Prolific Denver radio talker Craig Silverman is out at KNUS radio, apparently over remarks he made about President Donald Trump on his Saturday morning radio show.
Most notably, he wasn’t even allowed to finish the program before he was yanked.
A story about his ouster ran in the Washington Post on Sunday, and he was on the CNN show “Reliable Sources” on Sunday morning, as well. He also had given The New York Times an interview, he told Colorado Politics.
The clash had been coming for some time, he said. He was supposed to be a guest on a 630 KHOW show Wednesday with his old radio partner and friend Dan Caplis.
The impeachment trial was on the list of subjects they intended to debate, but KNUS management resisted the appearance. Silverman pointed out he’s an independent contractor with the company, meaning he can speak to any other media he wishes to talk to. But because of the brouhaha, he decided to sit out the Caplis invitation on Wednesday.
Saturday morning he was talking about Trump and impeachment on his own show, however. He played the trailer from the movie ”Citizen Cohn,” which depicted the former Trump attorney Roy Cohn. Silverman had a clip from a 2015 interview he did with Roger Stone, the Trump ally who was convicted of lying to Congress and other charges related to Trump last week, in which they talked the Cohn and Trump relationship.
After the clip to the trailer ran, the show went unexpectedly to a news break, Silverman said. His producer told the host he didn’t know what was going on.
Silverman said station operations director Kelly Michaels then walked in the studio and said to Silverman, “You’re done.”
Michaels did not immediately return a call for comment Sunday.
Salem Media Group, its parent group, characterizes itself on its website as a “leading radio broadcaster, internet content provider, and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values.”
The station-operated website for “The Craig Silverman Show,” including podcasts of past episodes, had been taken down by Sunday morning.
Silverman told Brian Stelter, the “Reliable Sources” host, that the situation was more complicated than simply criticizing the president.
Silverman told Stelter he wouldn’t use his show to characterize a serious investigation into the conduct of the president as a “sham” or a “hoax,” but to examine the facts. Silverman is a lawyer and former Denver prosecutor.
“It sounds like you were resisting the effort to downplay the story as (less than) a historic event,” Stelter told Silverman.
Silverman’s topic should not have come as a surprise to station management. The host is known for sharp elbows to both parties and the media. He posted his intended Saturday morning topic on Facebook Friday night.
“Needless to say I’m tougher on Trump than any other KNUS host,” he said.
Silverman told Colorado Politics on Sunday that he suspected his end was coming at KNUS and told his audience as much just before the plug was pulled mid-broadcast.
“I thought there might be repercussions,” he said Sunday, but he urged his former station to “put up the podcast, KNUS.”
KNUS is home to some of Denver’s best-known conservative talkers, including Steffan Tubbs, Peter Boyles and Jimmy Sengenberger, as well as a nationally syndicated program by Jay Sekulow, Trump’s private lawyer.
Silverman has often pointed out on-air that he supported Trump for president in 2016.
He broke with Trump after the president said there were “some very fine people” among those who took part in the fatal clash in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.
“It was just foolish,” Silverman, who is Jewish, said of the president’s remarks on “Next with Kyle Clark” on 9News at the time. “This week was the time to talk about the neo-Nazis, the KKK and the white supremacists. He blew it.”
Silverman added at the time, however, “I suppose if it was Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump today, I’d still vote for Donald Trump.”
Silverman said on Facebook Saturday afternoon, “The 95% nice reaction to my firing has been most appreciated. That is a strange sentence to write but it has been a strange Saturday.”
He also posted a message he received from Cynthia Coffman, the former attorney general and a Republican.
“I want to thank you for speaking truth to power,” the message to Silverman stated. “While I have for quite some time now been alarmed by Trump’s destructive behavior and its impact on foreign relations, listening to Marie Yovanovitch testify brought this home with frightening clarity. Your willingness to share an articulate, thoughtful analysis of current events in spite of the consequences demonstrates a journalistic integrity we desperately need in our state and country.”
She added, “I hope you will continue the discourse in another venue.”
Disclosure: The author of this story is a frequent guest on “The Craig Silverman Show.”