Friday morning was the final “Abdul in the Morning” show on WXNT Newstalk 1430AM in Indianapolis. I had started to listening to WXNT in the mornings when Greg Browning had the morning slot and I was a bit skeptical, but intrigued, when they announced that a “conservative, black Muslim from Illinois” was taking over the morning show. I still remember I was driving my toddler daughter (now nine years old) to her aunt’s house in Brownsburg before going into the office that morning when I heard of the upcoming change.
Very quickly. Abdul’s show became my favorite on radio not only because of his excellent coverage of local and state politics, cutting a different path than most that focus on the easier national issues, but because he did it so well and so fairly to all involved. I have to say I was amazed and impressed at how quickly he was able to establish himself as a fixture amongst all things political in Indianapolis. His show quickly became a daily must listen to event for anyone interested in staying up on government affairs in Indiana.
The next few years evolved in such a way that I became not just a listener to the show and sometimes caller, but a sometimes guest on tax policy, libertarian politics and as a candidate for public office. Eventually, I even got the opportunity to act as a guest co-host along with good friends like Chris Spangle (the current Executive Director of the Indiana State Libertarian Party and a former producer of Abdul’s show). My loyalty to WXNT and Abdul’s show even prompted me to advertise on their station a couple of times.
I remember sitting in my office one day when a gentleman named Tom Hervey walked in and introduced himself as being in radio sales with WXNT and I told him that any friend of the Abdul show was a friend of mine. Tom has also always been a class act. Somewhere along the way Abdul, miraculously, even managed to find a beautiful, charming woman who could tolerate his (and Abdul would say this himself) ego and was willing to marry him.
I think that ultimately, while Entercom had to make a financial decision, they may have shot themselves in the foot with the loss of Abdul’s show. I like some of the other shows they have on WXNT but without Abdul anchoring the station with a friendly local presence, fresh locally significant content and his outreach to the community that they may have lost the biggest reason to keep 1430 AM as a featured pre-set in the car. If Abdul lands somewhere else on the local dial he is sure to take his audience with him. And his reporting and commentary can still be picked up at his Indiana Barrister BLOG site or his upcoming new site Indy Politics.
Abdul’s last show can be heard at my friend and political ally Chris Spangle’s web site http://www.chrisspangle.com/. Impressively, those calling in or stopping by to say thanks and wish him well included:
Governor and almost was Presidential candidate Mitch Daniels (R)Congressman Mike Pence (R)former Marion County Libertarian Party Chair Tim MaguireIndiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R)former Indiana Libertarian State Chair Brad KlopfensteinLibertarian Party of Indiana Executive Director Chris SpangleSpeaker of the Indiana House Brian Bosma (R)Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R)Indianapolis City Councilor Ed Coleman (L) Congressman and former Secretary of State Todd Rokita (R)and, of course, Larry
You know you have made an impression and a positive impact when your list of friends and well wishers includes that esteemed group of folks.
So, let me say thank you to Abdul for his service to the community, his friendship and the opportunities he afforded me and others in being a guest on his show from time-to-time. Let me also say thank you to Andrew Lee, Brian Moore, Chris Spangle and everyone at WXNT that was involved along the way. I know there are a lot of us out there who look forward to Abdul’s next broadcast media endeavor(s) – Democratic mayoral candidate Melina Kennedy and IPS Superintendent Eugene White not being among them.