Mark Levin and Michael Savage have long been on-air rivals. The two right wing talk show hosts used to compete in the same 5 to 8 p..m CT time slot — Levin’s show syndicated by Cumulus Media, Savage’s show syndicated by Talk Radio Network. After a bitter divorce with Talk Radio Network, Savage was hired by Cumulus in 2012 to broadcast a new show in the 8 to 11 p.m. slot, following Levin.
Even though the two rivals were now employed by the same syndicator, that hasn’t stopped the two of them from taking occasional swipes at each other. While both individuals are uniquely spirited, Levin has a better way with words, giving him the ability to be far more mean and nasty. And he certainly demonstrated that while going after Savage once again this past May.
“You little troll, you little nobody… I kicked your butt in the ratings, head to head, one end of the nation to the other. That’s why you’re late night. Got it? I’d like you to come back at six pm, against me, eastern of course, so I could do it again, snaggletooth.”
Soon after that diatribe, Savage’s name surfaced as a potential replacement for Sean Hannity’s show, syndicated by Premiere Radio, which airs on Cumulus-owned news/talk stations throughout the country. When such rumors became official last month, that had to be the most vicious low blow to Levin’s ego (I’m guessing today’s conference call with Cumulus COO John Dickey didn’t help). The move to afternoons is a huge promotion, one that Levin lost to a bitter rival who joined his syndicator just one year ago.
While I’m not particularly fond of either guy, I can appreciate Savage from an entertainment standpoint. I hesitate to find any redeeming qualities about Levin.
And I can’t help but appreciate the irony with how this worked out.