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After 35 Years Behind The Mic, Doug Stephan Won’t Be Stopping Anytime Soon

No one has been in the talk radio game longer than Doug Stephan. Literally.

Stephan — who began his radio career in college more than 60 years ago — launched his national news/talk radio career in 1988, mere weeks before one of the titans of the industry, Rush Limbaugh, moved into national syndication.

Yet, after 35 years of hosting Doug Stephan’s Good Day, he doesn’t see an end in sight.

“My children and I talk about the what-ifs all the time. I’ve planned for what the inevitable is sooner or later but I joke with (co-hosts) Jen (Horn) and Jai (Kershner) on the air. If we have that discussion, my feeling is that I’ll be here today and gone tomorrow, or I’ll drop in front of the microphone and that’s it. That’s the end,” said Stephan.

Am I going to do this forever? I’ll do it as long as I’m smart enough to do it. As long as I don’t embarrass myself and my family and the people who are on the air with me. I mean, I say things on the air now that embarrass them, but that’s not the kind of embarrassment I’m talking about,” he continued with a chuckle. “If I can’t do it, I’m going to know that I can’t do it. So then I will stop. But I see no reason to stop. I’m serving a purpose. I feel like there’s an audience.”

Doug Stephan is one of the few talk radio hosts who doesn’t spend much time in the conservative political world — or any political realm for that matter. He believes that’s what separates his program from many others.

“Even though we’ve had a lot of struggles in the last couple of years since we’ve left Radio America with technology, stations — when they get the opportunity to know what I do — come back again. They sooner or later find what I do — because it’s there’s really nothing else, and I don’t mean to sound like an egotist — but it just isn’t what everybody else does,” Stephan said.

“It’s hard to stay away from politics,” he continued. “Too much politics becomes limiting. It becomes ageist. It becomes like one note, especially if you don’t have people that have — how can I say this tactfully? — who have a lot of world experiences. There’s not a lot of practical stuff and it sounds everything sounds the same.”

The news media landscape has seen drastic changes in nearly ever aspect since Stephan began in the medium. Nothing has shifted more than technology.

‘When I was getting started with this, I was sort of attached to and had to be in a studio,” he said. “Because I lived all my life in Framingham, Massachusetts, and I worked all over the place. For example, when we started the American Radio Networks, their studios were in Baltimore. So I would get on a plane on Sunday nights, and I’d fly to Baltimore. I had a car there and an apartment there, and I’d do the program. Then Friday morning, when I got off the air, I’d get on a plane to come back up to my farm and my children.

“I did it pretty much everywhere that I had been. And it worked, for the most part, because I was dedicated to order to my children. I had gotten divorced when I was very young. But the kids needed me, and I, frankly, needed them…At that time, they were my priority. But because I couldn’t do what we can do today, I had to be where the studio was.”

He continued by noting that while his daughter was a student in England, he’d travel back and forth every month to be with her in the late 1990s. Those trips included a briefcase that featured a Comrex unit that could plug into three phone lines and provide broadcast-quality audio. Doug Stephan broadcasted his show in 40 different countries with that “brick.”

As technology has advanced, Stephan is no longer tied to the studio, which allows him to live full-time at his Massachusetts farm. When asked if he thought he did better work at home on the farm or inside the hustle and bustle of a studio, Doug Stephan admitted he doesn’t necessarily view it as linearly as that.

“People tease me the bomb could go off outside the studio and I wouldn’t pay attention to it because I was focused on what I was doing on here,” he joked. “I’m not sure that’s always true. I think I bring in, especially these days, I read what’s going on outside the studio into the conversation. People are likely to hear me talk about what’s going on on my farm. They know that I’m on the farm and they know that I have cows. They know that I spend a lot of time doing real farm work. And so that has helped, I think, with my credibility, if that’s what it is. I think that I’m a real person and do real things and I don’t think it makes any difference where I am when I’m in a studio or if I’m at a station.”

While it’s natural to question if the 77-year-old has maybe lost a step or two, Stephan makes no bones about the current interaction of his Good Day program.

“I think that I’m doing probably some of my best work, if that’s what it is. I don’t call it work. It’s not work for me. It’s my chance to engage a lot of folks who are, I think, friends. And I look at the exchanges on social media that people are kind enough to share their thoughts with me,” he shared.

“I think I do the best job I can at his work. Even though I don’t call it work, I think I’m engaged because I really like it. I think I do a better job in some respects than I’ve ever done. Maybe it’s because I have more experience. My voice has kept up. My brain works. I still get excited. I wake up every morning and I’m ready to go.”

Here are the TOP TEN Stories and People in the news 

for the week of April 15 - 19, 2024:

 *Charted by Talkers Magazine






  1. Iran-Israel Tensions/Hamas War

  2. Presidential Race

  3. Trump “Hush Money” Case

  4. Inflation/U.S. Economy

  5. Johnson Job Security

  6. Israel-Ukraine Aid

  7. U.S. Migrant Crisis

  8. SCOTUS Hears Jan. 6 Case

  9. China’s Role in Fentanyl Crisis

  10.  Russia-Ukraine War




  1. Joe Biden

  2. Donald Trump

  3. Benjamin Netanyahu

  4. Mike Johnson

  5. Marjorie Taylor Greene

  6. RFK Jr.

  7. Janet Yellen

  8. Alejandro Mayorkas

  9. Xi Jinping

  10.  Vladimir Putin

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