The Savage Nation

The Savage Nation
The Savage Nation
Genre Talk
Running time 3 hours (6-9 p.m. Eastern)
Country United States
Languages English
Home station KSFO (1994-2003)
KNEW (2003-2009)
KTRB (2010)
KSTE (2010-present)
Syndicates Talk Radio Network
TV adaptations The Savage Nation (MSNBC, 2003)
Hosts Michael Savage
Recording studio San Francisco, California
Air dates since March 21, 1994

The Savage Nation (also called The Michael Savage Show) is an American radio show hosted by conservative commentator Michael Savage on Talk Radio Network. His show is heard by 8-10 million listeners a week and syndicated across the U.S. in over 300 markets, making it the 3rd most listened to radio show in the country.[1] The show is based out of San Francisco, California.


Program summary


In 1994, Michael Savage (then publishing under his real name Michael Weiner) submitted for publication a manuscript called Immigrants and Epidemics. The proposed book, which was about the influx of foreign diseases due to the wave of illegal immigrants, was promptly rejected for what Savage contends was its politically incorrect subject matter. This, along with the suggestions of friends and acquaintances, inspired Savage to record a radio demo about the very subject of his manuscript. He mailed the tape to 250 radio stations, and on March 21, 1994, The Savage Nation was born on KGO in San Francisco.

Savage's radio career began modestly enough as a fill-in host for Ray Taliaferro. But as his popularity in the Bay Area grew, sister station KSFO took notice and gave him his own show less than a year after his inception in broadcasting.

At the time, his slogan was "To the right of Rush and to the left of God." On January 1, 1995, he was given his own show during the drive-time hours. The show quickly became a local hit. During his time at KSFO, Savage soared to #1 in Arbitron ratings among both adult men and women over 18 during afternoon drive-time in San Francisco and became top talk host in his timeslot in Northern California.[2]


In 1999, he came to the attention of the Talk Radio Network.

On January 17, 2000, he started doing an additional two hours of radio which was broadcast nationally. His national experiment was a success, and, on September 21, 2000, he stopped doing separate shows, beginning a full three-hour national show The Savage Nation. After one year, he was in 150 markets. By 2003, he was in more than 200 markets.[citation needed] Savage's fill-in guest hosts include former U.S. congressman "B-1" Bob Dornan, Rick Roberts, Mancow, and Peter Weisbach. Talk radio host Lars Larson is also a former guest host, although his show now directly competes with The Savage Nation.


In June 2003, he had a salary dispute with his flagship station KSFO, which refused to renegotiate his contract. He was off the air in San Francisco for three weeks. On July 1, 2003 he began his show on a different station: KNEW in San Francisco.

As of 2009, Savage has 8-10 million listeners per week, making his show the third most widely heard broadcast in the United States.[3] Savage calls his listeners "literate callers with intelligence, wit, and energy." He says that he tries to make a show that has a "...hard edge combined with humor and education...Those who listen to me say they hear a bit of Plato, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, Moses, Jesus, and Frankenstein."[2]

Savage was named the 2007 recipient of Talkers Magazine’s Freedom of Speech Award. According to Talkers Magazine, Savage was honored "for being the first major conservative radio talk show host to criticize President George W. Bush on his policies and encourage hosts of all political ideologies to remain independent of partisan loyalties.”[4] Previous recipients of the Freedom of Speech Award include Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh.

The Savage Nation was removed from KNEW's schedule on September 10, 2009.[5] It was later picked up by sports station KTRB, but that agreement ended when Comerica Bank foreclosed on the station. Savage advised listeners that the show can be heard in the Bay Area via Sacramento-area KSTE.[6]

Savage filed a lawsuit in an attempt to break from his contract, which, though it expired at the end of 2010, contained clauses that granted Talk Radio Network the right to match any offer in perpetuity.[7]


Each hour of the daily three-hour broadcast usually begins with a monologue by Savage. Being a political commentator by trade, he often discusses issues in American politics and society in general. Many times, this leads to a passionate diatribe by Savage, a staple of The Savage Nation. Savage often takes calls in the second segment to comment on what was discussed in the previous segment.

Guests have traditionally been a rare occurrence, but they have become more frequent since 2007. As of 2009, the entire third hour of most shows is now devoted to pre-taped interviews with guests.


In 2007, Supertalk Mississippi removed Savage Nation from its programming because of negative comments.[8][9]

Introduction and music

Music is an integral part of The Savage Nation. Savage often extends the role of music beyond bumper music to be as much the content of the show as what he's talking about. (For instance, there was a period of several days in 2006 when Savage played "Living on a Thin Line" by The Kinks concurrent with his discussions of America's internal vulnerabilities.)

Savage often closes the show by saying, "With God's will and your listenership, I shall return," or some variation thereof.

He also played "God Save the Queen" by the Sex Pistols and "Living on a Thin Line" and agreeing that "there's no England now" after being banned from the U.K. by British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

The signature musical introduction to The Savage Nation is the beginning of Metallica's "Master of Puppets" followed by an announcer saying, "Warning: The Michael Savage Show contains adult language, adult content, psychological nudity. Listener discretion is advised." This is followed by Mötley Crüe's "Looks that Kill" and Metallica's "The Shortest Straw" to conclude the introduction.

For bumper music, Savage has used "Eye of the Beholder", "Frayed Ends of Sanity", "Holier Than Thou", "Jump in the Fire", "To Live Is to Die", "Battery", "Blackened", "Sad But True", "Ain't My Bitch", "Fuel", and "The Shortest Straw" by Metallica, as well as "Du Hast" and "Tier" by Rammstein, Nirvana, "Big Gun" by AC/DC, and "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine.

While Savage has previously criticized pop culture on his program, he says that he is a rock music fan. On his July 19, 2006 show, Savage said that he is a huge fan of the German group Rammstein and that he often drives around at night blasting their music. When challenged by a caller to explain why he likes Rammstein, Savage said that they are "the only true form of poetry and music that reflect the real world nowadays." Savage played their music at length during that specific broadcast. Savage is also a fan of 1950s rock 'n' roll and doo-wop music such as The Cadillacs, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and The Flamingos which is played on his "Rock and Roll Friday." On January 25, 2007, he started playing "I'm Broken" by Pantera on his show, stating that this is the type of music that U.S. troops should be listening to in Iraq.

On Mondays, he frequently opens the program by playing "Blue Monday" by Fats Domino.


External links

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