After more than four decades on the airwaves in Atlanta, Neal Boortz this morning announced that he is ending his syndicated talk show on January 21, 2013, replaced by former presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Cain will take over that day when the president is officially inaugurated for the next four-year term.
“I’m going to miss everything associated with doing a talk show,” Boortz said on air as his producer Belinda Skelton teared up.
He said he is not doing this for health reasons. “I am not doing this because I’m fixing to die,” he said. “I have absolutely no health problems period.” Rather, he wants to travel with his wife Donna.
“We’re going to call this Neal’s happy ending,” he added later.
After the break, associate producer Christina Gonzalez popped the champagne. Boortz didn’t partake: “I don’t drink!”
Boortz, 67, has been the longest running talk show host on Atlanta radio. He is now heard locally on 95.5FM and AM750 News/Talk WSB from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays.
In 1969, on what was then called 680/WRNG-AM in Atlanta, Boortz took over for a morning host who had just committed suicide – a story he loves to tell.
He earned a law degree and juggled radio and a private practice from 1977 to 1992.
Boortz joined WSB in 1993 when it was just on the AM side. He’s a workaholic who spends four and a half hours on air every day, longer than most hosts, and Tweets several times a day.
A self-proclaimed Libertarian, Boortz usually supports Republican policies and candidates but isn’t always in line with them on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage and drug enforcement. He espouses smaller government but has been more hawkish about terrorism after 9/11 than many Libertarians.