Former KOTA anchorman and Tea Party speaker Shad Olson is launching his new radio talk show, the Shad Olson Show, tomorrow on KIMM in Rapid City, 1150 AM and 106.7 FM. The show will air from 8:00 am to 9:00 am Monday through Friday.
I spoke with Shad recently about his background, what has happened since his difficulties at KOTA, and where he is going now.
Olson comes from a conservative homeschool family where reading books, even at a young age, was a way of life; he read “Atlas Shrugged” while still in grade school. He got into media and broadcasting early on while living in his hometown in Nebraska, working first as a DJ, then as a reporter for KOTA in Oglala, NE.
Olsonworked for KOTA in Rapid City for ten years, seven of those as a news anchor. During that time, he earned numerous journalism awards including the Edward R. Murrow Award, Emmy Awards and a National Emmy Nomination for ‘Best Television Documentary’ in the nation.
That all began to change in 2010. Olson, who is very patriotic and has a deep love for America without embracing a particular political party, began speaking at various gatherings including those of the South Dakota Family Policy Council and Citizens for Liberty, the Rapid City Tea Party group. His passion for American history and the principles which founded the greatest nation on earth always stirred and excited local crowds. Then Citizens for Liberty asked Olson if he would speak at their 2010 Tax Day Tea Party.
After doing so, KOTA considered Olson’s patriotic speech a breach of journalistic ethics and suspended him from his on-air duties. A great outcry arose from KOTA viewers not only in the Rapid City area, but across the state and even as far as Virginia. With the tremendous amount of liberal bias in the “mainstream” media, many believed Olson’s nonpartisan speech about the principles of Americanism was not improper at all, especially in light of the fact that Olson’s on-air presence has never given an indication of political affiliation in any direction.
Members of Citizens for Liberty spoke up for Olson, and the group issued a public statement of support, but it became clear over the course of several weeks that it would be best for Olson and KOTA to end their relationship.
Since ending his employment with KOTA, Olson has been engaged with a variety of projects, not the least of which has been preparing for his new radio talk show. In addition to airing daily Mon-Fri on KIMM, the show will also be broadcast on KBFS AM 1450 in Belle Fourche, KVSH 940 in Valentine, Nebraska, and KYDT FM in Sundance, Wyoming.
The show will be an hour long with the first part usually a monologue, followed by an interview segment on a cultural or political topic.
Olson’s topics may range from local and South Dakota issues to national ones. He believes there are issues of fiscal responsibility facing South Dakota, and there are many policy areas set to challenge our commitment to responsibility including new ones like the expansion of preschool and old ones involving the protection of “sacred cows.” On the national level, Olson believes our nation is at a crossroads of philosophy, and it hinges on how the American people view their relationship with government and vice versa; the sustainability of cradle-to-grave entitlements; whether people view themselves as wards of the state, or as free men and women.
Olson said he is committed to providing his listeners with information they aren’t getting elsewhere. Upcoming shows will feature interviews with two women who were nearby during the recent failed car bomb attempt in New York City, a discussion with a Constitutional scholar, and on Monday June 14 will be a discussion with Rapid City Pastor H. Wayne Williams on “church and state” issues.
Olson is looking to expand to other radio stations beyond those listed above, but for now, if you are in the listening area of Rapid City, Belle Fourche, Valentine or Sundance, be sure to tune in your radios tomorrow at 8:00 am and fasten your seat belts!