What Happened to Chris Stigall After He Left 1210AM? A Podcast, of Course.

We caught up with the longtime conservative talker to chat about his departure from the radio waves, his new online show, and, naturally, Brian Sims.

chris stigall 1210am

Chris Stigall interviewing Mike Pence. (Photo by Jared Hart via Wikimedia Commons)

Back in March, we told you that conservative radio talker Chris Stigall was no longer at 1210AM, the Philadelphia station that broadcasts such right-wing, er, luminaries as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, and that Stigall had called home since 2010.

Now we’ve learned that Stigall has launched his own podcast, the creatively named “Chris Stigall Show,” which he says has had 50,000 unique downloads in just three weeks. We got Stigall on the phone to learn more.

So you couldn’t get another job in radio and decided that a podcast is the answer?
[Laughs] I’m still talking to other radio stations, but my kids were basically raised here and after almost a decade, this area has become home. The idea of trying to stay here and avoiding the usual gypsy life of a radio host seemed like a good plan.

You used to have to drive to the station every morning. Tell me you’re not just doing this in your underwear from bed.
Some people do it from home or their basement, but it was really important to me to set up a studio and go to work every day. I still keep my morning schedule. I still start my coffee and prep for the day and go to a studio near my home. I record it every morning and then make it available on all of the digital platforms by 9 a.m.

OK, so you aren’t taking advantage of the work-from-bed angle. What’s the upside?
What I’ve always loved most is interviewing people, and I was always constrained to segments of eight to 10 minutes. Now I can talk to someone until I am just out of questions. And I’ve done podcast extras where I just interview people for a solid hour or so. I can drill down deep on a subject I want to explore and ask lots and lots of questions. There’s no schedule. You’re not running over or running late.

I know that your 1210AM producer Paige Powers has now joined you for the podcast. How are you pulling all of this off from a financial standpoint?
Well, I have sponsors, and I’m adding more. There aren’t commercial breaks in the show like there were on the radio. I do what we call in the industry live-reads or endorsements, which I used to do before as well. You weave the sponsors into the presentation. Some of my longtime sponsors from the radio have followed me here.

You mentioned the freedom to interview people for as long as you want. But doing a podcast also brings you another kind of freedom, right? You can basically say whatever you want.
I try pretty hard to stay clean in terms of the language I use, but I can’t say that my guests always do. One of my first guests was the conservative author Kurt Schlichter out of California, and he was so excited to be one of the first that he swore up a storm. There was some pearl clutching by some people over that. I try to stay within the confines of how the radio show worked, but now I can talk about certain things without worrying that they’ll be taken the wrong way or that the front office might be pressured to comment on what I’ve said or that the station’s sponsor might get upset. There are no longer external pressures or threats like there are on commercial venues.

But you’d still go back to radio if the right offer comes up?
I’ll say this: I will never not podcast. I wish I started doing this years ago when I was approached.

I imagine that you have some non-disclosure agreement that precludes you from really answering this question, but … what actually happened at 1210AM?
I wish there were a sexier story. My contract was up, and it was a sort of mutual parting of ways. I guess that’s the way I’d put it. There was no ill will or bad feelings. It was just a non-renewal decision.

A non-renewal decision. Talk about diplomatic-speak.
[Laughs] I would have preferred to stay. I’ll put it to you that way. But it wasn’t to be.

I haven’t caught the podcast yet. Can I assume that you’ve delved into the Brian Sims mess?
Absolutely. I have to say that launching the podcast in the midst of that was a lot of fun. I was worried that it was too Philadelphia-focused for the podcast, where I have to think more broadly. But as I was talking about it, it was becoming a national story. Brian Sims is a gift.

We just had our first and only debate with the three Democrats running for mayor in Philly. Any wise insight into that race?
[Laughs] Are there any Democrats left in Philly that haven’t gone to jail?

Well, the Republican field isn’t exactly brimming with competence, with Billy Ciancaglini somehow being the only option.
I’ve spent the last decade trying to figure out why Republicans can’t gain traction in Philadelphia. The GOP has a lot of work to do figuring out how to crack that nut.