I’ll ask for a point of personal privilege today to write a personal column, ignoring the news of the day.
Back in 2004, some friends started RedState. I frequently get credit for it, but it was actually three smarter friends of mine: Ben Domenech, Josh Trevino and Mike Krempasky. They were RedState. I worked here in Macon at Sell & Melton and had been running more and more campaigns and providing legal advice to candidates. When RedState was formed, its founders asked me to write about Georgia politics.
Within a month, they realized I actually was an elections lawyer and brought me into their management fold. In October 2004, MSNBC called and asked if they could fly me up to New York to cover the last week or so of the presidential election. It was an awesome experience.
Before departing, Tripp Self, before becoming a judge, worked with me and walked into my office, closed the door, sat down, looked me dead in the eyes and asked, “Do you know what the definition of a dumb a** is?” I had no idea. “You,” he said. “Go do politics. It’s what you love.” That following June, on my 30th birthday, I also became the editor-in-chief of RedState. A year later, it would become my full-time source of income. At the end of 2006, we sold RedState to Eagle Publishing Inc., in Washington, D.C., which brought me in to keep running the site. In 2009, a lady from CNN called. She said I would not know her, but she was the one who had urged MSNBC to haul me up to Washington back in 2004. She was now at CNN and wanted to know if I wanted a job.
A year later, the president of Cox Media Group read on RedState that I would be filling in on the radio on AM 940 here in Macon. The man tuned into the web stream, liked what he heard, and the next thing I knew I had a job on the largest news/talk station in the country, WSB. I’m also their only weekday host to have started out daily without first having any real radio experience.
Now I am at Fox News, fill in for Rush Limbaugh on occasion, and have one of the most listened to local radio audiences in the entire country. I still also have RedState, which made all the others possible. I realize more and more I am a bit unique in that regard. There are many television and radio show hosts who moved from traditional media to the Internet, but there are very few beyond me who have gone from the Internet to television and radio. None of it would have been possible but for RedState.
But it is time to say goodbye to my Internet home. My radio show is doing very, very well, I have a book coming out, a syndicated column, this column and RedState. But I have no ownership interest in RedState anymore. I just work there. I want to start over with a new site. For now it will be at erickontheradio.com.
I am sad to be going, but excited for the future. It is time for RedState to grow without me and for me to try something new. My career has been unexpected and providential. God has blessed me richly and I go where he leads. Each turn has been unexpected, but delightful, and I hope in some ways small and some ways large to glorify him.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.