Tell 92.1 to Give Sly the Mic!

CALL: 608-274-5450

The Mic needs Sly because:
  • Workers need a voice on the public airwaves fighting for them.
  • Small businesses that take good care of their employees depend on Sly's loyal fan base.
  • Sly and his listeners give progressives the support they need to stand up to Scott Walker. 

Local businesses want Sly on the Mic!

"As anyone well knows, I have been advertising with Sly for a couple decades. It is not at all unusual for customers to come to our store and tell us they just heard my live spot that morning. Oh, and they buy something! All the time. We still have people coming in and telling us they know of us because of Sly. And, they're still buying things! That's why I'm waiting to see where he 'lands'.

Sly is more real to most listeners because he "grew up" on the radio here. He's always been a trouble maker, but that's what made him entertaining. He dared to be wild, and at times brutally honest. He knows how to stir the pot. That said, his conviction to his cause is very genuine. He has grown up a lot. Who else brings 4 hours of content to the radio 5 days a week? He's not just a talking head.

People listen to him very closely. When I have an opportunity to converse with him about my business, they continue to listen.  I can tell of real customer experiences, or details about products and installations that could never be brought out in conventional commercials. By coming on Sly's show 2 days a week, my message is timely and relevant. Always fresh new.

AMS employees live a service culture for our customers you won't find any place else. This is the best way to convey that message. He has a super-loyal following. I said it before and I'll say it again.

If I am afforded the opportunity to advertise with Sly,  I'll be there tomorrow morning. Show me the door to his studio please!"

-Paul from AMS

5380 King James Way
Madison, WI

"As an advertiser on Sly in the Morning our Union was able to put before the public a real message and direction from State employees. We felt a real connection to Sly and his commitment to workers and their issues especially those most victimized by Scott Walker. In fact, the delegates assembled at our 2012 State Convention not only recognized Sly but passed a resolution that continued the economic commitment to his program. Our participation made our members feel proud and valued."
- Marty Beil, Executive director of AFSCME Council 24

"As President and marketing committee member of Lawton & Cates, I encourage you to add Sly to your progressive talk radio station, the Mic. We developed a great relationship with Sly and dedicated many of our marketing dollars to reach out to his audience.

We were very disappointed to learn that WTDY let Sly, his audience, and our targeted marketing audience go. We would be very interested in bringing our marketing to you should you “Give Sly the Mic”. 
-Attorney Ginger L. Murray

Lawton & Cates
10 East Doty St.
Madison, WI

"At our Thanksgiving dinner—involving a large family mix of Irish and Norwegians---we spent quite a bit of time discussing the need for just such local programing and the need for someone like Sly to invite listeners to speak out on state and local issue, and national issues, that affect the lives of Wisconsin citizens. I do hope 92.1 the Mic finds a way to get Sly back on the air and continues the dialogue on so many important issues.

Our years with Sly have been great. Our clients have frequently commented “I heard you guys on Sly.” In fact, even with other TV and radio ads running, the ads running during Sly’s program seemed to catch the most notice.

We would definitely follow Sly to 92.1 the Mic."

- Attorneys John Walsh and Mike Riley

Axley Brynelson
Madison Office
2 E Mifflin St.
Madison WI 53703

Chris Rickert: Silent Sly throws off airwaves' balance

Do you remember that "Simpsons" episode where Mr. Burns goes to the Mayo Clinic and is told he has every disease known to man but that they are all in such perfect balance he's not likely to fall ill to any of them?
That was the first metaphor I thought of for what's happened to Madison's talk radio scene since its loudest local lefty, WTDY's John "Sly" Sylvester, got laid off. Because we all know radio has long been afflicted with bombastic, polarizing hosts armed with adolescent humor and half-truths.
Maybe the most we can hope is that the screaming from both sides creates enough indecipherable din to keep any of it from making us too sick.
Sly, though, probably deserves just a tad more consideration, if only because of the radio market in which he operates.
Read more:

Tell 92.1 to Give Sly the Mic!

CALL: 608-274-5450

The Mic needs Sly because:
  • Workers need a voice on the public airwaves fighting for them.
  • Small businesses that take good care of their employees depend on Sly's loyal fan base.
  • Sly and his listeners give progressives the support they need to stand up to Scott Walker. 

Why the Marriage of WI's Only Progressive Talker and WI's Only Progressive Radio Station Must Happen

If you turned on the Sly this morning and only got elevator music it's because WTDY that we knew and loved is dead and is never coming back. For the first time in modern radio history, there is no local, high-quality progressive radio talk show in Wisconsin.

That cannot stand.

Sly needs to be back on the air Wisconsin's only progressive radio station -- 92.1's the Mic-- are the airwaves he needs to be gracing.

There are many reasons this makes sense, but at the top of the list: The Mic and Sly can no longer afford to battle for the same pool of progressive listeners. Joining forces will make both stronger, while if Sly goes to a different station it will (continue) to make both weaker.

To this end, we have created this website to try and make this happen. Please call or email 92.1 the Mic to make this happen.

Remember: Every day without Sly on the air is a great day for Scott Walker. We all need him back ASAP.

State Rep. Dianne Hesselbein & Jud Lounsbury
Co-Chairs of Give Sly the Mic

Capital Times Editorial: A Sly Movement

Madison misses John “Sly” Sylvester.
Sylvester, the veteran morning host on Madison’s WTDY radio, lost his gig last week when the station decided to flip its format. The decision by WTDY to drop Sly, and the station’s able news staff, was...Read more:


William T. Evjue, who founded The Capital Times 95 years ago as a radical alternative to the mainstream media of the 20th century, had little taste for most editors, reporters and commentators. They were stenographers to power, apologizing for Wall Street and the military-industrial complex that The Capital Times editor and publisher decried even before President Dwight Eisenhower called out the war profiteers.
Evjue referred to the competition as "the kept press," meaning it could be counted on to defend the interests of corporations and decry the aspirations of Main Street shopkeepers, small farmers and working people.
Evjue refused to be kept. As an ally of Robert M. La Follette and the Wisconsin progressive movement, he published a newspaper that attacked and shamed the elites. And he took to the radio airwaves each Sunday, declaring "Hello Wisconsin" before he ripped into lobbyists and the legislators who did their bidding.
No one who listened to Evjue forgot his fearlessness or devotion to the progressive cause. And most, like former Sen. Russ Feingold, can still recall his booming voice coming across the airwaves from the old WIBA studios in Madison to call out the transgressions of those who did not live up to the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman. "Compromise" was not a dirty word in Evjue's lexicon; it was an obscenity.
These days, there is too little progressive radio, and even less progressive radio in the Evjue tradition. But the loyal listeners to John "Sly" Sylvester's WTDY morning show heard an echo of Evjue. No, there was nothing of the publisher's stiff Norwegian style in Sly's rollicking one. But Sly drew from the same well of progressive idealism (and anger) as Evjue. Sly railed against Scott Walker from Day One of the Wisconsin uprising, sided unapologetically with organized labor and declared: "I don't want a tax break. I want to pay my taxes and I want those taxes to pay for great public schools and great public services."
Evjue would have appreciated that last line, just as thousands of Sly's listeners did as he uttered variations on that theme over 15 years.
Sure, Sly often extended his remarks from "comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable" to flat-out condemning crony capitalists and crooked candidates. Everyone who listened to Sly took offense at one time or another.
Every guest (including this writer) disagreed with him sometimes. But Wisconsinites recognized that Sly's anger was motivated by a rage at injustice and dishonesty. And they loved him for that, giving his show solid ratings and a loyal listenership that advertisers craved.
When those listeners tuned in the morning after Thanksgiving, however, they did not hear Sly raging against Walmart and demanding that Wisconsinites "buy local on Black Friday." Station management pulled the plug on Sly and the news department. In so doing, they created a serious information void.
Hopefully this void will be filled by the reappearance of Sly's morning show on another, more wisely managed station. The Wisconsin progressive populist tradition remains vibrant and popular, as the Nov. 6 election results remind us. It should continue to have a bold radio voice shouting "Hello Wisconsin" every morning.

Read more:

John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times.