Last month's announcement that David Sirota and Michael Brown would team up to replace Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman on KHOW opened up a 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekday vacancy on AM 760, Sirota's previous radio home. But rather than hire another ideologue to fill the slot, Clear Channel Denver, which oversees both outlets, chose broadcasting veteran Gloria Neal, who debuted on the signal this week with a show very different from Sirota's. How's she describe her style?
"If people are talking about something in their lives, then I'm talking about it on the show," Neal says. "That means everything from the very serious, whether it's dealing with Romney and Obama and Bain Capital and is the Affordable Care Act a tax increase, and why people call it Obamacare, all the way down to a woman who was panhandling for breast implants and what is We dating. The things girlfriends talk about when they get together and men talk about when it's guys' night."
As these comments imply, politics -- a Sirota staple -- will definitely be part of the mix. But Neal plans to approach the topic from a more personal angle.
"I've said this to David -- and I'm very fond of him -- but his is a very professorial approach," she notes. "He'll be talking and say things like, 'Back in 1860....' And mine is a very no-nonsense layman's approach: Here is the issue, here's what I think, tell me what you think.
"I think one of the things that's been missing on talk radio is looking at how politics impacts people here -- and those are the things I want to bring home. We know the national issues, but how is this national presidential campaign going to impact me in Colorado? And I'm coming at it from a woman's standpoint. So once again, I'm in a new realm. A new opportunity has been presented."
There have been plenty of those over the years. As we noted in a 2008 post about Neal, she's worked for a slew of Denver-area media organizations over the years, serving a long stretch as a news anchor on KOA-AM.850, hosting shows on defunct stations/formats such as Jammin' and Sassy, taking part in Fox 31's "Fox Box" feature, writing a blog for the Denver Post's Politics West website and more. But in recent years, her most high-profile job has been at CBS4, where she transitioned from 2008 Democratic National Convention coverage to regular appearances on early evening newscasts.
Because her role at CBS4 didn't end when she took the AM 760 offer, "there will be a tremendous opportunity to cross-promote," she says. "I'm glad [CBS4 news director] Tim Wieland has been so forward-thinking as far as I'm concerned. He and [station general manager] Walt DeHaven have said, 'Glo is a little different, and we like different.' So I'm truly blessed to be in my position, and when, say, Brian Maass has an investigative piece coming up, or Jodi Brooks has a big report, it would be great to get them to come on and talk about them.. To me, it's a huge plus for them, for me, and for 760 -- a win-win-win."
As for her politics, she avoids describing herself as a progressive, a liberal or anything else. "I'm not big on labels, because they let people make up their minds about me before I even open my mouth. I know that I lean more toward a progressive label than I would a conservative one, but that's just for those people who've got to put folks in boxes, and I don't particularly like them." She jokes that "my personality is too big for a box, honey.
"The station is called progressive, but really, my show is a lifestyle show. Before Glo was even on TV, Glo was and still is an average person. The trick is letting people in, letting them get to know you, and you them, and understanding that it's not about being perfect. It's about being real -- looking at what the real issues are, and who the listeners are, and how they're going to perceive their world on your show."
As for how she can win over listeners who've been listening to Sirota on their drive to work for years, Neal puts it simply: "I hope they would realize that he's David, and I'm Glo."
More from our Media archive: "Channel 4's Gloria Neal rips security at Obama's Inauguration."
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