…So I was approved by the owners of the new radio company, who met me and agreed I would be a great fit for mornings. They put me on two stations, with a potential audience of 17 million. No pressure! The boss believed I could improve ratings by being who I was, and once he hired me he told me in no uncertain terms to ignore any advice I got from anyone else in the building about topics, etc.

Keep in mind that to do the job in LA, I had to drive down there every week, a drive of 600 miles. I had a teeny corporate apartment that I stayed in a few nights a week. I would do the show from my house in Vegas on Monday through the magic of technology, drive down to LA after the show, do Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from LA and drive home after my show on Thursday, and do Friday from my house in Vegas. Luckily I was always against traffic on the 210, so the drive was only about 3 1/2 hours. I honestly didn’t mind the drive, because I’d listen to books on tape, catch up with friends on the phone, etc. 

I wasn’t about to sell my home and drag my husband and dogs down to LA unless I was certain things would work out, and although they offered me a longer deal I only signed for a year, assuming that if things worked out I’d ask for a raise and then we’d consider moving there. 

Presto, change-o! Then they hired New Boss to oversee my Old Boss, and that one only liked Hannity and Levin radio. No slam to those talented millionaires but that wasn’t the job Old Boss had described. I had known New Boss for years from the radio industry, and knew he had a track record of success, so I wasn’t worried at first, but didn’t realize that he seriously only wanted ONE kind of radio. In every market. And it wasn’t the kind I did. 

NEW Boss’s favorite line was, “There are issues, and there’s fluff”. Nothing most people can actually relate to. In other words, C-SPAN, policy lecture, read-stats-out-of-a-laptop (boring, predictable, talking points) radio. I asked him once in a meeting: “So if I’m up all night with my dying dog, which is far more relatable to our audience than anything on the Drudge Report, that’s not a legitimate topic?” “Right.” 

What confused me was the fact that I had been told something completely different by everyone in the company, all the way up to the very top. If you wanted “issues only”, why not just keep Glenn Beck? Why bother paying a local host (or hosts)? So the people who hired ME before New Boss, suddenly thought I was incompetent because New Boss said so? Yep.

It might seem obvious, but as a local host your job is completely different from the BIG guys. If a local show is just going to cover national topics pulled from Drudge, why not just throw on a syndicated show and call it a day? And in my case, did I mention that I was hired primarily because I was NOT “Daily Outrage Radio”? I mentioned that, right? That will become important in the story.

New Boss arranged a professional ‘shotgun wedding’, where I was suddenly paired with unemployed friends of New Boss, one of whom had never done a daily radio show and one of whom was fresh out of rehab. This is Market #2. (I could say a lot more about those two, but they aren’t important). 

Silly me – my contract did not stipulate that I do the show solo. I should’ve thought of that, but it never occurred to me, because I had been solo hosting in Vegas for FIVE years. 

I was in for a roller coaster ride. Oh, in case you’re wondering what happened to Old Boss, who thought I was so great he spent two years wooing me, he was busy trying to save his own skin, so he hid under his desk and acted like he didn’t know me. I tried to talk to him to find to what was happening, but he wouldn’t even meet with me. 

I’ll never forget the day, about 8 weeks into my one year contract, when I realized it was O-V-E-R. I was driving in the middle of nowhere, and the New Boss called. Among other things, he said, “And if the (newly added) boys are talking, don’t feel like you have to interrupt.” WHAT??? This was supposed to be MY show! Now my participation is considered an “interruption”? I realized it was OVER and I had a lot of months left on my contract….


(Excerpt from “Don’t Pat Me On The Head; Blowback, Setbacks and Comebacks in Vegas Radio.”)  Available at Amazon.com


“Every Christian needs to understand that the individual’s calling is at the very heart of faith and that it is imperative that each Christian glorify God with his or her work. Charles Colson  

I became a Christian at age 21 when the guy I was dating literally dragged me to church. After being there for a few weeks, the teaching made sense and I believed in Christ as my Savior.  

I do find it amusing when people call Christians “narrow minded”, as if we’ve never heard anything but Christianity. I have heard the Unbelievers’ side and agreed with it until I discovered what I believe to be The Truth of God’s word. This isn’t meant to be a preachy book, and I’m certainly not trying to force anyone to see it my way. That’s impossible anyway. But here’s how faith affects MY life, my marriage and my career:  

I am fearless about my opinions when I believe they are based on Truth, and I don’t waiver when there’s blowback. The people I have admired over the course of history have never allowed public opinion to back them down. 

As a Christian my career has never been in the hands of any radio executives or treacherous co-workers. I’ve dealt with both and come out the other side every time. I never worry about whether or not I’ll have a job, because at least at this point in my life, this is clearly what God wants me to do. And when He closes those doors, I’ll do something else. 

My faith is a huge part of my marriage. I consider the choice of spouse to be, after Faith in Christ, THE most important decision you can make. Blow it, and your life will forever be affected. 

Luckily for me, I was a Christian long before I got married, and I chose WELL. I chose my husband because of his character and his love for God. He is the spiritual leader in our home, and believe it or not, even though I can fearlessly smack any politician around, I don’t boss my husband around. I don’t touch a thermostat without checking with him! Besides, he knew me years before I had a radio show, so he’s supportive but not star struck. I can go out in public and someone will say, “Look, there’s Heidi Harris!” I get home, and he says, “Isn’t it your turn to clean the dog poop out of the yard?” Yep, he keeps it real. I totally married up. It makes life easy….

….There are people who have no confidence in their own talent or God’s plan for their lives, so they believe the only way they can succeed is to try to destroy others. We’ve all dealt with them.  

I’m NOT comparing myself for one second to any great Believers, but all you have to do is open The Bible. Pick a page. You’re going to have trouble in this life. God never promised you otherwise. But what He gives you is the strength to get through it, learn something and come out stronger. What good is spiritual muscle if you never handle anything heavy? Their plans never succeed, but God’s plan for you always does. Shake it off and move on.

Not believing that God has it will make you very insecure, paranoid and ultimately treacherous. I know some people who can’t be happy if anyone else on the station or in the market is getting any attention. Nor can they be happy when someone in another market achieves success. They have to have all of it. I used to have a hound dog like that. I could give all of my dogs a chew treat, and Dixie could not relax unless she was the only one who had one.

Knowing that you will have as much as God wants you to have and understanding that it might not be all that you want will help you relax and enjoy your life and career much more. And you’ll probably have more friends… 

“Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.”

Proverbs 24:29


(Excerpt from “Don’t Pat Me on The Head; Blowback, Setbacks and Comebacks in Vegas Radio”. Available at Amazon.com)

Conservatives Can Be Mooches Too!

“…You’d think that of all people conservatives would remember how businesses operate, but they often “forget” that talk radio survives because sponsors support it. Many of them assume that because you agree with them you’ll push their agenda for free.

I recently had a PR woman send me an email about a right wing climate movie that was coming out, refuting the climate change propaganda. I had heard of the movie and was actually interested in seeing it. She wanted to give me two free tickets and wanted to have the director on. Because I thought the movie had a great message I suggested that to really give it the right punch, we should do a “movie night” for listeners where we gave away tickets and had the whole theater to ourselves. It could have been great! And for all that great publicity she’d only need to buy a small schedule (of ads).

Of course that “wasn’t what she was looking for”. Yeah, I know. After that the movie seemed to vanish. I never heard much more about it anywhere. Perhaps her plan didn’t go over so well at other stations, either. By doing what I suggested in various markets, she would have benefitted her clients far more, but she was strictly looking for free, not effective.

Maybe some smaller markets took the bait and were honored to have the director on, but if you have the budget for PR, you have the budget for radio. PR people do their clients a disservice when they convince them they can get tons of publicity for free. I reminded this PR lady that WE stay on the air because people SPONSOR what we do. She no longer pesters me with her other clients. Bonus.

There are always exceptions when the subject is interesting. For example, in 1986, the entire elementary school in Cokeville, Wyoming was taken hostage by a crazy man with a bomb strapped to his body and his equally crazy wife. I had never even heard about it! When “The Cokeville Miracle” movie came out, I was thrilled to speak to a survivor of the incident, who was about 12 at the time, even though they weren’t running a spot schedule, because it was a fascinating story.

Once again, what’s in it for the listener?

On the other hand, you have the right wing and libertarian conventions that charge people a fortune to hear their big ticket speakers. They toss crumbs at gullible radio hosts, offering “big name guests” to say predictable, right wing things, and whose sole purpose is promoting their event without paying for advertising. They never even offer the host free tickets!

Some easily flattered hosts fall for that trick, believing that having “big name guests” on their show makes their SHOW sound bigger, but in reality, they’re just being used by the event promoters. Often they can find some newbie on a low rated station to do the interviews, but if those groups can get away with not advertising, it hurts ALL of us in the long run.

Allowing yourself to be used doesn’t give you status. Most girls figure this out in high school.”

(Excerpt from “Don’t Pat Me On The Head; Blowback, Setbacks and Comebacks in Vegas Radio”, available at Amazon.com)

Never Be Afraid To Take On The Bad Guys

“Many years ago I was walking in Sunset Park, a popular park in Las Vegas. There was an area in the back where there were lots of trees and trails and I was walking my dog off leash. Suddenly I saw a young guy wearing parachute pants (think MC Hammer) like they wore in the 80’s, without a shirt and using a walking stick. I flashed on Ted Bundy and his notorious fake cast.

I gave the guy a menacing look, put my dog back on leash and left the area.

A few minutes later, walking along the edge of the bushes, I heard a noise, so I stepped into the clearing. There he was, talking to two little girls! They had their backs to me. I took a step forward toward him, he looked up at me, and they turned around when he looked up. I called them over and asked them if they knew him. They said no, and I told them to get out of there and to not play in those bushes.

That clearing was just a few feet from the main park, but with all the noise in the park you could basically do ANYTHING to someone and no one would hear it. Those little girls had no idea of the danger, and clearly neither did their parents. I could have ignored the whole thing. After all, it wasn’t my business, but the crusader in me took over. The creep followed me through the park yelling obscenities, and saying, “What are you, Superwoman?” I went to the first table full of people I saw, and we called the police. He got arrested for outstanding warrants.

We all have a duty to get involved and care about each other. One day I was leaving the pet store and there was a dog in a very hot car. I started yelling toward the store, because the doors opened every few seconds, “Whose DOG is this?” The guy came out and didn’t appreciate my berating him. I’d like to have seen HIM sit in that car for even five minutes without A/C.

The weird things was when some girl who looked half out of it walked by and got mad at ME and told me to mind MY business! What, I shouldn’t call someone out for being a jerk when a dog’s life is at stake? That kind of logic escapes me, but is far too common these days. Don’t tell anyone they’re wrong, even when they are. Let’s not make anyone look or feel bad. And that, my friends, is how evil flourishes.”

Excerpt from my latest book, “Don’t Pat Me on The Head, Blowback, Setbacks, and Comebacks in Vegas Radio” available at Amazon.com.

Tips on being a Cable TV “Talking Head”…

Excerpt from my book, “Don’t Pat Me on the Head”

….When I started doing cable I was way too serious. My mom would say, “Use your HUMOR!”, and she was right of course. It wasn’t that I took myself seriously, but I wasn’t confident enough to joke around. You cannot take yourself too seriously when you do cable hits. You’re on TV for three minutes, for heaven’s sake! Get over yourself. You’re not changing the world. You’re just a head in a box filling time in a 24 hours news cycle. 

You may only get ONE chance to say something important, so you need to be ready and be concise. It doesn’t matter how much the other person says as long as you get that zinger or that principle in. Many times you don’t get a chance to respond to other guests or even the host if time is tight, so you can’t explain yourself as thoroughly as you’d like to, but you can’t let it bother you. Besides, if I feel the urge, I have three hours on MY show tomorrow to clarify the record. 

Especially with MSNBC, the hate tweets would start immediately. I would barely be in the car and my phone would be dinging, dinging, dinging. I’m ugly, stupid and much worse. If you can’t handle it, don’t do it. I believe I’m right or I won’t say it, and I don’t even know these twitter trolls, so why would I care what they have to say about ANYTHING?  

As I said, most of the hosts have been great, right or left, but there have been exceptions. Once I was getting ready to go on an MSNBC show called 1600, I think. I don’t even remember who the host was, but as I was waiting my turn to go on, earpiece in my ear, listening to the people before me, I heard the host screaming at the guest. Uh oh, what was I in for?…

“Don’t You Know Who I AM????”

(This is an excerpt from my book, “Don’t Pat Me On The Head”)

…I never walk into a room and assume that anyone recognizes me unless it’s a radio event or I’m the guest speaker. It was a weird adjustment for me to realize that other people see me differently than I see myself. Not too long after I started doing a weekend show, I ran into a bartender I had worked with in a casino. She looked at me like I was from another planet and I had worked across the bar from her for EIGHT YEARS! “Hey, Kris, it’s ME!” In the words of Joe Walsh, “Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed…” 

People who’ve known me for decades from the various jobs I’ve had know that I’m the same mouthy broad I’ve always been. Nothing has changed, except the people I come into contact with at work. But I’m under no illusion. I am just a working girl, and the fact that I might sit next to the Governor or some other high ranking official or famous person at lunch does not mean they’re my “close friends” or that we travel in the same social circles. Most of them would never talk to me if I weren’t on the radio. 

‘Don’t you know who I am?’ is about the most obnoxious thing you can say. First of all, if they don’t know “who you are”, you’re not that famous, and if they do, ‘who you are’ in human terms means nothing to God. For me, who I am in Christ is all that matters. God is in charge of my future, and no one else. Not a Program Director, not a treacherous co-host, columnist or anyone listening who demands that I be taken off the air. I’ve dealt with all of that and more, and I’m still standing because God clearly wants me to do this, at least for now. 

I’ll do radio as long as HE wants me to, and then someday I plan to disappear into blissful obscurity. I honestly don’t understand people who cannot walk away from the spotlight. I look forward to it. I’ll buy an RV and take off with my hubby, dogs and books walking my dogs at sunrise in my pajamas like other RV’ers and no one will recognize me. That would be just about perfect…  


“If anyone thinks they are something when they are nothing,

they deceive themselves.” Galatians 6:3