Cover art for podcast The latest episodes from On the Media

The latest episodes from On the Media

50 EpisodesProduced by WNYC StudiosWebsite

WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our worldview. 


The Most Influential Christian Talk Radio Network You've Probably Never Heard of

In 2016, Christian talk radio host Eric Metaxas begrudgingly encouraged his listeners to vote for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. By 2020, he pledged his life to fighting the “stolen election” while talking with Trump on the air. Ahead of the midterm elections, Metaxas and many of his fellow talk radio hosts made sure the falsehood of massive 2020 election fraud was top of mind — on the airwaves and beyond. And while election-denying candidates didn't do as well as many on the right had hoped, at least 170 such candidates have been elected to state and national offices, some of whom will be in charge of future elections. This week, reporter Katie Thornton introduces us to the company whose hosts never backed down from the lies of the stolen 2020 election: Salem Media Group, the largest Christian, conservative multimedia company in the country – and perhaps the most influential media company you’ve never heard of. Thornton traces the company’s rise to power from its scrappy start in the 1970s to the present day — a growth that paralleled and eventually became inextricable from the growth of the Religious Right. 

This episode is an adaptation of our latest series, The Divided Dial. You can listen to the full series here The Divided Dial is reported and hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. You can follow her work on Instagram or on her websiteThe Divided Dial was edited by On the Media's executive producer, Katya Rogers. With production support from Max Balton and fact-checking by Tom Colligan, Sona Avakian, and Graham Hacia. Music and sound design by Jared Paul. Jennifer Munson is our technical director. Art by Michael BrennanWith support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
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