublemakers like u.

  19. Good for you! Good luck as you find new avenues that lead to your dreams. That’s very exciting.

  20. Joann Donley says:

    Just NOW found your blog! I LOVE IT!!! Add me to your growing millions! :). And I LOVE your enthusiasm for young people to follow their dreams. I have a 23 year old son, who lacks motivation in ANY part of his life… But I’ll just keep trying. :). He IS finally in college now, it’s a start. But I honestly wouldn’t mind if he HAD dreams to follow…. Maybe someday. Anyway, love your blog!! Keep up the good work!!!

  21. Steve Cooper says:

    Radio thanks you. Unfortunately you’ll still be spewing your poison, lies, and stupidity on the internet but at least you’re no longer polluting the airwaves.

    • deelilynn says:

      Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year to you with sincere prayers that when others don’t agree with your opinions and dreams they will take the higher rode and not spew your brand of hatred towards you …

  22. Kim says:

    No don’t say that I could see you has a fill in for Rush’s show πŸ™‚ Love your blog!

  23. Arizona Luke says:

    Congrats on the success Matt.

    I am a new member of The 9/12 Project’s National Advisory Board (Tea Party type org Glenn Beck started yrs ago) with my purpose of being ‘youth outreach’. I would LOVE to help promote your work via our page and a new site we’re working on.

    Feel free to contact me at Info(at)NorthValley912.com so we can talk.

    Godspeed & Merry Christmas,
    Luke

  24. Dawn Morrison says:

    I, for one, didn’t know you had a radio show but am honored to read your blogs. I am glad radio help in your development and maturing. Please continue to share your thoughts. I love your ideas and insights. Have a Merry Christmas and All the best in 2014
    Dawn

  25. mjloehrer says:

    Matt; I was visiting my daughter in San Antonio last week and said, “Have you ever heard of Matt Walsh and his blog”? She’s 42 and responded, “Isn’t he great. I read him all the time”. Best wishes. You’re one of my all-time favorite writers. Your depth for a man your age is incredible. That’s why you are on my favorites list.

    • Molly says:

      And I am the 42 year old daughter! Matt, you are incredibly gifted at sharing important messages with people. Therefore, I am so grateful you have made this decision to dedicate the bulk of your time to it. Best wishes on your taken risk and I look forward to reading much, much more from you!!

  26. Kim says:

    Best wishes, Matt. I knew it wouldn’t be long before you moved on to bigger and better things!

  27. Aviyah says:

    Praying for you πŸ™‚

  28. steve crespo says:

    All the best, brother!

  29. Big, awesome changes for you and your family! Congrats! I’ve sent your blog posts over to Fox News a few times and told them that if they didn’t know about you, they should. I’m sure I haven’t been the only one and who knows if they ever even read the emails! But if they did, and if they helped, then great πŸ™‚ You deserve it!

  30. Darleen says:

    I just had a “ah-ha” moment. I was kicked off a hosting site because I would not tow the middle of the road mentality that makes everyone comfortable. They place boundaries because you are not suppose to step out of bounds in fear of stepping on someone else’s toes. I am going to move forward without them. Shake off the dust and travel forward. I will continue my blog http://www.radicalwaytoarichlife.com and I will say what I mean and continue to give God the glory. Matt, you are a goof role model for those of us who are seeing the world topple around us and we have to say and do something or we will be swallowed into the abyss.

  31. Tiffany says:

    Glad you are persuing your goals, whether it be in radoi or on website. Best of all things to come!

  32. DCP says:

    Don’t change a thing.. no really. I am not a blog follower. I am not even on the internet all that much, and your blog is the only one I follow. I have introduced at least 8 people to your blog that LOVE it.
    Maybe you should think about politics. You are the person we wish we had in office.

  33. charley says:

    Happy for you to pursue your dreams! I was one of your loyal listeners, almost everyday, I will GREATLY miss your voice on the radio! Thanks for your time in Lexington.

  34. Jon Burke says:

    Congratulations Matt. Folks here at WordPress.com would like to discuss your web site ambitions when you have time.

  35. Kris says:

    Congratulations! I am a loyal follower and one of your “team” members who passes your blog posts around to everyone I know! So glad you are reaching new levels of success – we need people like you to get these message across. I hope you stay true to your beliefs and your current style of writing. I’m looking forward to seeing how all this evolves for you!

  36. Sean says:

    Matt, I loved listening to you and Crank in the morning when you were on 93.5… you were awesome bro! I also love reading your blogs. There are big things in store for you man, I’m sure of it!

  37. Good luck from a small town in Lower Delaware. Make it happen. Adventure Awaits!

  38. Troy says:

    Congrats, Matt. I’ll miss calling in, but I’m really glad this blog is exploding in popularity. You’ve earned it. -Troy

  39. Carol says:

    To all those who accuse others of “hating”: You are misusing the word because the modern, popular media have redefined it. It has been confused (intentionally, I believe) with the more appropriate term “disagreeing”. Because I disagree with someone and say so does not mean that I hate them. Hating is an intense dislike, loathing, despising, detesting. I have Facebook friends with whom I often debate politics and beliefs. Some of us are polar opposites in our opinions. But we do not hate, despise, loathe or detest each other. I believe that misusing the word hate in this way is similar to trying to debate a point by merely name-calling. That’s a dead give away. If all the evidence or logic one has on their side of the debate is to call the other side bad names then it is clear the name-callers have very little to support their claim.

  40. GPackers says:

    Hi Matt, I listened to you on WGMD in Delaware and was sad when you left. I am glad for you keep up the hard work for yourself and your family. You will prosper and grow, you have the fortitude and ambition.

  41. Chelsea says:

    I’d rather follow God than my own desires as the world tells me to. I know you mean well, Matt, but telling people to adopt bad habits (one meal, really?) to pursue their own desires isn’t iron sharpening iron. Fixation on what you want alone is selfish.

  42. Blik says:

    Your decision to seize the moment reminds me a lot of a book I just finished: “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason. It features a discussion of what makes someone “lucky” – and ends up deciding that fortune favors men of action. So good for you. I just started reading your material, and I love the way you explain the things I already believe in ways better than I feel I could. I wish you well blazing your trail!

  43. Congratulations Matt on this decision and all the best! Really enjoy your blog and I’ll look forward to following you on your new journey!

  44. Seed Sabrett says:

    ‘Tis not too late to make a newer better world. Good luck!

  45. Jwell says:

    As long as there are intelligent determined people like you, there is hope for America. When I become discouraged or frustrated with the state of things I read or re-read your posts. Thank you for following a dream.
    Prayers and best wishes to you.

  46. Richard Leal says:

    Matt: You bring out interesting topics that “we” really ought to think and do something about. I follow you and think you are a fantastic person. A lot of left wing ideologues do not want to discuss issues. They just name call, they have no substance in their arguments- they are idiots.

  47. Kevin Rankin says:

    My family and I moved to the Lexington area in July. I found your radio show and absolutely enjoyed it. You don’t often find local radio that deal with weighty topics instead of just sports, and a host that can articulate his points without being offensive (and now, unfortunately, we won’t find it here anymore either).

    Best wishes for your future plans. Your voice will be missed.

  48. Kerry says:

    All the best! I think you’ll do good and big things with the grace of God. Your ‘advice’ to the youngers is absolutely right. God bless your endeavors and count me as a fan!

  49. Richard says:

    Matt: I will follow you through the blogsphere world. I agree with Kerry “God bless your endeavors and count me as a fan!

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