It was exactly six years ago today – March 6, 2004 – that the Northern Alliance Radio Network had our first broadcast.

And by “broadcast”, I meant singular; the show started as a single three-hour show with several co-hosts.

“Several?”  On that day, the show had nine co-hosts; Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker from Power Line, Chad the Elder, JB, Brian “Saint Paul” Ward and Atomizer from Fraters Libertas, Ed Morrissey (then) from Captain’s Quarters, King Banaian from SCSU Scholars, and me. I think King was out of town on business – so what meant a total of eight people.   It wasn’t quite the first time we’d all seen the business end of a microphone; I’d had a little one-hour dress rehearsal the previous week, so everyone could try on headphones and learn a little bit about talking into a mike.

But one thing I wasn’t clear on, on that first morning, was who was exactly who.  I was pretty clear on who was Scott and who was John.  But I had only met Chad, JB and Atomizer once before (at the infamous lunch party in Wayzata with Hugh Hewitt the previous January that’d launched the show); I kept mixing them up on the air. In my defense, the only people who do shows with nine cohosts are cable access shows and NPR.

Things have changed, of course.  In big ways (Scott, JB and Atomizer left early on; Chad’s burgeoning family drew him away last year; the NARN morphed into two, two-hours shows, and then a third, adding Michael Brodkorb from 2006-2009) and small (most of the guys are more or less perfectly comfortable “soloing”, or doing their whole two-hour show by themselves; even though I’d done talk radio before, that even intimidated me six years ago).

But two things haven’t changed.  We get virtually no money (other than the odd talent or appearance fee – and if you see an AM1280 sales staffer out there, please tell ’em to get on the stick) – and it’s still a blast.  One of the highlights of my week.

We’ve had plenty of help, of course; I gotta thank everyone else that helped out; our array of producers over the years, Tommy Huynh, Jon Osburne, Matt Reynolds, Sam Holmgren, the Russian Wonder-Twins Irina and Anna, and of course the late Joe Hansen.  Also the folks at AM1280 – John Hunt and Patrick Campion, the GM and program director who for whatever reasons decided to give airtime to nine bloggers, and to Ron Stone and Lee Michaels, who do the same thing today, and to Nick Novak, the program director who helped so much with the show’s development from ’06 through ’08.

Anyway – happy birthday, NARN!  And thanks, Ed, King, Brian,  John, Chad, Michael, Scott, JB and Atomizer!

10 thoughts on “Six!

  1. I really think a National Endowment for the Arts grant request is appropriate. NARN is performance art, after all. And you don’t even fill jars with urine (so far as we know).

  2. It’s been a lot of fun — it’s obvious how much you enjoy what you do and that comes through. One of the biggest lies that you hear from the portside is how conservatives are grim, nasty people — Berg’s Seventh Law in action. And every week you, Ed, John, Brian and King demonstrate that good cheer and good humor are intrinsic to conservatism.

  3. Happy Birthday to you all, and wishing you many more (paid, if possible – fingers crossed that your worth will be recognized and rewarded!).

    I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing the others, but I could never think of Mitch as grim or nasty.

  4. I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing the others, but I could never think of Mitch as grim or nasty.

    Of course, DG. That’s the point. It’s a lie about conservatives and always has been. If you want to learn about a grim, nasty person, read Mitch’s post about Paul Ehrlich.

  5. Mitch is not grim or nasty. He is big and loud, but that’s a plus in my book.

  6. You mentioned that Obama 950 was now copying the NARN model, so I tuned in at 3 pm to hear the debut of “Main Street Talks Back” – “an hour-long, fact-driven politically-oriented radio program.” They will be lucky to be around 6 months from now, let alone 6 years. Still, it was an improvement on the FM alternative – Ron Rosenbaum.

    What I found interesting was a temerity in the host’s delivery that suggested that even he had a hard time believing the party line. And once, he accidentally allowed facts to paint him into a rhetorical corner. He changed the subject but I know he wanted to shout “It’s all Bush’s fault!”

    Facts are not a problem for the NARN. Congratulations and thanks for 6 great years!

  7. I don’t find Mitch loud Kermit. He’s an imposing individual, certainly.

    Nor, Mr. D., have I ever found the statement about conservatives generally as grim or nasty to be true either, and I didn’t mean for that to sound as if I thought that about Mitch’s NARN confreres. I meant that I presumed them as charming as Mitch – the reason for the words “I haven’t had the pleasure”.

    An occasional specific individual, grim and nasty? Perhaps.

    But that could be said about a few individuals among any group of people, regardless of politics — and not only men either.

  8. “…they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…” – Barak Hussein Obama mmmm mmmmm mmmm

  9. … and not only men either.

    May I ask a serious question, deegee? Do you often see stars floating around your head? Does the tip of your pointy little head feel all tingley?

    Um, huh…thought so.

    You’ve got that tin-foil hat pulled down too tight…even if you’ve had half your brain removed, lack of oxygen will kill ya eventually. Go sit on the lawn and color in your book for awhile.

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