Leslie Marshall is no newcomer to the world of talk radio; she has been a radio talk host for more than 20 years and a political pundit on national television for the past seven. Leslie was the youngest person ever to be nationally syndicated on radio when she replaced Tom Snyder on the ABC Satellite Radio Network in 1992. She was also the first woman to host an issues-oriented program nationwide.
Originally from Boston, Leslie earned her undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and attended Emerson College’s Master’s Program.
She started her broadcasting career as a radio news reporter at WBSM in New Bedford, Massachusetts, an hour outside of Boston. Hoping to move into television, Leslie took her news skills to Miami, Florida. While there, she started working at various stations, covering news, traffic, weather and even some disc jockey work.
One night, when hosting an overnight nostalgic music program on WFTL, Leslie did a special “Remembrance” hour in which veterans called in with their experiences. It was that night that Leslie was discovered by a program director at the talk radio station across town. He phoned and told her she might have missed her calling….
After anchoring, reporting and hosting music programs, she decided to give talk radio a try—and after one show, she was hooked! Leslie started her talk radio career at WNWS in Miami, where she remained for three years.
When WNWS was sold and changed formats, Leslie chose to host middays at WGR Newsradio in Buffalo, New York. Although she only spent a year in Buffalo, the audience considered her a native and she felt a connection to the people in that community rather quickly. In just two ratings books, Leslie beat the ratings of the unbeatable Rush Limbaugh. Time magazine even mentioned her success that year.
Having such strong ratings, Leslie was sought after in the top ten radio markets. Leslie left Buffalo for Houston, Texas, where she hosted middays again, and beat Mr. Limbaugh again—but this time, it only took one ratings book.
All this time, the network had been watching Leslie, and in 1992 she got her chance. The ABC Satellite Radio Network/Daynet offered Leslie national syndication, making her the youngest person ever syndicated in talk radio at the time. And she had some big shoes to fill: Tom Snyder’s. Leslie’s program was heard on more than 200 stations nationwide for three years.
Then the network disbanded, and Leslie went to work for WLS-FM in Chicago, hosting an afternoon drive talk show and staying in the ABC radio family. When the O.J. Simpson trial ended, WLS-FM flipped to a music format, so Leslie decided to join her love of nearly eight years, move to San Francisco and get married. Leslie approached the ABC talk station there, KGO, and they were happy to bring her on board. In addition to having a weekend show at KGO, she was also the regular bench person for their full-time weekday lineup. She had a full-time program of her own middays at KHTK in Sacramento as well, and began appearing on television programs such as Bay Talk on KRON, the local NBC affiliate. Leslie remained on these stations for two years until Chicago came calling again. It was time for her to return to the Windy City. This time, she was paired in a team at WLS-AM, working in the evenings, and she remained there for nearly three years.
Long-distance love is tough, but even tougher on a marriage, so when Leslie’s husband was offered a position in Los Angeles, she joined him. Once in L.A., Leslie hosted talk shows on KFI, KLSX and KABC radio, and was signed to KLAC, KFI’s sister station, at its inception. KLAC remained a talk station for two years, and Leslie hosted an evening talk show for that duration. When KLAC switched formats, she became tired of moving and decided to stay in Los Angeles.
While waiting for a new radio gig to come along, Leslie debated conservatives throughout the country on national television. She has been seen on programs including The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes and Your World with Neil Cavuto on Fox News Channel; Scarborough Country on MSNBC; Showbiz Tonight on CNN; Kudlow & Company on CNBC; and Headliners and Legends: Halle Berry. At the time, Leslie was a regular on the Fox News Channel debating her conservative buddy, radio talk host Mark Williams, every Wednesday morning on Fox News Channel for two years. She also was a regular member of the varsity panel on The Dennis Miller Show on CNBC.
Leslie also lent her talents to the printed page, being published in The Buffalo News, The Metromedia News, Talkers Magazine and The National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts newsletters.
Being in Los Angeles and having done both acting and standup comedy in the past on both coasts, Leslie was a natural for television—even if it meant playing a character rather than debating politics. She appeared on shows such as NYPD Blue, Seventh Heaven, General Hospital, Passions, Port Charles, Philly, What Should You Do? on Lifetime and Take Two: Living the Movies on USA, in which she costarred with Heidi Fleiss, the former “Hollywood Madam.” Leslie also can be seen in the films A Mexican Werewolf; Life, Death and Mini Golf; Last Word; The Route; Room 302; and others.
Once again, radio came knocking, and when 50,000-watt powerhouse WWKB was flipping to a progressive format, they wanted Leslie. She hosted middays on WWKB’s new progressive station, “The New Voice, The New Choice,” for one year, helping to get its progressive feet off the ground.
Months later in 2007, Leslie was syndicated for a second time by Talk USA. Her program can be heard nationwide, Monday through Friday, 7-10 p.m. Eastern/4-7 p.m. Pacific. And she is still heard on that powerhouse WWKB, along with many other affiliates. Currently, her program is the of the fastest growing progressive talk shows in the nation.
Leslie is also a Fox News Contributor. Appearing weekly on: “The O’Reilly Factor,” “America Live w/ Megyn Kelly” and monthly from New York on “Hannity” as a member of the Great American Panel, America’s Headquarters and Foxnews.com, the Fox news webcast. She also sits in for Bob Beckel on occasion co hosting Fox’s newest show, “The Five.”
And not only can you hear and see Leslie, you can read her thoughts on her weekly blog for USNews&WorldReport every Wednesday and weekly for POLITICO’s The Arena.
Leslie was just voted as one of The Magazine’s 50 most influential women of 2012.
Leslie broadcasts from Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, their two children.