Bristol Is Raising the Bar For Talk Radio
May 3, 2002
Entercom Communications, the parent company for the Greenville radio station WORD-AM 1330 (If you have not seen it yet, be sure to check out WORD's brand new website that just debuted this week at http://www.newsradioword.com ) and the Spartanburg radio station WYRD-AM 950, has developed a solid reputation for delivering high quality news and talk radio featuring national commentators such as Mike Gallagher, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Reagan and Hugh Hewitt. However, as excellent as these national programs are, there is a much better reason to listen to the radio every single day, especially in the afternoon.
This may come as somewhat of a shock to many people, but I happen to think that The Ralph Bristol Show that airs from 3PM-6PM on 1330/950 AM is one of the best local talk shows in the country. Ralph Bristol, who also is a contributing writer for Commonvoice.com, is a highly intellectual host and seems to enjoy interacting with the people who call and e-mail him.
Self-proclaimed as "the lonely voice of reason in a cacophony of chaotic chatter," Bristol combines his golden voice with intriguing and sometimes quirky commentary on the hottest local and national issues of the day. He is willing to tackle the topics that I am not hearing anywhere else. In fact, he often talks about an issue several days before it is brought up on those national radio talk shows.
Bristol's unconventional thought process, which is best described as somewhere between conservative and libertarian, allows the listeners to be exposed to a perspective that they would not otherwise hear or read about. As a free thinker, Bristol keeps an open mind on issues that he does not have a solid opinion about one way or the other. But, he certainly has a strong conviction about his two pet peeve issues--education and taxes.
I have heard him on more than one ocassion gently lecture a caller who is misled or misunderstanding the facts about a particular issue. That is a big part of what makes him so intriguing to listen to. Some may view this as bombastic, but that comes with the job of being a talk show host.
Bristol makes it look so easy when he is doing his show that many forget how much hard work goes into doing a professional job on talk radio. Having worked in Christian radio in the past, I can attest to the fact that there is much more to it than just talking into a microphone!
Bristol entertains a myriad of ideas from first time and regular callers like Rose, even when they espouse blatantly outrageous conspiracy theories. Bristol diffuses many of these arguments through sound and logical thinking. Additionally, he is not afraid to tell you what he thinks on the issues, regardless of how preposterous they may sound on face value. But he always backs up what he says with the cold hard facts.
The best quality that Ralph Bristol brings to afternoon talk radio in the Upstate is the ability to make people think about every angle of the various issues he talks about. When he is challenged on his own beliefs, I have never heard him cower in fear. Surprisingly, he takes every comment in stride and never gets angry at callers (unlike some of those national talk show hosts!). Now that certainly is a different approach for a talk radio host!
I disagree with many of the views that Ralph Bristol has taken on his show. However, he always allows the listeners to interact with him and prove to him where he is wrong in his thinking. While you may not always like what he has to say, his views will certainly make you think about what you believe in.
If you like news and talk radio that stirs your mind and you live in the Upstate of South Carolina, then you must listen to The Ralph Bristol Show on 1330/950AM WORD.
He is raising the bar for talk radio!