BILLINGS — A veteran broadcaster and political has launched a new Billings-based talk radio show, “Montana Talks.”
Aaron Flint hosts the morning talk radio show weekdays from 6 to 10.
“I think you can safely say it is a conservative talk show,” he said. It begins at 6 a.m. with commentary and news and weather every 10 minutes. By 8, he plans to have guests on for interviews and to field calls from listeners.
“I forgot how much fun it is,” Flint said, to “just start talking and taking phone calls.”
He likes his home in the Townsquare Media studios on the top floor of the Double Tree by Hilton on North 27th Street, overlooking downtown Billing with scenic views of the Beartooths, the Pryors, the Rims and other local landmarks.
He said he had worked with employees from the media company in the past and liked their approach, “with great ideas, (and) want to see more local content.”
Flint has plenty of both radio and political experience. He’s run a statewide radio show in Montana that grew from 10 signals to more than 20, and was editor of “The Flint Report,” a daily online news and commentary. He was communications director for Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Montana, during his 2016 campaign for governor and served as director of Ryan Zinke’s congressional offices in Montana.
Flint, who has a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Montana, has worked for Montana Public Radio, KTVQ television and Today show at NBC.
He recently returned from an Army National Guard deployment, his fourth overseas military assignment. He and his wife, Jessica, live in Billings with three young children.
His show goes on the air at 6 a.m. and runs until 10, when national talk show host Rush Limbaugh comes on. The time slot is ideal for a conservative radio program, Flint said.
“You want to be on the Rush Limbaugh station,” he said. In his first few days on the air, he said call volumes increase around 7:30, morning drive time.
And calls started coming in right away, even though the show had not been advertised or promoted, he said.
“That proves the strength of the station,” he said, and being down the hall from “the legends of radio, the Breakfast Flakes,” doesn’t hurt either.
Flint has already hosted guests like Yellowstone County Commissioner John Ostlund and former District Judge Russ Fagg, a candidate for U.S. Senate. But his vision isn’t limited to the expansive views beyond the large windows of his studio space — he’s itching to take his show on the road.
“Don’t be surprised if you see us show up at a local café,” he said. Getting out of the office is critical, he believes.
“When you get out you realize that there’s lots of people listening,” he said. “You get a great perspective on what people are thinking.”
He wants as many calls as possible from local residents, whom he believes are frustrated by news coverage by mainstream media outlets.
“These people don’t have a voice,” he said, and some “are talked down to” by high-powered news reporters who tell them how to think and feel.
“You can get a call from somebody on a tractor, somebody driving down the road,” he said. And these are important voices, he said: They run businesses, they employ workers. His job is to find out what they know, and share it with his listeners.
“The best reporters get out and find the news from people who know the information,” he said. “You’re sharing your opinion, but you’re just sparking the conversation.”