NAME: Ian Bernard
TITLE: Host, Affiliate Relations, Webmaster
SHOW: Free Talk Live
COMPANY: Free Talk Live
BORN: Sarasota, FL
RAISED: Sarasota, FL
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS: I cut my teeth at Jacor/Clear Channel's Sarasota cluster from '97-'03, mostly as a rock jock and all-station board op. A year after Clear Channel flipped the rock FM to their "Real Radio" talk format, I offered to do a show for free to replace the night show that was pulling zeros. "Free Talk Live" was born. FTL was picked up for syndication in September 2004.
1. How did you get your start in radio- why did you choose radio? Why talk radio in particular?
As a kid, I'd always been a radio geek with interest in CB, scanners, and shortwave. My shortwave interest got me interested in pirate radio. I wanted to be a pirate, and thought learning the ropes in the business would be a good first step. I got an internship at WYNF, the 50kW rock station in Sarasota, it wasn't long before I was on-air. It also wasn't long before I fell in love with talk radio. I knew there was no future for me in reading liner cards and playing the same songs endlessly, so when the FM talk opportunity came along, I jumped on it.
2. What are you passionate about?
"Free Talk Live," and fighting for real Liberty.
3. What makes "Free Talk Live" different from other shows out there- what perspective do you bring that isn't available elsewhere?
"Free Talk Live" is bringing a principled pro-Liberty message to the US and the world. There is simply no one else doing it. The so-called "Libertarians", like Neal Boortz, aren't really Libertarians. We are. Plus, we've made a habit out of violating lots of the "Talk Radio Code". No topic is screened out. We don't pretend to be gods. We're just people and we've even been known to change our minds.
4. The TV networks are doing what the radio companies didn't and are challenging the FCC's indecency rulings. As libertarians and free speech advocates, what's your gut feeling on how this is going to end up? Will the challenge be successful in court?
I hope it's successful. Though, I don't put any faith in government to do the right thing, and I certainly can't predict what a government judge will do. That said, I wish the industry could find the courage to ignore the FCC. Don't pay the fines, and when the agents come, have them thrown off your property. Yes, I know that would open you to all kinds of competition, but that's exactly what radio needs to stay alive. The FCC is and has been strangling this business. The FCC's oodles of laws have led to stagnation, and paved the way for satellite radio. Radio is finally paying the price for allowing the FCC to "protect" it from unlicensed operators.
5. If you hadn't gone into radio, what would you be doing today?
Pure speculation, but I do like computers.
6. Who are your mentors, your inspirations, the people you've learned the most from, in radio or in life?
Bob Garrett, rock god. Bob taught me the ropes and is a good friend. He also does voice work for FTL. Bob currently does mornings at WJBX in Ft. Myers. I consider these shows inspirational: Lionel, The Love Doctors, Phil Hendrie, Harry Browne, and Dan and Scott.
7. Of what are you most proud?
I'm most proud that on "Free Talk Live" we've actually converted self-avowed socialists into Libertarians. Not only can we entertain, but we can make a difference.
8. What do you do for fun?
"Free Talk Live," of course. If it wasn't fun, I wouldn't do it.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _____________.
...water. It's cheap and the best thing for you.
10. What's the best advice you ever got? The worst?
Best: "Give people what they want, and they will give you what you want."
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
Worst: The bureaucrat working the externship program in my high school tried to talk me out of doing radio. Good thing I don't have much respect for bureaucrats.
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