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Ed Shultz
Born January 27, 1954 (1954-01-27) (age 56)
Norfolk, Virginia
Residence New York, New York
Alma mater Minnesota State University, Moorhead
Occupation Progressive talk radio and television host, political commentator, author
Years active 30 years in broadcasting
Political party Democratic (2000-present)
Spouse(s) Maureen Zimmerman (div. 1993)
Wendy Schultz (m. 1998)
Children Six
Relatives Dave Schultz, professional golfer
Awards three Eric Sevareid Awards, and as leader of a broadcast team - two Marconis and one Peabody Award[1]
The Ed Show (TV)
The Ed Schultz Show (Radio)

Edward Andrew Schultz (born January 27, 1954) is an American television and radio host and political pundit. He is the host of The Ed Show, a daily news program on MSNBC, and The Ed Schultz Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show promising "straight talk."



Early life

Schultz was born in Norfolk, Virginia and grew up in the Larchmont area near Old Dominion University, the son of George (an engineer) and Mary (an English teacher). He graduated in 1972 from Maury High School in Norfolk.[2] He moved to Minnesota to play football on a scholarship from Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he made All-American and became the NAIA passing leader in 1977. He played professional football in the CFL for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Broadcasting career


After his short football career ended, he worked as a sportscaster in Fargo, North Dakota for 15 years for two local stations, predominantly WDAY-TV, the local ABC affiliate. Schultz anchored nightly sports broadcasts, and became well known across the state for his high-energy radio and TV play-by-play of North Dakota State University (NDSU) football and basketball games.

In 1988, Schultz was involved in the "Whiskey Bottle Incident", which he describes as one of his most "ignominious moments":

... I was doing radio play-by-play for North Dakota State University in Fargo. The Bison were playing Northern Michigan. There was something in the air that September day. There was lots of drinking and rowdy behavior in the stands. By the fourth quarter, the crowd in front of the broadcast booth was getting ugly. Suddenly, a whiskey bottle came hurtling through the glass and struck my co-announcer, Gary Barta, in the belly. Glass rained down on us — all over me. It could have taken out my eye, and the close call enraged me. We were live on the air, but to this day I don't know exactly what I said .... All I know is that I threw down my headphones and waded into the crowd looking for the person who threw the bottle. I almost got in a fight .... My bad behavior made it onto Paul Harvey, and it got me suspended. It's a day I'd like to forget. But the truth of the matter is, my actions were fairly typical for someone out here in the heartland. We settle things face to face — and nobody wants to take any crap from anyone.[3]

Schultz was married to his WDAY news co-anchor and producer Maureen Zimmerman during much of his time with the station. The two divorced in 1993. In mid-June 1998, Schultz married Wendy Schultz, who is an active member of "Team Fargo," the group of people who produce, direct, publicize and book guests for the Ed Schultz Show.

Schultz, who was touted as the "Voice of the Bison" for many years at WDAY, left in 1996 and began broadcasting for KFGO in Fargo, doing play-by-play work on University of North Dakota (UND) Fighting Sioux football broadcasts beginning in 1998. Schultz incurred the ire of NDSU fans when he began to disparage the Bison during rival Sioux broadcasts after his many years of NDSU announcing.[citation needed] Schultz left as UND play-by-play man in 2003 to focus on his national radio show.

In a 2003 Sports Illustrated article on North Dakota, 5% of fans said they disliked Schultz because he was too loud and opinionated.[4]

Schultz was a finalist for the Minnesota Vikings radio play-by-play broadcast job in 2001, a job that eventually went to Terry Stembridge, Jr.

Talk radio

Schultz's News and Views radio show was very similar to his WDAY Viewpoint program and quickly grew into a regional broadcast dominating the North Dakota airwaves, with additional listeners in South Dakota, western Minnesota, Montana, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Schultz's political views leaned towards the right during the early years, and Schultz told the Los Angeles Times that he "lined up with the Republicans because they were anti-tax, and I wanted to make a lot of money...." Schultz pondered a run as a Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives against Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy in 1994, but decided against it after visiting with state Republican leaders.[citation needed]

The Ed Schultz Show was broadcast from the Fargo, North Dakota studios of KFGO, via the Jones Radio Network to over 100 radio stations (as of October 2005). The show is presently syndicated by Dial Global. It can currently be heard nationwide on Sirius Satellite Radio's "Sirius Left" channel, and XM Radio's Air America Radio channel. The program can also be heard on Armed Forces Radio. Schultz's radio show moved to New York City in May 2009, a relocation brought on by his new television show at MSNBC (see below).

Schultz continued to experience audience growth throughout 2005 and into 2006. According to a 2008 survey done by Talkers magazine, he ranked #17 nationally, with a weekly audience of more than 3 million listeners. This is the highest ranking of any liberal talk radio host up to this point.[citation needed]

During the 2006 Congressional elections, Schultz provided opportunities for varying views on the candidates and politics in general. This included guest Michael Rogers of BlogActive, a blog that identifies or "outs" male politicians who advocate against homosexuality and legislate against against the gay community but who have sexual encounters with men. Rogers believes these politicians are hypocrites who should be exposed. [5]

On November 30, 2006, Schultz announced he was moving to the "prime real estate" time slot from noon to 3 p.m. ET, to directly compete with Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, whose shows are also broadcast in that time slot.

As The Ed Schultz Show has continued to attract listeners, Schultz has increasingly been called upon by national TV talk shows to be one of their guest pundits. To facilitate this, Schultz purchased an up-link so that he could broadcast live from the KFGO Studios in Fargo. His TV appearances have included June 27, 2007, when he was on the Tucker on MSNBC; July 1, 2007, when he was on Larry King Live on CNN, and again with Larry King February 6, 2008; and on September 21, 2007 as well as January 23, 2008, Schultz was a guest on Hardball with Chris Matthews. Schultz hosted 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on MSNBC in March 2009, three times.

Television show

On April 1, 2009, MSNBC announced the launch of The Ed Show, anchored by Schultz.[6] The program replaced the 6 pm show 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with David Shuster, who moved to the 3pm to 5pm slot. The Ed Show debuted at 6 pm on Monday, April 6, 2009.

Political views

Schultz currently considers himself a "progressive liberal" and a "progressive independent" [7] His talk show is generally considered to be a very liberal-leaning program.[citation needed] He is pro-union and centers a large portion of his radio show on the "plight of working class Americans." However, Shultz has come under continued scrutiny for the manner in which he shares his views. Speaking on his MSNBC radio show about the United States Senate special election in Massachusetts, Mr. Shultz stated,

I tell you what, if I lived in Massachusetts I'd try to vote 10 times. I don't know if they'd let me or not, but I'd try to. Yeah, that's right. I'd cheat to keep these bastards out. I would. 'Cause that's exactly what they are.[8]

Schultz then clarified his statement on the following show, saying,

I misspoke on Friday. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I meant to say, 'If I could vote 20 times, that's what I'd do.[9]

Evolution of political views

In the late 1990s, several events occurred which he said changed his political leanings to a more liberal, progressive understanding. One was his mother's (a former educator) battle with Alzheimer's Disease which began a long, slow decline of her mental health. Schultz found it frustrating trying to get her the services that she needed. The other was that he met a psychiatric nurse named Wendy who ran a homeless shelter in Fargo. He attributed much of his political change to her, and although he had frequently made fun of the homeless on his show,[citation needed] he said in his book that she helped to humanize them. To his surprise, he found that some of the people he had insulted were veterans, and many were unable to get the psychiatric or medical services that might help them. He says that was the moment he began to look at poverty differently. (Schultz 9-10) In June 1998, they were married, the second marriage for each.

He became a Democrat in 2000 marking the formal turn in his politics from conservative to progressive. He went out to do radio promotions in rural North Dakota, and told reporters about how he met farmers who were suffering and hard-working people who were going hungry, even though Republicans said the economy was doing fine. (Vowell 2004)[citation needed] He began to hold benefits to raise money for people in the heartland who were going through tough times. (Winter 2002) In addition, he began questioning some of the assertions of George W. Bush; although he supported several Republican candidates in the 2000 election, he was becoming critical of other Republicans. Schultz considered running for the Democratic-NPL party nomination for governor against incumbent Republican John Hoeven in 2004, but decided to continue his career in radio.


Further reading

External links

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