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Show Them Up Tom Leykis

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Tom Leykis, Radio and Media Personality

Tom Leykis, Radio and Media Personality

Photo: Tom Leykis
I'm not sure why I like radio and media personality Tom Leykis so much. We certainly don't agree on most political issues, he can be a little crass sometimes, and he says things I'd never feel comfortable saying on-the-air or even online. But, Tom Leykis has something every successful media personality needs: a believable narrative of his own greatness.

50 Shades of Ego

Let me clarify this. I'm not accusing Leykis of being an egomaniac because I only know him through his radio persona. Personas are not necessarily people. Personas are characters assumed by people. I'm on the air, too, and my persona is very similar to the real "me" - but there are times I amplify small parts of "me" into bigger parts of "not exactly me." It's part of the entertainment process.

Leykis' persona makes the rest of the world think he's pretty great. It takes coconuts to consistently be your own best cheerleader and it often pays off. A great example of that is Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh has been telling the world of his greatness for decades. But, his incessant boasting is simply an entertainment technique, although some seem to miss the sense of the tongue-in-cheek hyperbole he spews. Some are not entertained in the least but rather, are indignantly insulted. They dismiss him as a self-infatuated, blowhard who believes his own publicity. Actually, it's his on-air persona that is a self-infatuated braggart. In real life - who knows? Only his family and real friends do.

What does Leykis say about his own ego? "My ego wasn’t so big that I needed to be back on the air at any price. I said I would only come back on my terms. And guess what, I did!" says Leykis in his typically not so humble way.

Not every radio or media personality can pull off huge boasts about audience and natural talent, especially if they possess neither. But, the public is often more than willing to accept the "greatness" of personalities simply on their word because that personality delivers enough entertainment or information to make the statement "media credible." Media credibility is the ability of a personality to convince a listener that he or she is good enough to listen to and care about. Some boast about their credentials or talents while others more humbly let their talents speak for themselves.

Witness the headline of a press release I received a couple of days ago:

Tom Leykis to Play the Rose Bowl

That's a good, catchy headline but when you read his press release you realize what he means is his daily show is reaching enough people on a monthly basis to fill the Rose Bowl. But, one must boast to get people's attention, especially in a media-cluttered world that steps over itself to get your attention. The gist of the Leykis press release was to announce that after 6 months streaming on the Internet, Leykis had managed to come up with some fairly credible listening numbers. In September, Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics reported

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