About Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson is a nationally-known radio and television host, author, speaker and consultant.  With more than 50 years experience in media, he most recently served as Program Director/News Director and afternoon talk host for Clear Channel/iHeart radio.

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, "Take Two".  In a return to Atlanta in the 90s, Brian not only worked in talk radio, he also hosted Talk at Night, a week-night television talk program.

Wilson is the author of three books – A Media Guide for Market-Liberal Organizations (1993)The Little Black Book on Whitewater (1996) and Watercolor Memories - The Story of Lauren.  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 from the comfort of his home studio.  Wilson hosted radio programs in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Kansas City, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio Charlotte, Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York, and other 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 converted 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 for a whole year to be offered the position full-time.”

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.

A “small-L” libertarian, Brian’s belief in personal responsibility and self-ownership transcend the often misinterpreted belief that libertarians are little more than supporters of the Second Amendment, legalized drugs, and prostitution.  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 was born in Wayne, New Jersey and attended school on the East Coast.  He spent his college years at Fairleigh-Dickinson University and Louisiana State University.  What was intended to be a short hunting trip to Baton Rouge became more than a decade 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 near Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia with his wife, journalist Cassie Wilson, and their golden retriever, Nellie. 


  1. Brian -- I have been "following" you since your KSFO days ... You must have forgotten about California when you were quoted in November, 2010, “For the last 5 years, I have been contending with some of the most idiotic, aggressively ignorant, apathetic, delusional morons I have ever encountered in 45+ years of Talk radio ... This gaggle of people is concentrated in NW Ohio, specifically the ‘greater’ Toledo metropolitan area. Here you will find this stultifying concentration of blithering idiots on the planet. ...” The "Deliberate Dumbing Down of America" had to have been written about California

    "Keeper of the Grapes" ... Old Vines Zinfandel ... St. Francis ...

    Jim Ristow (now in San Diego)

  2. Good points, Jim...altho, despite CA's non-stop collective effort to become the country's largest collective, there were (and are) many listeners able to converse and appreciate the points I and my guests tried valiantly to convey. Toledo - and all of Ohio in general - is one massive criminal operation, a fetid cooperative b.w Organized Labor and all levels of Government.The Toledo situation rises to the level of toxicity with the incorporation of the local paper and its certifiably deranged ownership and management. It is the aggressive ignorance and contagious apathy of the "natives" that maintain the misery. Exceedingly low standards for education and "lifestyle" alternatives contribute to the never-ending problem. What's diabolical: if the "stables" could be sluiced a la Hercules 5th Labor, the area wouldda/couldda been the richest, most economically incredible area of the mid-west. Alas, no "Eurystheus" figure every arrived on the scene to make that happen; no Hercules either. When it comes to "economic scandals and tragedies" the history of Toledo is #1.

  3. Brian -- where are you? I have a little "surprise" for you ... I "found" several bottles of St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2007, in what serves as my wine cellar (actually a dusty crawl-space under my house). Reply with a shipping address and I'll show you my "liberal side" and shaaaaaare with you. I want to be "incuuuuuusive".

    Jim Ristow, no longer the "keeper of the grapes", but in San Diego a "Sanctuary City" ... alas and alack!
    New e-mail: james.ristow@gmail.com