A Time to Say Thank You
By Steve Deace
Two years ago today we launched the nationally-syndicated Steve Deace Show from 9 p.m. – Midnight eastern. We chose that time slot because we decided to take the advice of the movie Robots: see a need, fill a need.
Sure, we’d all prefer to work earlier in the day. But when you’re starting out in a highly-competitive industry as basically a nobody, and you don’t have a major network demanding its 200-plus affiliate radio stations clear your show from day one, you have to go where there’s opportunity. And there was opportunity at that time, which also provided us a chance to be live on the air with breaking news (like on Election Night) when almost nobody else is.
I took a big risk doing this. I left one of the best local radio jobs in America with a young family in tow, not knowing what would come next. I sifted through over a dozen offers and/or inquiries over the course of honoring my 6-month non-compete, not really knowing for sure what to do or who to do it with once I was able to do something. After a lot of prayer, the suggestion of my wife, and the advice of my former radio boss to “follow my gut,” we decided to launch this show with the help of Stu Epperson, Jr. and the Salem Radio Network on December 5th, 2011.
That night we launched with 12 affiliates, and only one ranked in the top 10 (Atlanta). Two years later we have over 70 affiliates, and have 5 affiliates ranked in the top 10—including the #1 market in the country (New York City). We’ve been added as regular contributors to top conservative news-sites Townhall and CNS News. We’ve been published as free-lance contributors for Politico, USA Today, The Washington Times, and Breitbart.com. We’ve also appeared on all three major cable news networks, and been interviewed in countless other media outlets both here and abroad. I’ve traveled the country to either speak, do political activism, or meet influential movers-and-shakers. This has also encouraged me, because I’ve met so many people eager to preserve freedom and liberty for future generations as we are.
Not bad for a boy born to a 15-year old mom who lived in the low-rent district of Des Moines, Iowa in 1973. However, the truth is I really can’t take credit for much of what’s happened here. In fact, I’ve got the easiest job of them all. I’m just telling people what I think, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong.
The doors God has opened for us, the relationships He’s had us in the right place and the right time to connect with, and the resources He’s made available to make this happen in just two years is both humbling and breathtaking. None of this would be possible without Him. Contentment is difficult for someone as competitive as I am. It’s tough for me to enjoy wins sometimes, because after I get one I immediately begin seeking the next one. Therefore, writing today’s blog is therapeutic for me, because it reminds me of just how faithful God has already been. Sometimes I get in a ditch if we haven’t had a “win” (and my definition of that is of course often selfish) in a while, and I need to be reminded of just how far we’ve already come.
We’ve come this far because God has put a great team around me.
It begins with the men who serve with me at my company the Veritas Group, for they made it possible for me to independently own my content up until this point. This leaves me untainted by pressure to water down the truths and values that are the reason why we do what we do, which is an all-too-often occurrence in this business unless you become such a big name that you’re now the one calling the shots. If it weren’t for these men investing their time, talent, and treasure into transforming culture, I simply could not have made it this far without compromising at least something to get ahead.
Our co-hosts, Jen and Rebekah, have both been staunchly protective allies who guard the integrity of our product even more proactively than I do. There have been several times they’ve kept me on the straight and narrow when I have been tempted to wander off. Oh, and I guess they’re pretty good at being on the radio, too.
The growth we’ve seen in the show since we brought on Kevin McCullough and the team at Xtremedia to take us to the next level has been vital and impressive. There are reasons McCullough is ranked one of the top talk show hosts in America by Talkers Magazine, and I’ve learned a lot from him already. For example, I’ve learned sometimes I have to leave my comfort zone so God can move you, which is how Kevin convinced me to accompany him and Stephen Baldwin to Haiti for a mission trip next week.
We also have to thank all of the program directors that took a chance on this show. Without all of you we wouldn’t have our affiliates. And without all of our affiliates we wouldn’t have a platform to fear God, tell the truth, and make money.
Of course, this isn’t a non-profit ministry, so this also wouldn’t be possible without the support of our advertisers and your willingness to support them, which we are eternally grateful for. There’s a reason your pastor takes an offering each week. Yes, where God guides He also provides, but it’s through your offering that He often provides your church the resources it needs to preach the Gospel and to open its arms to the poor and needy. Similarly, if you enjoy our show and want more people around the country to enjoy it as well, then we need to prove to this industry we don’t have to set aside our faith to be commercially successful. That’s where you come in, because we could do the best radio show in America, but if enough of you are not taking your business to our advertisers we’re not staying on the air. If you’ve never supported our advertisers in the past, please consider doing so in 2014.
Our relationship with those of you in our audience is second to none. As our show grows and the demands on my time grow along with it, it gets harder and harder for me to continue to engage all of you via email or social media. But my promise is as best I can I will continue investing in that dialogue with all of you. Especially because there is no greater reward for a host than to move a listener to the point he/she seeks direct interaction. That’s when you know what you’re saying has really connected with your audience, whether they agree or disagree.
Last, but certainly not least, I’ve got to thank my wife and kids. My wife will tell you there is no greater calling than to be a wife and a mom, but she has set aside some of her own dreams and desires for the time being to fulfill those roles. I don’t care how dedicated you are, that is not easy. If I didn’t have her love and support, and confidence in her ability to oversee the day-to-day responsibilities of our home life, there is no way I would be free to pursue this opportunity. I know everybody thinks their kids are the best, but mine just might be. There is still nothing like coming home to them and being welcomed as a conquering hero, even if I just absolutely blew it before I got there. To have a home that provides a sanctuary from the controversy and competition that is my job is the main thing that keeps me going.
It’s been a crazy, rewarding, and fast two years. We already have some exciting things lined up for 2014, like my next book on my 10 Commandments of Political Warfare due out February 25th. We’ve already secured some top-notch endorsements for this book, and multiple best-selling author David Limbaugh is going to write the foreword. Our hope is that this book finally provides our side with a practical guide to actually doing what we believe.
If this is how much we’ve grown in just two years, I can’t wait to see what God has planned for the next two. My prayer is that all of you will stick along for the ride, but also discover it’s harder to find a seat on the bandwagon as well.
God bless and Merry Christmas.