John Fredericks, a Chesapeake, Virginia-based conservative talk show host who dubs himself “The Godzilla of Truth,” has signed a lease management agreement with the owners of WMLB-AM/1690 and hopes to purchase it soon.
Dubbing the station Freedom 1690, Fredericks began simulcasting his existing network of talk show hosts this week. His schedule includes his own morning show, a talk show featuring former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon and a brand new show hosted by former Georgia Rep. Doug Collins. Other hosts on the station include Dave Ramsey and Mark Levin.
The AM signal has been dark for nearly three years since Joe Weber shut down his quirky music station “Voice of the Arts” after 21 years. The station under Weber played a broad range of rock, folk, soul, and occasional bird call. It rarely showed up in the Nielsen ratings and never made any real revenue for him but generated a small, dedicated following. The 1690 signal for a time in the mid-2000s carried Air America, an attempt to replicate conservative talk show hosts for liberals, and ultimately failed but did help give Rachel Maddow an early platform before moving to MSNBC.
Fredericks, 63, recruited Collins to join his radio network with promises to eventually syndicate it, with some Georgia radio stations already expressing interest. The show started this week, airing for an hour at 3 p.m. but may soon be expanded to two hours.
“I go on instinct,” Fredericks said. “My instinct says Doug will be stellar, that he’ll be a star. He fits the times. He’s the right person right now based on his experience and his enthusiasm. He believes what he says and does what he says.”
On his first day on the air, Collins spoke with former Arkansas governor and past presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, using his Clarksville law office as his studio.