Free Talk Live
|Running time||119 min|
|Syndicates||Genesis Communications Network|
|Created by||Ian Freeman (Bernard)|
|Recording studio||Keene, New Hampshire|
|Original release||November 3, 2002 – present|
Free Talk Live is an American call-in radio talk show heard seven nights a week. The program is hosted primarily by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge. They are typically joined by a rotating cast of changing co-hosts. It is a chiefly libertarian anarchist political talk show and topics range from current events to philosophy, from politics to personal issues. Free Talk Live engages in only a very basic form of call screening. The show is broadcast from Keene, New Hampshire. Before moving to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project, the show was broadcast from Sarasota, Florida.
The program is syndicated on over 160 radio stations via The Genesis Communications Network, 2 television stations across the United States, as well as on a KU-band satellite channel across North America and Africa, and multiple Internet radio networks around the globe. The nightly shows are alternatively available on the Free Talk Live website through podcast. Archives of more than 11 years of past shows are also available for download in MP3 format from the website.
The first broadcast was broadcast on November 3, 2002 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM in Sarasota, Florida. Free Talk Live became a weeknight show from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. After the radio station changed format in June 2003, the show was available only on Internet radio until it was picked up by WTMY, an AM radio station in Sarasota. The show began syndication program in September 2004. Free Talk Live currently airs seven nights per week from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Eastern time on over 120 radio and five television affiliates carrying audio simulcasts. In addition to over-the-air radio/TV, the show broadcasts on several internet radio affiliates and XM Satellite Radio channels 166 and 165, on weekdays and weekends respectively.
Free Talk Live won the Podcast Awards’ Best Cultural/Political Podcast Award in 2005 and won the Best Political Podcast Award in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. The program has been featured in Talkers Magazine's 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America.
On June 13, 2011, Ian and Mark announced on air that Free Talk Live would be adding a live Sunday show to replace its rotating internet only show, with plans to syndicate the show to radio stations. The show debuted on the internet on June 19 and has since been syndicated on radio.
- Ian Freeman – Having identified himself as a libertarian, an anarcho-capitalist, a free marketeer, and other labels over the course of the show's history, Freeman has settled on voluntaryist in recent years. Likewise, Freeman's spiritual/religious evolution has brought him from self-proclaimed atheist to his current panentheist beliefs. He hosts the show from the studio within the Shire Free Church in Keene, New Hampshire. On the 20th March 2016, Freeman's home was raided by the FBI during a child pornography investigation, however he has since denied any allegations of accessing such material. Freeman had previously been dissociated with by the affiliated Free State Project over his views on the age of consent.
- Mark Edge (real name: "Mark Edgington") – Has identified himself as a voluntaryist while expressing support for panarchy. His spiritual/religious evolution over the course of the show has led him to settle on Quakerism with a panentheist bent. He is the ad salesman for Free Talk Live. Mark also hosts the Edgington Post, a short interview show which was tacked onto the end of podcasted versions of FTL until it became a separate podcast. On January 29, 2007, it was revealed that Mark Edge had served nine years in prison for his involvement in the 1988 strangulation murder of a Florida motel manager.
The hosts repeatedly state that Free Talk Live is your show and that you take control of the air waves. Listeners who call in will only be asked for a name, location, the topic(s) they wish to speak about, and how they listen to the show. It is stated policy that anyone who calls in will get on the air but each listener may only call the show once a day. The hosts also purport that all women who call into the show are moved to the front of the queue; this is done to make the female listenership more visible to station affiliates, and to encourage female participation overall (because it is widely believed that talk radio has a dominantly male demographic, and the existence of many female listeners is positive for ad sales. Between listener phone calls, the hosts fall back to topics they are interested in as well as news events suggested by listeners.
The show does not usually feature guests but has had them on the show in the past. Previous guests have included Marc Emery; Michael Badnarik; Drew Curtis; Cindy Sheehan; Thomas Woods; Aubrey de Grey; Gene Ray; Jim Babka; Jack Thompson (attorney); Danny Ledonne; Doug Stanhope; Bill Westmiller, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus; Glen "Kane" Jacobs; Adam Kokesh; Vermin Supreme; and Ron Paul, US Congressman and Presidential Candidate.
Funding for Free Talk Live comes from a combination of standard on-the-show advertising, and a donation-by-subscription service known as AMP (an acronym for Advertise, Market, and Promote). An AMP subscriber, or AMPlifier, donates a choice from pre-established amounts of money to the show every month. Any amount can be given with a minimum of five dollars. The show has also been known to accept Bitcoin, Silver, Gold, and Liberty Dollars in lieu of Federal Reserve Notes. The hosts indicate that all funds from the AMP program go to advertising and promoting the show, as well as contributing to the cost of production. Although the hosts earn income through advertising and merchandise sales, all AMP proceeds are used to augment the listener base of the program by increasing the number of markets.[clarification needed]
Host’s name change
Ian Freeman changed his last name on-air from “Bernard” to “Freeman”. On the September 17, 2008 airing of the New Hampshire-based talk radio show Against The Grain with Gardner Goldsmith, Ian, who was a guest on the show, asked Gardner to refer to him as “Ian Freeman”, not “Ian Bernard”.
The hosts assert that they try to apply the ideals of freedom to their show. The hosts have stated they oppose FCC regulations but still seek to avoid FCC-prohibited speech on their broadcast as it may negatively impact the radio stations that air the show and affront some listeners or trigger the imposition of fines by the FCC against those broadcasters.) The hosts, claiming to adhere to their principles of respecting contract and voluntary agreement, state that adherence to the FCC rules come not at the demands of government agencies but the requests of/or demands by their syndicates. As of March 2009, Free Talk Live has implemented the use of a dump box.
A major sponsor of Free Talk Live and a common topic of discussion is the Free State Project, an organization committed to recruiting 20,000 like minded people to move to the state of New Hampshire in search of liberty. Once there, the participants pledge to exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property. Freeman and Edge moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project in September 2006.
- Liberty Radio Network – A 24/7 streaming audio station featuring other shows in the libertarian vein.
- Edgington Post – Mark Edge's interview series.
- Puke & the Gang – Former co-hosts "Puke", Andrew, and Nick started this podcast after being removed from the FTL Sunday show.
- "Genesis Communications Network: Free Talk Live". Archived from the original on January 2, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
- Philip, Bantz (October 28, 2007). "Long Crazy Journey for TV host" (jpg). Keene Sentinel. Keene, New Hampshire. p. A4. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
- "Free Talk Live : Affiliate Information". Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- "5th Annual Podcast Awards Ceremony". Podcast Connect. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
- "2009 Talkers 250". Talkers Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 September 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
- "AMP Program". Free Talk Live.
- ""Against the Grain", September 17, 2008". Free Talk Live.
- See http://pukeandthegang.com/about/