Brian Wilson is a nationally-known radio and television host, author, speaker and consultant. With more than 40 years experience in all media, he most recently served as Program Director/News Director at Clear Channel's WSPD/Toledo and was the station's afternoon talk host.
Prior to moving into management, Brian hosted successful radio programs in several of the nation's largest cities, including New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Baltimore and Washington, DC. As morning drive host at the "Big Apple's" WABC, he assisted the station with its transition from music to talk. And as co-host of the highly successful Z-Morning Zoo at Z-100, Wilson opened at Radio City Music Hall for two weeks of sold out performances for world-famous entertainers Siegfried and Roy.
While in New York, Brian made numerous guest TV appearances on major network programs, including Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, ABC World News Tonight, as well as starring in the premiere episode of ABC's sitcom Anything for a Laugh. He continues his TV appearances as a guest on numerous talk and political programs.
Wilson also played a role in the start-up of CNN, hosting the entertainment segment Music Notes and Take Two. In a return to Atlanta in the 90s, Brian not only worked in talk radio (WGST), he also hosted Talk at Night, a live week-night television talk program.
Wilson is the author of two books - A Media Guide for Market-Liberal Organizations, and The Little Black Book on Whitewater. The Whitewater book created a stir in talk radio, landing Brian appearances as a guest on many of the country's great talk radio stations and opening the door to his ground-breaking Vacation Relief business.
As the founder of Vacation Relief, Inc. (VRINK), Brian was the first major-market talk radio host to fill-in around the country without leaving the comfort of his home studio. Wilson hosted radio programs in Seattle, Sacramento, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Kansas City, Dallas-Fort Worth, Charlotte, Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York, to name just a few of the cities. His knowledge and charm allow callers to have an easy rapport with Brian, discussing topics ranging from politics to cars, education to taxes, children to Chili recipes - all without Wilson even setting foot in the city in which he's broadcasting!
The Washington Post's Marc Fisher wrote, "He's so good that his listeners could be forgiven for thinking that he's in the 'City by the Bay' rather than in a bedroom in Maryland." Brian McTavish at The Kansas City Star noted, "He was only supposed to be a fill-in (and wasn't even in town). But Brian Wilson – not the fabled Beach Boy, but the freelance radio personality – gave off enough good vibrations as a temporary morning host to be offered a full-time job." Wilson's ease on the air and in-depth knowledge attract the attention of many nationally-known political favorites as guests, including Walter Williams, James Bovard and Ann Coulter.
Coulter unabashedly calls Brian, "her favorite talk show host." Williams notes he enjoys speaking with Brian, "almost as much as subbing for Rush Limbaugh." And radio host Glenn Beck calls Brian one of the "most talented" hosts on the air today. Wilson's objectivist viewpoint no doubt is reinforced with his "once a decade" re-reading of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. And his interest in people – why and how they do what they do -- transcends his radio show. Brian is as straight-forward and open in person as he is in front of a microphone.
Wilson grew up on a farm in Wayne, New Jersey and attended public and prep schools on the East Coast. He spent his college years at Louisiana State University. What was intended to be a short hunting trip to Baton Rouge became more than a decade of time spent in the Bayou State and led not only to the birth his four children, but also to the birth of his career in radio. He lives in Virginia with his wife, journalist Cassie Wilson, and their golden retriever, Nellie.
Bio Part Two
While my self-serving, back-slapping bio above provides a thumbnail of who I am, where I have been and some of the award-winning deeds I have performed, it was written and extended over the years to keep current from a professional perspective. As such, my political/philosophical “resume”, not being of any particular worth to a prospective employer or client, might be of casual interest.
Or you can stop reading now and move on.
I grew up in a solid GOP, Capital “R” Republican household. My parents once said they would rather cut off an important body part than vote “Democrat”. Dinner conversations involved roundly criticizing Ds mostly and the Rs whenever they did something monumentally stupid - was fairly often. As the youngest, I was left in the dust as to the significance of all this – except to wonder (out loud) “If these things are so wrong/stupid/bad, why don’t you go the Commissioners/PTA/Board of Ed meetings and tell them?” That inevitably produced a chorus of snorts “Oh-Brian-be-quiet-and-eat-your-peas.” It wasn't the subject matter that impressed me. What does a 10 year old know about taxes, Eminent Domain, cost of goods and services, regulations, rules, laws – and did I mention “taxes?” Fast forward through the prep school, college, work, marriage, children years to ultimately having an admirable broadcasting career going. For my 34th birthday, I was given a copy of Restoring the American Dream by Robert Ringer ;then came Atlas Shrugged and as the saying goes, “This changed everything.”
Halfway through my 50 years "On The Air," I left the Z Morning Zoo/NYC and returned to Atlanta as a talk show host. From my years there earlier (1977-1980), my reputation was still in tact and provided an instant audience. Hearing my philosophical basis in conversation with callers caught the attention of Atlanta-area Libertarians. Before leaving Atlanta for a similar position in Washington, DC, I was to MC the Georgia Libertarian Convention, my first meeting with the late Gene Burns (with whom I would later work in San Francisco) and began my decades long friendship with the keynote speaker, Walter E. Williams. Walter’s columns and books were a great source of information, inspiration and transferable perceptions I used on the show to better explain – as only Walter can – some of the thornier aspects of Freedom compared to what passes for a “Free Society” today.
Over the intervening years, I preached the gospel of Libertarianism from coast to coast. With my new business (VRINK), filling in for talk show hosts who were out sick, on vacation, fired or dead, like a latter day Johnny Appleseed, I would appear for a day, week, month, year or more. These shows aired on Heritage stations from Seattle to Atlanta, San Francisco to New York, Dallas/Fort Worth to Kansas City (not including nationally syndicated hosts like Art Bell, Mike Smerconish, Mark Davis, Laura Ingraham, and others). Scattering seeds about the sanctity of the Constitution, the Rule of Law, Free Markets, the Non-Aggression Principle was part of every show. It was a great education for listener and host alike – loved by some, stunning to others, hated by a few. Exceptional in that latter category: Toledo, OH remains the worst. Per capita, nowhere is the entitlement mentality more ingrained, government more incompetent, organized labor so entrenched, skulduggery more ubiquitous and contagious apathy more virulent.
Still, something seemed awry. If Freedom and Liberty were so cherished, why were all the ways and means to establish and preserve it fought tooth and nail even by those who professed to advance it? The answers dance before your eyes like so many dots but there was no "Users Manual" to connect them. The Pragmatic Anarchist is here to help.
Enjoy your journey.