This was posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
As the clock approached 11 a.m. Monday, the newest News 95.5 and AM 750 weekday host Eric Von Haessler was chill, laughing and joking with his cast of characters, making mental notes on the topics they were going to address.
He’d been preparing for this moment for a good while. For the past two years, he’s been doing a three-hour Sunday show waiting for an opening on weekdays. Now his boss Pete Spriggs found that opening, wedging Von Haessler in for an hour a day at 11 a.m., trimming Herman Cain to two hours.
“It’s just like the Sunday show, just one third as long,” Von Haessler, mused in classic understated fashion. “We are doing a hybrid. We’ll finish this hour on WSB, then we’ll go over to the production studio and do a second podcast hour. We’ll have the two hours posted by 2:30 p.m. every day. Eventually, we’ll stream that part live on the app.”
During the WSB first hour, he first addressed Meryl Streep‘s Golden Globe diatribe against Donald Trump. Tim Andrews did his best Trump voice while Autumn Fisher (remotely from Maryland) imitated Streep.
“Notice how boring and uninteresting actors are when they don’t have someone else writing their words?” Von Haessler said. “She delivers nothingness as if it’s an Academy Award performance!”
After Von Haessler mocked Streep for mocking “mixed martial arts” as “not being art,” Andrews – still playing Trump – threw in, “You know what’s not art? ‘Heartburn’ with Jack Nicholson. Terrible movie! Also, ‘The Giver.’ Nobody gave a damn!’ ”
Von Haessler later talked a bit about the ex-military man who shot up the Ft. Lauderdale airport. Then he got a few minutes in with his first phone guest: Neal Boortz, who used to man this time slot until he retired four years ago. While not a big Trump fan, Boortz said this: “I am hoping for and willing to support him for the cause of really undoing some of the damage the left has done to this country.”
When Bill Nye the Science Guy’s name came up, Boortz scoffed: “Bill Nye is as much a science guy as I am a porn star!”
In his final segment of the hour, producer Jared Yamamoto told him the American Dialect Society named “dumpster fire” as the word of the year because of “the public discourse and preoccupations” of 2016.
“First: that is two words,” Von Haessler said. “That’s not a compound word nor a hyphenate.”
Then he went on his Doctrine rant: “I am sick and tired of moaning and groaning about 2016… I lost my mom at the same time I gained a new job. That’s the way the world works. There’s good and there’s bad. Have a stiff upper lip. Stop looking for safe spaces. 2017 might be the best for you or the worst. That’s the way it works.”
Later, they moved to the much tighter production studio for hour two because Clark Howard needed the main space.
There, Von Haessler talked about Mariah Carey’s disastrous performance, Megyn Kelly’s move to NBC and travel restrictions to Gambia due to unrest. “I was going to go there for spring break!” Autumn joked.
After the two hours were over, Von Haessler said he felt great. “I’m just so lucky. I’m going to be boring. I see this as a huge opportunity. I feel thankful for it. We’ll throw everything into it. I think we had a great first day. You saw the program director came in. High fives all around. So it’s a great start.”
Then he joked, “I now have to have enough energy to actually do an hour of radio every day. That’s the difficult part.”
Did they have any complaints about the new show from Cain listeners? “I don’t know,” Von Haessler said. “We don’t take calls!”
ON THE RADIO
“The Von Haessler Doctrine”
11 a.m. to noon weekdays on WSB Radio
The podcast hour will be added later, usually around 2:30 p.m. here
WSB and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution are both part of Cox Media Group.