About Larry Rifkin
Tune in Monday-Friday from 10am-1pm EST for the Rifkin Radio Show on WATR 1320 AM or on www.WATR.com
Larry Rifkin, a successful television programming executive, decided to do a radio talk show because as a fan of the genre, he was getting tired of one way rants on a limited number of subjects. He was convinced that discussion about a richer blend of subjects with contrasting views — left, right and center — would hold more appeal for a broader audience. Using his estimable producing skills, which have won him awards and distinction with the PBS system, he decided to find a small laboratory to test his concept. Just miles from his home on the heritage AM in Waterbury, Connecticut, WATR-AM, he began hosting SPECIAL EDITION SATURDAY, a three hour program. WATR covers western and northwestern Connecticut with a 5,000-watt signal. The program blends politics, social trends, financial and health information and entertainment features. Rifkin has attracted national entertainers, politicians, think tank representatives, authors and experts to speak to his audience. He tries to keep each program well-paced and upbeat, sponsoring debates on key issues like Iraq and medical malpractice, while sprinkling audio accents of Lenny Bruce, during an interview with the author of “The Trials of Lenny Bruce”. His uncanny ability to seize the moment and find compelling voices to bring to his audience has resulted in a growing popularity for the program, according to the station manager, Tom Chute. Rifkin employs a front of the book to back of the book approach to his weekly three hours. He carefully crafts each show to insure that it is sensitive to the various interests of his middle aged to senior audience. Rifkin’s interviews are thorough and compelling as he searches for answers which may go beyond the sound bite heard elsewhere. Referring to himself as a ‘flaming moderate’, though a former liberal, Rifkin’s views are equally disdainful of Democratic paternalism as they are of Republican indifference to human needs in public policy matters. You come away from an interview he’s done with liberal, James Fallows, of ATLANTIC MONTHLY or with David Frum, former Bush speechwriter and author of ‘The Right Man’, knowing that Rifkin’s done his homework, gotten to the essence of the subject and tried to poke at extreme positions from the place most Americans find themselves politically — in the mainstream middle. If anything, it will feel like a departure from the conservative-dominated talk radio landscape, while not a capitulation to failed liberal views, which Rifkin had once adopted and discarded. Mr. Rifkin’s energetic and textured delivery comes from years on both television and radio. He began in radio as a teenager and has been a regular fixture on Connecticut Public Television, providing extemporaneous interviews and pleadings for over 20 years. He holds a master’s degree in corporate and political communications from Jesuit-run Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. ‘Let’s try something a bit different, with a broader scope, for a growing talk radio audience,’ he said.