We saw the passing of one of the greatest political orators last week as former New York Governor Mario Cuomo died at the age of 82. Following his three terms as Governor, Cuomo tried his hand at talk radio and like many other liberal talkers, he was not ready for prime time. In the New York Daily News, David Hinkley writes that Cuomo was almost unlistenable and just couldn't make the transition to talk host on his WABC weekend show. "Articulate as Cuomo was, delivering a policy speech rooted in and laced with theological allusions is a far different skill than grabbing and keeping an audience on talk radio."
Salem Radio Network VP for News and Talk Programming Tom Tradup was Cuomo's Executive Producer at WMCA's "Ask the Lieutenant Governor." He telss RadioInk he winced a little at the Hinkley's analysis of Cuomo's brief tenure in talk radio. "Primarily because of my philosophy not to kick a guy while he's down (and dead is about as down as it gets.) The facts (ratings, loss of affiliates) speak for themselves. So on that level maybe Cuomo was a "lousy" host. He also suffered from the same left-leaning philosophy which has led MSNBC to historically teeny levels of viewing (although that fact may upset their literally hundreds of viewers.). But on overall substance and personal charm I loved Cuomo. With the right direction, I believe he could have developed into a great talk radio host."
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