Featured, Original Report, Politics

Q & A: Craig Silverman talks about his return to Denver radio

Editor’s Note from Todd Shepherd:

I moved to Colorado in 2005 when I took a general assignment reporter job at 850 KOA. As I was immersing myself in Colorado culture, history, and politics, I also spent a lot of my afternoon time listening to the Caplis and Silverman Show, which used to run on 630 KHOW. To me, their show was like a college course in Colorado politics.

It’s been my great honor to have been a substitute host on so many of Denver’s great radio shows, and it was no different on the handful of occasions when I did a few hours of fill-in work for Caplis and Silverman.

Dan Caplis, of course, is back on the air at 710 KNUS weekdays. And more recently, Craig Silverman decided to join the KNUS team as well in a Saturday slot.

Like most of talk radio, 710 KNUS is conservative, but might be said to be more socially conservative than other talk outlets. And yet, Craig Silverman doesn’t necessarily fit in that box. In fact, it’s because Craig can’t be pigeonholed or easily categorized as a commentator that I’m excited he’s back on the air.

For all these reasons, I wanted to touch base with Craig, and talk about his return to talk radio. Because both of us have busy schedules, we did this interview by email.

Check him out on-air, Saturdays from 9-noon.

Complete Colorado:  So you’re back on the air with a regular gig!  Tell us about The Craig Silverman Show and why you decided to do it.

Craig Silverman:  I have been a Colorado lawyer since 1981 and my law practice is thriving.  But I cannot stay away from following and obsessing about our fascinating and frightening current events.  I find myself checking Complete Colorado and other great news sites several times a day.  KNUS has been talking to me about coming on board and I finally said yes to a Saturday morning show.  That will allow me to continue tackling my clients’ issues during the week and then on Saturday mornings, along with my guests and callers, we can puzzle out the great issues affecting us all.

Throughout the workweek, I mainly listen to 710 KNUS because of its good topics and interesting hosts.  I am honored to become part of that team.  Saturday morning, after nine a.m., has been a radio wasteland in Denver for too long and I hope we can change that.

Complete Colorado:  Saturday isn’t the easiest time slot.  What are you going to do to attract listeners?

Craig: I plan to put on a show.  I am a trial attorney familiar with being a bit of a producer, director, and a character in what I hope is a compelling public presentation.  My media experience also dates back a pretty long time now.  And before that, I watched media cover my cases when I was a Denver prosecutor.  My rolodex is pretty good.

I will pack my shows with interesting guests, provocative questions and sound bites.  Humor will hopefully play a big part too.  Saturday is the best day of the week.  Unlike some radio pontificators, I sure don’t know it all, and I am generally willing to learn and concede a good point on the other side.

Complete Colorado:  Politics is the driver of talk radio.  What sorts of political concepts and topics are most important to you?

Craig:  Freedom of speech.  Separation of church and state.  Separation of state and church.  Freedom of Religion.  Privacy rights.  Checks and balances.  Rule of law.  Separation of powers.  Defeating terrorists and their radical ideologies. Live and let live.  Don’t hurt people.

Complete Colorado:  Are you surprised that KNUS would hire you knowing that you have some liberal and libertarian view points?

Craig:  Not since the hiring of Peter Boyles and the success of that decision.  I have filled in for Dan Caplis when my schedule allows and it felt natural and I felt welcome.  Peter is not easily categorized and neither am I.  Peter’s not a Christian nor is he a Republican and some of his views on social issues are liberal. KNUS seems dedicated to presenting compelling talk radio and there is diversity in their hosts.  You don’t have to say “ditto” or “you are a great American” to get on our shows.  I welcome all callers.  I cherish good conversations. Regular callers are fun.  So are new callers.

Complete Colorado:  What happened at KHOW for Caplis and Silverman to end after eight years?

Craig:  I worked for Clear Channel for about a decade, first as a KOA legal analyst covering cases like Kobe Bryant and JonBenet, and then as one half of KHOW’s afternoon drive time team with Dan Caplis.  I am so proud of our show and one of the best parts of our eight year run is that Dan Caplis and I maintained our friendship before, during and after.  When I became fed up with President Obama, it was not a great development for the longevity of our show.

Caplis and Silverman was never a classic conservative versus liberal matchup because I have never been a classic liberal.  I suppose I could be considered liberal as compared to Dan. I’m most comfortable as an Unaffiliated/Independent.  When I want to participate in a partisan primary, I temporarily change my registration to do so.  I voted for Romanoff over Bennet in 2010 and against Rick Perry and for Mitt Romney in 2012.  I will always try to figure out who best to vote for, and then, when it is actual time for people to vote, I will tell you who I am voting for and why.

Caplis and Silverman won lots of awards throughout our eight years, but management at Clear Channel changed and certain budgetary realities set in.  There are still lots of great people and friends of mine over there, but 710 KNUS has hired top talents, most of whom migrated from Clear Channel.  I am honored to be one of them especially since KNUS seems like the top talk radio station in town.

Complete Colorado:  What are some of your best memories from The Caplis & Silverman Show?

Craig:  There are so many.  Our major participation in the exposure and takedown of Ward Churchill was memorable, and I feel especially proud of that after watching Dinesh D’Souza’s movie America:  Imagine the World Without Her, and witnessing once again the disturbing thought process and words of Ward Churchill.

The Kobe Brant case helped launch our show in 2004.  I got to cover and attend the 2005 Michael Jackson trial in Santa Maria, CA.  KHOW was the place to be for coverage of the JonBenet related John Mark Karr flurry of events in 2006.  It is still stunning that Boulder DA Mary Lacy could botch things to that degree.

In September 2006, Dan and I got to broadcast live from the grand opening of the new CU Law School building.  About a week later, I broadcast our show for a memorable week from a nice radio studio in the Jerusalem Post building in Israel.  While we were doing a remote from Elway’s, in December 2006, I was able to successfully cross examine and expose President Jimmy Carter about Hamas and Iran.

We were on live national C-Span during the elections of 2008 and 2012.  Dan and I broadcast from the DNC and then live at Mile High for Obama’s Greek Column speech.  We each wrote columns every day of the DNC week for the late Rocky Mountain News.

Our KHOW show was fun, and I look forward to making lots of new and great memories at 710 KNUS.  I sure hope folks will listen on Saturday mornings from nine till noon.

Complete Colorado:  How did your first Saturday morning show go?  As easy as climbing back on the proverbial bicycle?

Craig:  It was a lot of fun and I have had some great feedback.  The behind the scenes KNUS people were all so nice and knowledgeable.  It is a joy to transition a little before nine with Chuck (Bonniwell) and Julie (Hayden).  I gave out my weekly awards for Best BiteBest GuestBest Question, and Call of the Week.  I also opened Craig’s Lawyer’s Lounge where prominent attorneys are invited to tell their best war stories.  Johnny Carson’s lawyer, Henry Bushkin, was very entertaining.  Cory Gardner, Bob Beauprez and Pamela Geller were also guests, but not in the Lounge.  I hope to have a lot of Democrats on as well, but perhaps not this week as I do a remote from the Western Conservative Summit.

Craig Silverman is a partner in the downtown Denver law firm of Silverman & Olivas, specializing in personal injury law, criminal matters, and problem solving. He served for sixteen years at the Denver District Attorney’s Office where he was a Chief Deputy District Attorney. Craig has appeared hundreds of times on local and national media on number of wide-ranging topics and stories including the JonBenet Ramsey case, Columbine, the Oklahoma City Bombing trials, the Kobe Bryant case, and the Aurora movie theater massacre.  Craig Silverman has been a regular panelist for more than a decade on the award winning Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television Channel 12, and he currently hosts The Craig Silverman Show on Saturdays (9-noon) on 710KNUS.


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