So, did you hear the one about what happens when the Northerner who was a former truck driver, teacher, bouncer, bartender, comedian, model and derivatives analyst walks into a Chattanooga radio station and turns on the microphone?
Well, you will.
As of Monday, Brian Joyce from WRKO in Boston will be the man behind the microphone each weekday afternoon on WGOW Talk Radio’s afternoon program “Live & Local.”
Joyce said he hopes to combine his dynamic background as a talk show host, political observer and world-touring stand-up comedian into an issues-oriented program that at times may resemble the politically infused commentaries of George Carlin, Dennis Miller and Bill Maher.
He hopes to use his “radical center” views to bring a new kind of independent talk to the airwaves.
“This is the new movement, especially in my head, for politics. There will be issues where I will fall far to the left or far to the right. And maybe people won’t understand it at first. I don’t think media addresses this currently,” Joyce said in the studio before going on the air for his first local broadcast Monday afternoon.
For instance, Joyce isn’t afraid to say he thinks Barack Obama is a good president, whom he will most likely vote for, but strongly thinks the Supreme Court should overturn his health care bill.
“Oh my God! Is that possible to think those two things? You can listen to Fox News, or you can listen to MSNBC, but if you’re anybody in between, you have no options. That’s what I hope we can do here,” Joyce said.
News director Kevin West said finding and hiring Joyce is a step in the right direction for the radio station as it shapes its future.
“I want it to be a place where it is not predetermined what you’re going to get with any issue. I think Brian is going to surprise a lot of people,” West said.
West and Joyce said they saw many comments on the station’s Facebook page about a far-from-local personality hosting a hyper-local show. West said he thinks it will provide a sharp and fresh look at the issues and events that everyone else is already familiar with.
“Brian is one of those people who comes in from the outside as a transplant, and he gets to experience Chattanooga from the ground up. So we get to find out what it’s like for somebody who didn’t see things 20 years ago,” West said.
Joyce said it also creates more opportunities for real dialogue between himself and the program’s callers.
“I’m new to this town. I don’t know everything. So it’s gonna be really back and forth between the listeners and the host. We can both kind of inform and educate each other,” Joyce said.
According to his bio, Joyce attended Davidson College in North Carolina, where he played baseball and set four records that still stand, turning down academic scholarships to Harvard and Princeton. He recently covered the Rally to Restore Sanity for AOL TV, and his voice work has been featured on the Cartoon Network’s “Assy McGee.”
Joyce replaces Andrae McGary, who resigned March 31 after announcing his intentions to run for the District 10 state Senate seat in Tennessee.
“Live & Local” airs Monday through Friday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. on WGOW Talk Radio.
Updated @ 9:15 a.m. on 04/10/12 to correct a typographical error.