Dr. Laura Schlessinger told CNN’s Larry King on Tuesday night that she will end her radio show following outrage over her use of the N-word last week. She told King her contract is up after this year and that she will not renew it. She said she wants to “regain my First Amendment rights” and that she is not ending her career, just her radio show.
After using the racial epithet several times with a caller last Tuesday, Schlessinger posted an apology to her website and repeated it during a subsequent broadcast. She told King that after doing radio for more than 30 years, “I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry or some special-interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent.”
Schlessinger went on to say that radio has changed and that any kind of back and forth has “been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don’t want to debate — they want to eliminate…. I decided it was time to move on to other venues where I could say my peace and not have to live in fear anymore.”
Schlessinger is syndicated by Talk Radio Network, which refers to her as “the most listened-to women in radio broadcasting history.” According to Talkers Magazine, the Dr. Laura program is tied as the third-most-popular radio show in the nation (along with Glenn Beck and Michael Savage), with over 9 million weekly listeners. In August, she was nominated for the Marconi Award for network/syndicated personality of the year, which she received back in 1997.
Her flagship station is KFWB in Los Angeles.