Best of Springfield

BEST DRIVE-TIME RADIO SHOW

Jim Leach, WMAY

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY JIM LEACH
Photo courtesy Jim Leach

Jim Leach hasn't been on the radio forever, it just seems like it, and in a good way. As a talk show host, he's a liberal who gets along with most everyone but isn't afraid to call out people who say or do foolish things. He's also a pro when it comes to delivering news without a hint of bias.

The best broadcasters listen as well as they talk, and that's certainly true with Leach. When interviewing guests, he lets them be the star of his show, giving folks plenty of time and room to have their say or dig their own graves, and if he interrupts, you can be pretty sure it's important. Leach is either really smart or he prepares very well – maybe a little of both – and it shows: If he's asked a dumb question at a press conference or during an interview, good luck remembering it.

Leach grew up here, and his knowledge of local politics and history is invaluable, allowing him to talk about important stuff in important ways. Nearly 40 years after first taking up the mic in Springfield, Leach seems to be getting better with age, or perhaps we value him more because there are fewer and fewer like him in an age when too many media types either rant to make points or have no points worth making at all. If Springfield has a Walter Cronkite, it's Jim Leach. We're lucky to have him.

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