Westwood One-syndicated conservative talker Michael Savage would likely have to say goodbye to his radio show if his claims of being asked to challenge Dianne Feinstein for a California Senate seat come to fruition. Savage told his audience last week that “very important people” have asked him to run for the U.S. Senate in California.
“The Savage Nation” program could hypothetically lose affiliates in the state of California as Feinstein could ask for equal time in markets where his weekday three-hour program is heard. The show originates from Cumulus Media talk KSFO San Francisco (560).
“Once a candidate becomes ‘legally qualified,’ equal opportunities rights are available to the opposing candidates,” media attorney David Oxenford wrote in a blog post. That means, if Savage stayed on-air after filing to run for Senate, “any opposing candidate can come to the station and demand equal opportunities within seven days of the date on which the on-air announcer/candidate was on the air,” Oxenford explains.
Oxenford did offer some scenarios where a host/candidate would be able to stay on the air while running for office and the station would not have to offer equal time. He said a station could get waivers from the host’s political opponents, which would allow the talent to stay on-air throughout their campaign, “possibly with conditions such as forbidding any discussions of the political race.”
Savage himself said he’d be sacrificing his life’s work if he threw his hat into the political ring. “I am contemplating whether I really want to leave what I’ve worked for all my life and roll in the mud, because politics is the dirtiest business on the planet,” he said on the air, according to The Wrap. Would Savage give up his pulpit for a shot at Washington? “Well, there’s a thing called public service,” he said. “If not me, who?”