November 29th, 2010
05:15 PM ET
In August, Dr. Laura Schlessinger made headlines when she announced her plans to leave terrestrial radio amidst the controversy surrounding her use of the N-word during an on-air call. At the time, she said she was leaving in hopes of regaining her First Amendment rights.
Months later, she seems to have found those rights... on a different wavelength.
Come January 3, Schlessinger will join Howard Stern and Rosie O’Donnell, among other radio personalities, on Sirius XM radio.
Though the host wasn’t able to reveal details of the first "Dr. Laura" show - saying, “I’ll have my hand slapped if I talk anymore” - she told CNN about some changes to the program's format, as well as what really caused her to make the move to satellite radio.
CNN: In August, you said you wouldn’t continue on in the business because you wanted your First Amendment rights back. How does this opportunity with satellite radio grant you those rights?
Schlessinger: That’s what makes it wonderful. They don’t censor. They have the widest range of talk show hosts. They have everybody from Howard Stern to Rosie to Oprah to Opie and Anthony to Martha Stewart, and on and on and on. From the top down, their commitment is free speech...they want to hear everybody’s point of view. That’s harder and harder to come by on terrestrial radio.
I wasn’t done with radio. I was done with this outrageous censorship attack on radio. Radio is in my blood.
CNN: Will your new show follow the same format as “The Dr. Laura Program”?
Schlessinger: In part. I’m also going to have round tables, I’m going to do some interviews and I’m going to continue preaching, teaching and nagging. This has been very useful for people for over 30 years, to have me nag at them. In the beginning they may not like it, but then they come around.
Schlessinger: It will still cover all the things that I’ve talked about. It’s just that I’ll spend an hour in great depth on one issue like racism, bigotry and hate. That would be one.
CNN: You said the move from terrestrial radio to satellite radio is a “freeing transition” for you. How so?
Schlessinger: Suddenly, after 30 years of supporting interracial marriage and interracial adoption and never being called a racist, suddenly - because I’m explaining to a black woman that a word is used everyday in her culture – I’m a racist. It gets ridiculous. And the best way to eliminate somebody is to say they’re a bad name. That they hate somebody, or something, or some group. And that’s been a powerful tool these groups have used. And they’re just not going to be able to silence this voice anymore because Sirius XM is incredibly committed to the widest range of opinions I’ve ever heard of.
In addition to Schlessinger’s new show on satellite radio, her book “Surviving Shark Attacks on Land” will make its debut on December 18. She says the book, about betrayal and revenge, is “so apropos.”
“Dr. Laura” will air live Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. ET on Sirius XM Stars.
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