CINCINNATI – Jerry Springer (search) has been a politician, television news anchorman and host of a raucous TV show. Now he can add radio talk show host to the list.
Springer, 60, will host a politically oriented radio talk show in Cincinnati (search) — where he once served as mayor — and he promises to challenge the Bush administration on issues ranging from Iraq to Social Security.
"I'm excited about it," Springer said Wednesday in a telephone interview from the Chicago offices of TV's "Jerry Springer Show," which he will continue to host.
Some see the radio show as a springboard for the Democrat's possible return to politics in 2006, either in a run for Ohio governor or a Senate seat, although Springer declined to comment on the issue Wednesday.
The new show is "a great opportunity to offer other voices, which now are not heard very much in the political dialogue of America," he said.
Springer did radio commentary in the 1970s in Cincinnati and was a TV news anchor in the 1980s.
He served as a city councilman in the 1970s, but resigned in 1974 after admitting in federal court he wrote personal checks to pay prostitutes. He was later elected mayor and lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1982.
Springer is best known around the country for his trashy television show, which often devolves into fist fights and flurries of bleeped-out obscenities.
Begun in 1991, the show has built its ratings on raunchy topics such as "Country Lovin' Gone Bad" and a scantily clad woman who ran around a trailer park painting derogatory names on her neighbors' homes.
Springer said he will welcome opposing views on his show from callers in Cincinnati, a Republican bastion. "The conservatives have pretty much cornered the market on talk radio, cable talk," he said.
Republicans jabbed back.
"The more people hear from Jerry Springer, the less likely they will be to elect him to public office," said Jason Mauk, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party. "This is a guy who peddles smut for a living."
Clear Channel, which owns WSAI-AM in Cincinnati, is scrapping the station's oldies format and changing to an all-talk format with a schedule of liberal commentators. The call letters will change to WCKY-AM on Monday.
Springer's show will be three hours in the morning, five days a week.
The plan is to offer Springer's radio talk show in other markets, said Darryl Parks, director of AM radio operations for Clear Channel Cincinnati (search).
"There's talk about syndicating this, which will probably be happening in the next couple of weeks," Parks said. "Anytime you can get a marquee talent like Jerry Springer, you grab the chance."