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"Beyond the Beltway" with Bruce DuMont marks 30 years on Monday

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Below, from DuMont release.....

Chicago political talk show icon Bruce DuMont celebrates the 30th anniversary of Beyond the Beltway, and its predecessor Inside Politics, on Monday, June 21 from 5:30-7:30pm at Harry Caray's Restaurant at Kinzie and Dearborn in Chicago.

Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont is a live weekly two-hour nationally-syndicated radio program from Chicago that airs every Sunday night from 6:00 - 8:00 pm (CDST) on many of America's great talk radio stations, including its flagship WLS-AM 890/Chicago. The show is
also heard on Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 110) and XM Satellite Radio (Channel 130).

DuMont, a pioneer in robust radio talk, featuring political insiders, power brokers, pundits and public servants introduced his brand of spirited debate on June 24, 1980 on WBEZ-FM Radio in Chicago. The initial 13 week experiment quickly caught on, developing a cult following as guests often forgot they were on-the-air and frequently blurted out outrageous and at times caustic remarks about the city's high and mighty.

An early Chicago Reader cover story headline hailed the program as 'The Shouting Show", and described DuMont as the ring master of the weekly boisterous gabfest that was a must listen for political animals.

In late 1991 Inside Politics went into national syndication with a modest affiliate list through WBEZ. But DuMont switched to commercial radio and expanded his syndication reach in 1992 after joining WLS-AM/Chicago, a 50,000 watt powerhouse. The program expanded and added a television version in 1996 on Showcase Chicago, then on to WCFC-TV-38 and eventually to WYCC-TV 20 where it know airs every Sunday at 10:30 pm. The cable version of the program runs Monday nights at 11pm on Comcast Network 100.

Each week three opinionated guests from across the political spectrum engage in civil but spirited verbal combat. Although a program built on a stable of mostly unknown political junkies, Inside Politics and Beyond the Beltway have boosted the careers of such former regular guests as Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Carol Moseley Braun, Luis Gutierrez, Dan Proft, Danny K. Davis and Chicago Alderman Richard Mell, perhaps the program's most outspoken guest. Even former Illinois State Senator Barrack Obama stopped by from time to time to hone his talk radio skills.

DuMont has also launched several political talk show careers like WVON/Chicago's Cliff Kelley, WLS/Chicago's conservative legend Tom Roeser and the former WBEZ/Chicago duo of Jacky Grimshaw and Chris Robling.

For 30 years the program has regularly originated from its affiliates around the nation, including multiple visits to important political sites like Iowa, seven visits to New Hampshire, Boston, Austin, New York, Los Angeles and the sites of almost all national political conventions.

In 1994 DuMont made his first visit to the US-Mexican border to see illegal immigration up-close. Later that year he traveled to Spokane, WA and discovered House Speaker Tom Foley was on the political ropes. In 2004 DuMont originated from Boston and then went to Cambridge, MA to witness the first gay marriages in the United States.

Each week the program also features live phone participation from plain-speaking listeners as it meets its mission to take America's political pulse from coast-to-coast and border-to-border.

Al Gore, Bob Dole, John McCain, Ross Perot, Don Rumsfeld, Steve Forbes, Dennis Hastert, Newt Gingrich, Jesse Jackson Harry Reid and Dick Durbin have all appeared on the show.

In 1995, DuMont kept the three-person format but changed the name of the show to Beyond the Beltway to reflect the political revolution of 1994. Thus, the program that began as a weekly fix for Chicago political insiders became a platform for hinterland outsiders frustrated by national policies and DC-based pundits.

For an affiliate list and a look at the Photo Gallery visit http://beyondthebeltway.com/30th.php


About Bruce DuMont

As host of Beyond the Beltway, Bruce DuMont is heard from coast to coast every Sunday night on more than 35 of America's major radio stations, including WLS-AM/Chicago. The program began as Inside Politics on WBEZ-FM/Chicago in 1980 and offers a fresh, spirited and balanced analysis of national affairs.

The television version of the program airs every Sunday at 10:30 PM on WYCC-TV/Channel 20 in Chicago. In addition, the program can be seen Monday evening at 10:30 on suburban Comcast cable systems.

For 19 years beginning in 1987, DuMont anchored Illinois Lawmakers, a television series exploring the Illinois General Assembly, which aired on public television stations throughout Illinois, including WTTW/Chicago. He has also appeared as a guest on C-Span's Washington Journal, as well as a guest commentator on CNN.

In addition to being one of the Midwest's most quoted political analysts, DuMont is a civic leader.

DuMont is Founder and President of The Museum of Broadcast Communications, one of only three broadcast museums in the United States. The Museum includes America's only Radio Hall of Fame, which DuMont brought to Chicago in 1991.

DuMont began his talk radio career as the original producer of WGN/Chicago's Extension 720 in 1968. After an unsuccessful run for the state legislature, he returned to WGN in 1970 as producer of The Howard Miller Show, one of Chicago's most controversial radio programs.

In February, 1973, DuMont left WGN to begin his own on-air radio career at WLTD/Evanston, Illinois. Working on the 1,000 watt suburban station, DuMont was able to establish a national reputation, due to his investigative interviews and reporting on Watergate, as well as constitutional abuses by the FBI and CIA during the 1970s. His investigative journalistic efforts resulted in a September, 1974, appearance on The Tom Snyder Show on the NBC Television Network.

In September, 1978, DuMont moved to WBBM Television as producer of Noonbreak with Lee Phillip. He transformed the soft/feature program into a news interview program and moved the program from the ratings basement to the top-rated television talk show in Chicago, beating Phil Donahue in his home market.

Through most of 1982, DuMont produced Channel 2: The People for WBBM. In his first season as a television documentarian, he received the highly coveted IRIS Award from the National Association of Television Programming executives for his examination of teenage suicide.

The American Bar Association awarded DuMont a Golden Gavel Award for What Can Johnny Read?, a courtroom production examining the issue of library censorship.

In December 1982, DuMont joined WTTW Television, where he negotiated and produced the historic 1983 Chicago mayoral debates, which led to the election of Harold Washington. While at WTTW, DuMont received two local Chicago Emmy Awards.

DuMont was the original producer of Chicago Tonight with John Callaway, which premiered in April of 1984. In July of that year, DuMont began his on-camera career, when he anchored the national Democratic and Republican Conventions for the highly acclaimed public affairs discussion program. From 1984 through 1991, DuMont was the Senior Political Analyst for WTTW/Channel 11, providing insightful analysis and developing a large and loyal following.

While at WTTW, DuMont produced Campaigning on Cue, the critically acclaimed 1985 PBS series examining the relationship between politics and television.

When DuMont left WTTW in 1991 to become President and CEO of The Museum of Broadcast Communications, his long-time colleague John Callaway, offered the following assessment:

Bruce DuMont's journalistic leadership following the death of Harold Washington deserves a special place in his own Museum of Broadcast Communications. He said upon coming to WTTW that he wanted to develop into the best on-air political journalist in the city and, in my view, he achieved that goal.

In 1999, DuMont was recognized for his significant contributions to Chicago television and was inducted into the coveted Silver Circle by the Chicago Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

In 1994, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from his alma mater, Columbia College/Chicago.

DuMont was recognized in 1989 by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of Chicago's most influential television leaders of the 1980s.

DuMont is former Chairman of the Board of the George Foster Peabody Awards at the University of Georgia.

In 2008, DuMont received a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Chicago Journalists Association.


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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