All those who listen regularly to my radio show know how much I value the privilege of speaking to this eager, enlightened audience every weekday, year-round. I have been unapologetically fanatical about broadcasting whenever, however I can; in eighteen years of national syndication, I’ve never missed more than four days in a row of regularly scheduled broadcasts.
I always knew that it would take something serious to keep me away from the microphone I cherish for an extended period of time. As it turns out, I am facing something serious. It’s called cancer.
To be more precise, I was diagnosed in the middle of December with stage three throat cancer. I began medical treatment immediately at one of the finest cancer centers in the country and my prognosis for full recovery is very good; in the great majority of cases, this is a highly curable form of cancer. In fact, given my fierce desire to keep doing the show I managed to broadcast every day while completing more than half of my daily radiation and weekly chemotherapy treatments. I would go to the hospital first thing in the morning then make my way down to our Seattle studios to do the live show. The doctors warned me that this would become increasingly difficult.
At this point, my confidence and good spirits would lead me to go on but my voice – the most essential tool in radio – won’t cooperate. So beginning today – Friday, January 30th – I’m taking a medical leave of absence until my recovery is more advanced.
I receive my last scheduled radiation treatment on February 26th. Shortly thereafter, I hope to return to regular broadcasting, well in time to take full, active part in all of the excitement and significance of this pre-election year – the second to last year of the Obama era! The exact time of my return will be determined by my medical progress, but rest assured that I’ll be straining to get back to work just as soon as humanly possible.
Any break from my show is a big deal for me and for my family. When I travel, I broadcast from the road. I broadcast from Israel (in the middle of the night) and from Hawaii (in the early hours of morning). We used to reflect on the fact that in eighteen years of radio, I’d accumulated nearly a year of unused vacation and sick days. That’s not to say that I’m work obsessed (though I guess that I am) but to make clear how much I love my job. And how much I thank God every morning that I was born in the greatest nation on earth, and that I’m able to support my family by talking about the significant issues of the day. One of the slogans of our show has always been: “I am not a victim.” I affirm – and embrace – that sentiment more than ever.
In other words, I will be back just as soon as I can, and in the interim the show will continue with my friend Mark Davis of Dallas, one of the most respected voices in talk radio, as my principal fill-in. Mark is a persuasive and necessary voice on conservative values, and a consummate professional. Recently, he’s been a frequent guest host for Rush Limbaugh – and as you may know I got my own start in radio as a regular fill in host for Rush back in the 1990s, before launching my own syndicated show. My dear friend and long-time colleague David Boze, the most popular morning host in Seattle, will also be taking the microphone regularly, as will the brilliant Arthur Brooks, President of American Enterprise Institute. The discussion will be lively, passionate, surprising and substantive – as always on the Medved show. Jeremy Steiner and Greg Tomlin, who are more like brothers to me than just producers, will be there to make sure of that – and to keep connected with every detail of the show.
Meanwhile, I’ll be off the air but not off the grid: I’ll continue writing various columns and commentaries that we will send out in our newsletter, including appropriate movie updates, and more. I’m also hoping to make progress on my new book, GOD’S HAND ON AMERICA: THE CASE FOR DIVINE PROVIDENCE IN US HISTORY, to be published by Crown Forum/Random House.
Of all human characteristics I admire most, loyalty has always stood near the top. I am blessed beyond measure by my loving and loyal family: Diane, my wife of thirty years (our anniversary was Tuesday of this week!), our daughters Sarah and Shayna, our son Daniel, and our daughter-in-law, Richelle (who’s just completing her nursing degree at University of Washington, very helpfully). My staff – Jeremy, Greg and intrepid assistant Karmen Frisvold – continue to be dedicated and supportive beyond measure, as have my great radio colleagues at Salem Communications and Bonneville Seattle.
I also know how fortunate I am with my loyal and marvelous audience, so I wanted to provide full transparency and direct explanations.
As important as politics can be (and it’s one of the animating passions of my life, obviously), my situation serves as a powerful reminder of the profound truth in one of the greatest conservative quotes of all time, from Dr. Samuel Johnson in the 1770s:
How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.
Here’s hoping for cures, and causes, well beyond the range of earthly laws or rulers.
You’ll be hearing from me soon.
– Michael Medved