About Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson, nationally-known radio and television host, author, speaker, and consultant with more than 50 years experience in media as host, News/Program Director, and Owner.  

Before moving into management, Brian hosted successful radio programs on Heritage stations in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.  As morning drive host at the “Big Apple’s” WABC, he easily made the station’s historic transition from Music to Talk. Former WABC PD Phil Boyce noted, “Brian Wilson is the only radio personality I know who went to bed a disc jockey and woke up a Talk Show Host – and he did it on the biggest station in the biggest market in the world – WABC/New York.” Years later, Brian would later go on to become “ Head Zoo Keeper” of New York’s notorious "Z-Morning Zoo." There, 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.   

Wilson also played a role in the start-up of CNN, hosting the entertainment segment, Music Notes. In a return to Atlanta in the 90s, Brian not only hosted his Afternoon Drive radio show, he was also the star of Talk at Nite, a week-night TV talk program.

Wilson is the author of four books – 50 Stories: 50 Years in Radio (2018), Watercolor Memories - The Story of Lauren (2017), The Little Black Book on Whitewater (1996) and A Media Guide for Market-Liberal Organizations (1993).  The Whitewater book created a stir in Talk radio, landing Brian guest appearances 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 substitute around the country for vacationing talkers without leaving the comfort of his digitally-equipped home studio. Wilson hosted radio programs in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Kansas City, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Charlotte, Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York, and other cities, as well as nationally syndicated shows “Art Bell’s Coast to Coast,” “Jim Bohanan Show,” “Laura Ingraham,” and "Mike Smerconish.” His knowledge and charm allow callers to have an easy rapport with Brian, discussing topics from current events and politics to bass fishing to chili recipes – all without Wilson even setting foot in the city from 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 attracted the attention of many nationally-known political favorites as guests, including Walter Williams, Tom Sowell, James Bovard, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Victor Davis Hanson, Ann Coulter, sports legend John Madden, and a long list of music and film stars. 

A “small-L” libertarian, Brian’s belief in individual responsibility, self-ownership and limited government support his objectivist viewpoint, no doubt reinforced with his “once a decade” re-reading of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. His interest in human nature – why and how people do what they do -- transcends his radio show. Brian is as straightforward and open in person as he is in front of a microphone.

Wilson was born in Wayne, New Jersey, and 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 of his four children but also to the birth of his career in radio.  He lives near a Great Un-named Lake allegedly in the Southeast with his wife, journalist and writer Cassie Wilson, and their golden retriever, Nellie.    



Comments

  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)

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  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.

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  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

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  4. Brian, Where are you streaming these days? The world need your enlightenment!
    Phil in San francisco

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  5. Still making your Hot Damn texas chili?

    Rick, Baltimore MD

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  6. Brian, I really enjoyed listening to you on WIBR in Baton Rouge in the early '70s. Always enjoyed hearing you before heading off to school each morning, while you played the top 40 hits...

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    Replies
    1. A bit late in replying....!...but thanks for the note and the memories. Those were the days, my friend...

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  7. Hi Brian!
    Phil from Bagdad by the bay here. MIss the good ol days when you were casting out here in San Francisco. Now i have a difficult time finding a voice of reason to listen to. Hope all is well and if you are casting somewhere please keep me updated!

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  8. Brian, I have lived by your quote around 20 years. It makes total sense.
    "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried
    by 6". Hopefully, I will never have to cross bridge.
    Sliding down the razor blade of life!

    Steve Kief

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, Steve. I hope we and our world gets to see what we stood for and not what we fell for.

      Soldier on...

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  9. My favorite memories of your WSPD tenure were the bitch slaps you delivered to Savage and Levin.

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  10. Brian... hope you are well. Did you host a talk show in Marietta Ga in the early 90s on wtlk? if so .. are those shows available somewhere? We regularly attended the live taping and truly enjoyed it every time. I would love to see some of those episodes again.

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    1. Hi Joe -- Yep! "Talk At Nite"! An award-losing show with (mostly) live audience w/the Dave Section, usually a band and some amazing guests no one would expect on a low-budget show! Thanks for being there - and thanks for remembering! Sorry - I suspect the tapes went the way of the station...I may have some in the attic!

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  11. Hope you enjoy your new home in Alabama. You Seemed like a great and reasonable guy when I met you.

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