The Impact of Adam Carolla
January 2006 was an interesting time for radio. Howard Stern had fled to the uncensored platform of Sirius Radio. This left CBS Radio with a huge issue. Who was going to replace the “King of All Media?” So they came up with the short-lived format of FM talk under the moniker “FREE FM".” In the mid-west they went with Shane “Rover” French who lasted in Chicago for 7 months before heading back to the home base of Cleveland.
On the east coast, they went with David Lee Roth who lasted about two seconds in New York City. He was then replaced by Opie & Anthony who had a nice run until 2009 on terrestrial radio, and until 2014 on SiriusXM before the infamous firing of Anthony Cumia. “The Junkies” were assigned to Washington D.C. and they just resigned a long-term deal 13 years later!
But on the west coast, Adam Carolla from “The Man Show” and “Loveline” was given the task of replacing Howard Stern. What made him so special was he had a huge name in radio from years on “Loveline,” and he's one of the most quick-witted hosts in all of media.
“The Adam Carolla Show” was based on 97.1 KLSX in Los Angeles until 2009, when the format flipped to top 40 music. Besides 102.5 the Bone in Tampa Bay, this was basically the death of FM talk radio on terrestrial radio. But that didn’t stop Adam Carolla.
He started his own podcast, in an era where podcasts were an after thought. Now I was in 9th grade when this happened so I could be completely wrong about this. But the vibe I picked up from reading about radio as a kid was that podcasts had no chance. But that obvious is a false narrative as podcasts are one of the most popular ways to consume media in 2019.
Who can we thank for that? Adam Carolla. I don’t think Adam Carolla gets enough credit for changing the game and for being one of the greatest hosts of all time. Can he be offensive at times? Yes, if you are easily offended and let words get to you. But what has made Adam so brilliant is that he doesn’t care what you think and that has led to his massive success. But at the same time I don’t think he gets enough credit for the impact he has left on podcasts.
“The Joe Rogan Experience” and shows about murder are some of the examples millennial's talk about when it comes to podcasts. But Adam Carolla is the man who led the way and used his name to start a new phenomenon.
If it wasn’t for Adam Carolla, I wouldn’t be in podcasting and in radio. Sure, I also grew up listening to Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony, Steve Dahl, etc. But Adam always intrigued me because he is so captivating when he talks. You could ask him to talk about a broken pencil, and he would bring out a brilliant rant for 5 minutes.
I want to thank Adam for all the years of entertainment and for cheering me up as a kid in high school who couldn’t wait for it to end. I may be crazy for going into radio and podcasting, but I aspire to leave 1/10 of the legacy “The Adam Carolla Show” has left.