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. Ashtaroth says:

    C’mon , even Rush does radio still. Blogging has too much competition for spewing ignorance . Think bigger.

    • deelilynn says:

      “C’mon , even Rush does radio still. Blogging has too much competition for spewing ignorance . Think bigger.”

      You must not have paid attention to the entire article because Matt wasn’t speaking only about receiving ‘blogging’ offers … And whose brand of ignorance are you speaking of being spewed anyway?? Ignorance from the so called open minded liberals/progressives calling conservative women sluts and whores?? Perhaps you are the one who needs to “Think bigger” 😉

      • Unreasonable says:

        Matt would be just another blogger on the internet if it wasn’t for his radio show. The mere fact that he has a radio show increases his credibility enough to be a distinction over the rest. Now, suppose he gets to be some pundit on fox news or whatever. Do you think “conservative blogger” is gonna be enough for a regular gig? I don’t. IMO, he should simply try to move to some bigger station and go for syndication. But whatever, it’s his life.

        And puh-leeze, don’t come at me with liberals calling women sluts and whores. That’s a mole-hill compared to how conservatives have been trash-talking women for ages.

  2. Dan says:

    Congratulations Matt and best wishes to you on your new endeavor. A while back I sent you an email concerning an analysis of the Constitution by the standards of the Bible. I hope you will consider that information now.

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  4. carlos hawkins says:

    Good for you. I’m 38 years old, so I’m not a spring chicken. I’ve found inspiration in this inspirational letter. I wish you the best and hope that you remain fearless and honest in wherever your path takes you.

  5. Sabrina says:

    I’m super excited for your new adventure. I took the blind leap of faith at 19 with less than $1000 in my bank account and moved to New York to be an actress and never looked back. It was terrifying but I learned so much about myself in that time and made a lot of connections. I live in FL and run my own theatre company now and at 32 am facing another decision that could impact the rest of my career. I’m scared, but also excited.
    Thank you for keeping me inspired!

  6. Julie says:

    As a follower of Matt’s blog, I would like to suggest that everyone who reads and appreciate’s his point of view, donate a few dollars so he doesn’t have to get advertising. Professional bloggers need to earn a living somehow, and advertising is usually the best option, but i would prefer not to deal with ads on my favorite blogs. Let’s show our support by giving him some options that aren’t advertising.

  7. Elle Knowles says:

    Bravo Matt! I have always said – “Take the initiative. Only you can make it happen and do it while you are young and have no other responsibilities.” With my husband teaching in a small community, I so often see kids graduate high school, work at a menial job, get married, and have kids. Not always in that order! It breaks my heart also to see these young lives wasted when so much more can happen.

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  9. Carla says:

    Wonderful news for you and your family Matt! I have to admit, it took me a little while to like you as my new local talk radio person! However, I always appreciated your honesty and upfrontness, solid opinions and faith. I wish you well and will miss you at 3pm! My home state is MD (the Western side). Sadly it is not the same state I left 26 years ago. Or maybe it is and we were just different in the mountains. Anyway, I believe that you will make it a better place and I will certainly read your blog and look forward to you in other media.
    Blessings to you and your family!

  10. Ok I totally understand where you are coming from . At the nice old age of 10 months old my mother abandoned me and left me alone with a bottle and the heater full of kerosene and never came back. The neighbors finally heard me crying and called the police who in turn called social services and I wound up adopted by my grandparents so I wouldn’t be adopted outside of our family. I didn’t see my birth mother for some time. And I totally regret the times I have. As I grew older I had so many dreams and ambitions, but when I was 18 my 16 year old girlfriend told me the good news!!! she was PREGNANT ! I was blown away…there goes everything I ever wanted I thought all my hopes and dreams are gone. But as a said was abandoned as a child by my mom and I have never known who my true father is . So I decided to stay with her if she would have me and we would do the best we could. I was working in construction and going to college at night to get the credits I needed so I could go into the Navy. Well I quit school and went to working full time and all the overtime I could get. I have started and lost two self start up construction companies. And at age 20 I found out I was to be a brother, my birth mother was pregnant again! Well history repeated itself some 12 years later and my brother was taken from them due to the being horrible parents. All this is coming to this point. I am now 38 years old I have four kids and I get visitation of my lil brother on Saturdays.. All my hopes and reams that were washed away all those years ago. they had to go. Simply had to make room for what I was truly destined to be a Father and a Brother ! I love my kids so much and my brother is almost like one of my own kids. I never knew my Dad and now I could care less to know him> my kids define who I am and make me a better person all the way around. I strive to be a good provider and a god husband to my wife of 20 years now, we are truly happy. I took the big risk sir and found myself lost at times. There was time I couldn’t do anything but sit in the shower and cry why me? what am I doing? but all these years later I wouldn’t trade any of it. I am the man I am today because of the life that was delt to me. I am not perfect but I am happy ..truly happy and my kids think I am a great dad and my wife still loves me and that my friends makes me a very wealthy man..Adam Ezell SR

    • Heidi Griffith says:

      Wow! Adam, thank you for sharing your experience. People like you make this world more beautiful. You are a rich man indeed. Thanks for the encouragement! Blessings on you and your precious family.

    • Linda Mock says:

      Thank you, Adam and God bless ~

  11. Daniel B. says:

    Just discovered your blog and this post when I was trying to figure out who on earth you are and where did you come from? I’ve seen your posts via my friends from time to time in my Facebook feed and now I’ll follow. I’m excited for you and your family and glad I found your blog at this moment in your career.

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  13. Dan Louis says:

    All I have to say is I sure miss you in the afternoons on your radio show, it was so refreshing and so much better than anything on now. I will say since I am much older, never say never and given the opportunity, if it presents itself to your liking, you can always come back for the right price and/or “free” time to do what you enjoy. You might also do it for your fans, of course if it’s right for your and your family too. Regardless my friend, you will be missed and those of us who listened to you daily on our commute home’s, there sure is a void now in our now very dull commutes. Godspeed my friend and whereever you wind up, I will be there and while it’s not about me, I will always be wishing for your “radio” comeback. :”) God Bless to your, your wife and those two beautiful children of yours. Dan

  14. Mike Maggard says:

    Matt, brother, I miss you on the radio. I really do. I didn’t know what happened because I have had a rough ride lately and have been out of State a lot, unable to tune you in. So I have had some trouble keeping up with you. Glad you are pursuing your dreams…but you were the BEST EVER on the radio. Take care man. You are always welcome in Kentucky and at Nothin’ Fancy Farm. –Mike Maggard

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  18. bigsister says:

    Matt, can I just say, I think the reason your website is so popular (in spite of the lack of graphic design”) is indicated in the tag line – absolute truths. We all know they’re out there, most of us believe them, but we never hear them. Not from the news, Hollywood, Washington, our schools, or sadly, even most of our churches. It is so refreshing to hear someone clearly and unapologetically proclaim truth. The fact that you are an engaging writer is the icing on the cake!

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