The cat is now completely out of the bag, so I might as well fess up.
I am leaving at the end of this year. June 3rd was my 40th birthday and also my 10th year on the payroll as Editor-in-Chief of RedState. I emailed the corporate overlords that day and told them it was time to start planning a transition. Frankly, I wanted to be done the week after the RedState Gathering, but they asked me to stay till the end of the year and I agreed.
When I first became Editor-in-Chief, I was also CEO of RedState, Inc. But on the same day my wife was given six months to live, fate intervened with RedState and Mike, Ben, Clayton, and I also decided we needed to sell RedState. We did sell it to Eagle Publishing, Inc. My wife is still alive and I’ve been here ever since.
But all good things must come to an end and I arrived this year in June at a time ready to make another leap of faith.
My career in radio continues to grow. I’ve been filling in for Herman Cain and now Rush Limbaugh and my own show in Atlanta has stellar ratings. My radio company is Cox Media Group and they very much want me to have a radio show website. RedState is owned by Salem Communications now, which bought Eagle Publishing. It too is a radio company.
So I find myself in a conundrum and realized that my future is in radio — well, really my future is in multimedia where the web and radio are all one component used in various ways to benefit them all. And that, I think at this point, requires me to go out on my own. i just don’t want to run two separate websites between two radio competitors when I have a pretty specific vision of what I want to do blending radio, the internet, and conservative activism.
Additionally, I have a book coming out in early February; some days find myself doing radio at 6:30 a.m., filling in for Rush for three hours, then doing my own radio show; get up at 5 a.m. on most Mondays to be on Fox & Friends; and am in seminary. Oh, and I have a wife and two kids whose little league games and opportunities have mostly been dad-less because of all my work.
I have had rounds of flu with no one to pass off Morning Briefing duties to, so I still got it done. No vacation has been to anywhere that did not have wifi so I could still get up a morning post. So it is time. To be perfectly candid, I want to own my own site again, do my own thing, and experiment with the integration of radio and the web and advertising in my own way.
Now don’t worry, I’ll still be here, but at the end of December we will formally transition me out of the title “Editor-in-Chief.” I’ll still be at the RedState Gathering next year too. You’ll still get posts from me here.
I realize how blessed and unique I am after eleven years on the front page of RedState. I am one of the very few people who started out on a blog and transitioned first to television and now to the most listened to news/talk station in the country. WSB, in fact, just won the Marconi award for best news/talk station in the nation.
Usually, it goes the other way with radio and television guys going to the internet.
I would have never gotten to this point without all of you. You are family. For years I have said RedState is my second wife and my third child. But after ten years of getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning and staying up past midnight and spending all day checking emails and responding to people, I really just want my one wife. And I want my third child to be grow up and be all it can be without being in my shadow.
Right now, RedState is me and I am RedState. It’s time for Erick to be Erick and it is time for RedState to have its own identity. I think Leon is the best person to run that transition and make that happen and we are very blessed to have had a smooth transition to a great company in Salem Communications.
Again, I’m here till the end of December and you’ll always be able to find me at erickontheradio.com. In the meantime, as I take a leap of faith to projects and adventures, I value your friendship and I very much value your prayers.