Washington Secrets

Mike Huckabee quits radio show, sets sights on 2016 election

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,2016 Elections

Mike Huckabee today ended his daily radio show heard on 200 stations across the nation, the first obvious sign that he is considering another presidential bid in what is shaping up to be a jammed 2016 GOP primary.

He has hosted the “Mike Huckabee Show” on Cumulus Media since April 2012, but said that it takes up to nine hours a day to prepare. “As for the new endeavors, at this time, it would best for me to say, ‘Stay tuned!'" he wrote on his Facebook page.

Supporters won't have to wait long. On Friday, he is participating in a “Pastors and Pews” event in Little Rock, Arkansas, one of several politically-charged gatherings hosted by evangelical political operative David Lane and his American Renewal Project. Huckabee is also giving interviews to political reporters.

Lane told Secrets: “Huckabee is obviously gearing up to run. This is the most aggressive I've seen him since 2007.” That year, the former Arkansas governor ran for president and was aided by Lane.

Lane told Secrets that Huckabee plans to participate in four upcoming “Pastors and Pews” events to be held in North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Texas.

The events are aimed at energizing the evangelical base and getting the estimated 40 million churchgoers to register to vote. “This is a sleeping giant if it ever engages,” Lane said.

Huckabee would add a different element to those expected to run in the GOP primary. A long-serving governor, he has strong ties to evangelicals and is also a popular media star.

Below is Huckabee's Facebook announcement about leaving his show:

The Mike Huckabee Show on radio, which was heard 3 hours a day on over 200 radio stations across the country since April of 2012 will conclude its run at the end of the final show on Thursday, December 12. This does not in any way affect The Huckabee Report, my three times daily commentary which is now heard on over 500 radio stations and continues to grow. It will remain without interruption and grow in the future. I have loved doing the Mike Huckabee Show, and it's success of going from launch to over 200 stations in less than 2 years is significant, but the contract was at a decision point for both Cumulus Media and me, and we mutually agreed to conclude. I have opportunities in some other areas that cannot be accomplished given the 8-9 hours a day I was devoting to the daily long form show. In the original development of the show, I set out to develop a talk radio show that focused on civil discourse on complicated topics as well as human events and stories from the entertainment world, I feel we have done that and done it well. I am forever grateful to the really wonderful affiliates and their listeners who have been so very supportive, and to the advertisers who entrusted me with their brands and products. I look forward to doing some Town Hall events in conjunction with Cumulus Media in 2014 as well as continuing with the Huckabee Report. As for the new endeavors, at this time, it would best for me to say, "Stay tuned!"

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

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