Neal Boortz is coming out of retirement to provide daily two-minute commentaries for conservative talk station Xtra 106.3./1230.
David Dickey, the owner of Dickey Broadcasting who started Xtra nine months ago, said he was inspired to contact Boortz after he saw the news in December that former long-time WSB-TV anchor Monica Pearson was joining Gray Television’s Peachtree TV to air regular specials starting in February.
Pearson retired from WSB-TV ten years ago but said she missed doing her “Monica Closeups” interview specials. Gray offered her that opportunity on top of a talk-show format similar to one she had done with Georgia Public Broadcasting that ran for three seasons in the late 2010s called “A Seat at the Table.”
“I told Neal I figured he didn’t want to do a long-form show and we couldn’t afford that anyway,” Dickey said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Our goal is to give him a forum for a station that is growing quickly and to fill a niche. He’ll be a great addition to our brand.”
Boortz, Dickey said, was receptive to his overture and will start providing his thoughts on Monday morning, Jan. 31. He will tape his commentary early in the morning, something he is able to do whether he’s in his home in Naples, Florida, or on the road in his RV.
He will also call into the morning show featuring Tug Cowart and Scott Rhino once a week and do a live segment.
Inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2009, Boortz retired from WSB radio after 20 years at the station in early 2013 and was given a huge send-off at the Fox Theatre featuring Sean Hannity and Herman Cain. He continued to provide WSB with daily commentaries for six years. He also did a subscription-only podcast. But he stopped both in 2019.
“Three years ago, WSB told me that I was too old to appeal to the new demographic they were pursuing,” Boortz said in a text. “So they canceled my commentary. XTRA came along and offered to reinstate the commentaries, and since they really take time no time at all, I said OK let’s try during this election year. Ought to be fun and I’ll enjoy the walking-around cash.”
He now tweets regularly, railing against Joe Biden and rising crime, among other hot topics, as well as provocative memes found on the web.
Boortz, 76, said on Twitter that WSB radio would no longer air his voice for radio ads of clients he still endorses such as Vision Computer, Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead and Woodhams Eye Clinic. Drew Anderssen, WSB program director, did not return a text for comment.
In a press release, Boortz said: “The opportunity to be stridently un-WOKE and to stir things up during a crucial election year just couldn’t be passed up.”
Xtra, despite a relatively weak FM signal outside of Cobb County and north Fulton County, generated a 0.8 share in December, tied for 25th with the temporary Christmas station that aired on 96.7 that is now regional Mexican. That’s much higher than the station was getting when it was a sports talk station and Dickey notes that time spent listening is among the best in the market.
The station, which also airs shows hosted by Glenn Beck and the combo of Clay Travis and Buck Sexton, can also be picked up on the TuneIn app or the Xtra 106.3 app or website.