Laura Ingraham lays out her vision for her ‘more culture-driven’ radio show

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Earlier this week, Courtside Entertainment Group announced a new syndication agreement with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, who last month departed the Talk Radio Network, ending a nine-year run of her program.

Her program is slated to re-launch on January 3, 2013, and will continue to be broadcast on more than 300 radio affiliates. But it won’t exactly be her same show that originally hit the airwaves back in April 2001.

In an interview with The Daily Caller on Thursday, Ingraham previewed what listeners can expect next month when her program is set to restart its broadcast.

“It’s going to be slightly refocused,” Ingraham said. “Everybody knows I’m a conservative. That’s not going to change.  But, people are tired of being lectured. They want more laughter even in their politics. Not to trivialize politics, but I think that would be natural consumers of conservative media that would be inclined not to listen because of some preconceived notion of what it is. We’re trying to expand the audience and preach not to just the choir.”

She said to expect a focus more on the culture of society, something she said her show was already attempting to take on.

“My creative endeavors are kind of going that way,” she said. “My last book was humorous commentary on the culture and that’s where are show has kind of been going anyway and we’re just going to continue down that path.”

Among the culture aspects, she mentioned how technology is intruding on relationships through innovations like “sexting,” in addition to parenting, families and relationships.

“We have a lot more in common than sometimes we remember,” she added. “And we’ll talk about those issues we’re all just grappling with, whether you’re Republican or Democrat, white or black, gay or straight. We all grapple with these issues — sometimes in different ways, but the conversation can be broader and more interesting and I think maybe more attractive to a wider audience. That’s my aim anyway. We’ll see.”

The goal she explained was to put forth programming that wasn’t as focused on politics and the “broken” entity known as Washington, D.C. as a solution to all societies problems.

“Life is a lot bigger than politics,” Ingraham said. “There is a lot more to life than the fiscal cliff follies. You know there’s a whole world out there and I think we need to talk about things beyond Washington because I think as we’ve seen Washington doesn’t oftentimes respond very well. People are finding Washington to be broken, or ineffective, or non-responsive and people are getting very frustrated by that. They have been frustrated by it. So why are we all looking to Washington for answers? I think we have to find answers elsewhere and that’s what we’re going to try to do on the show.”

One aspect to her show Ingraham did say would be similar was that in part it would still have a guest-driven component which she interviewed newsmakers, but not necessarily political newsmakers.

“Newsmakers in different fields, though,” she replied. “Newsmakers in the medical field, in the philanthropic field, science and technology, politics — yes, that’s always going to be an important part of the show. The usual Laura cross-examinations are going to occur. There was a reason why Mitt Romney didn’t come on my show in the last nine months of the campaign. We couldn’t not only not book prominent Democrats. We couldn’t book Mitt Romney, not because our show doesn’t have a huge reach. But you know, look I’m going to ask tough questions. I’m going to be fair, but I’m going to ask hard questions. That’s where you get an interesting conversation going.”

As far as her once-crowded 9 a.m.-12 p.m. ET timeslot with her competitors including former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain taking talker Neal Boortz’s program early next year and Glenn Beck with his loyal following, Ingraham didn’t seem that concerned. She said that her show will appeal to a different need in the listening audience.

“I think there are a lot of talented people out there,” she said. “There are different needs in the listening audience. I’m just going to be who I am and I’m not the same person I was 11 years ago. I’m a mom. I have three small children. I’m dealing with schools and the best way to teach kids, children fighting with each other, relationships and aging parents — I’m dealing with different issues now that one point or another most of us have to deal with that make me think about things in a bit of a different way.”

Ingraham commented that she thought conservatives for the most part have abandoned culture, but explained she was going to try and not come off as too self-aggrandizing to her audience.

“People are tired of the high and mighty approach to conversation,” she added. “We’re going to try to keep that in check with a healthy dose of self-deprecation.”

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