Ingraham was in town for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Clemson and Alabama at University of Phoenix Stadium, proudly sporting a Crimson Tide shirt.
KFNX station President Francis Battaglia said he enjoys lending Ingraham his studio whenever she’s in Phoenix. “She’s broadcasted to her millions of listeners from KFNX a number of times over the years,” Battaglia said. “We’re proud to carry her show along with several others from the nation’s top conservative voices.”
Ingraham shared her insight on the state of the GOP presidential field with a small gathering of fellow radio hosts and other invited guests. She even mentioned why she loves being a talk radio host and discussed her new media company, LifeZette.
“It’s an exciting time to be doing what I do,” said Ingraham, whose show is broadcasted in 225 markets. “It’s always great to be hosting a talk show during a presidential election cycle.”
Ingraham’s brief comments shed some light on the state of the GOP field of presidential hopefuls, including the larger-than-life candidate, Donald Trump.
In her view, Americans have a sense that “things are really going off the rails,” which has helped give rise to outsider candidates. She is focused on the outcome of the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9 to give Republicans some direction.
“If Chris Christie manages to come in third in New Hampshire, then he’ll be the establishment’s pick,” she said. “I’d keep an eye on Christie. He has a little bit of Trump in him.”
Her comparison of Christie to frontrunner Trump is telling in regard to the force the famous businessman and reality TV star has become. She discovered some insight into why so many people support Trump from an unexpected source.
“My 79-year-old surrogate mom said she loves Trump. She said ‘he makes politics fun again’ and that kind of took me back on my heels. I didn’t think of it that way,” Ingraham said. “There are people who just want to go to a rally and laugh. They don’t want to see teleprompters everywhere and see things as so measured.”
And for Ingraham, humor is an integral part of how she approaches her job. Especially in politics, she said, humor is an important, but often forgotten part of the process. “That’s why I do what I do. I try to make people laugh. I think, in the end we all need more laughter. I know I do,” she said.
And her media company, LifeZette, which covers parenting, politics, faith, pop culture and health, naturally follows her ongoing drive to help her listeners manage their lives.
“It covers the craziness of life these days. I aim with my show and the compliment of LifeZette to really elevate the discussion to a wider range of topics away from the just the narrow, insular discussion of politics,” she said.
As Ingraham continues to expand her media footprint – her website receives 10 million visitors per month – radio, which she describes as the “most intimate of communication forms in the U.S. media” still holds a special place.
“Radio at its best is about life. My listeners help me and give perspective,” she said. “I really love it. I’m so blessed to be here. We really are making a difference.”
– Written by Josh Coddington, marketing and communications manager, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. This article is part of the Chamber’s weekly newsletter, Business Buzz.