Charlie Sykes to leave WTMJ

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Conservative talk radio show host Charlie Sykes, a fixture on AM 620 WTMJ for 23 years, will leave the station at the end of the year, Sykes and the radio station announced today.

Charlie Sykes

Sykes will also end his weekly television show “Sunday Insight” on Today’s TMJ4 at the end of the year.

“It has been both a pleasure and honor to work here,” said Sykes. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to be a part of the momentous changes that have taken place in Wisconsin over the last two decades. This is not a decision that I made either lightly or recently and it was not driven by this year’s political season. I made this decision more than a year ago for both professional and very personal reasons. My father died when he was 63, and I will turn 62 this year, so this year has always been circled on my calendar. Frankly, if I was ever going to make a move, it was now. While I am stepping back from my daily radio duties I intend to remain an active voice. I want to write more, travel more and pursue new opportunities.”

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Beginning in January, conservative talk radio host Jeff Wagner’s show will move up from its midday slot to fill the Sykes slot from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. A new show will be announced for Wagner’s 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. slot, the station said.

Sykes has been an influential voice for conservative media in Wisconsin, and some major Republican political leaders in the state commented, via Twitter, on his announcement today.

“@SykesCharlie Congrats on your announcement. You’ve been on top of the big issues for 23 years. Thanks!!!” Gov. Scott Walker tweeted.

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“Thanks @SykesCharlie for a great run on MKE radio. We appreciate your commitment to advancing conservative principles in WI & nationally.” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, tweeted.

Sykes recently published his eighth book, “Fail U. – The False Promise of Higher Education” and is at work on his ninth, a look at the future of the conservative movement.

Sykes said he will continue to write and edit and will remain editor of Wisconsin Interest Magazine.

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