Lars Larson, Oregon's answer to Rush Limbaugh, won't be on national radio any more - at least not for a while.
Larson told his radio listeners Thursday that Westwood One, which has been syndicating his show nationally since 2003, has declined to renew his contract.
According to The Oregonian's Jeff Mapes, the diminutive, cigar-smoking, pistol-packing conservative is shopping around for another national syndicator. "I will absolutely be doing a national show," he said.
Larson's show originates on KXL in Portland and is carried by several other stations in the Northwest. His local show airs from 11 am to 3 pm, and his national show runs from 3 to 6 pm.
The Republican blog Oregon Catalyst (to which Larson is a frequent contributor) assures us that Lars will have a national presence again soon: "Do not mistake [Westwood's decision to drop him] for Lars being no longer on the national airwaves. He is still the leading voice in the Northwest and by all indications he will be back on the national circuit. The question is whether it will be weeks or months to work out the details."
Well, yeah, okay - we'll see.
Meanwhile, it's fun to speculate on why Lars got the ax. Is it because the market for right-wing blather isn't as hot as it used to be? Maybe - but we've seen no hard numbers to back that up.
The Eye's theory is that with the rhetoric of the right-wing ranters ratcheting up since the election of Barack Obama, the more outrageous practitioners may be drowning out - and driving out - the relatively moderate ones. Larson is almost a voice of sweet reason compared to the likes of Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Michael Savage, and that might hurt him with conservative listeners who like their meat served raw and bloody.