Tuning in or Out 

click to enlarge news03_goldman_100.jpg

Prepare to enter the mind of Doug Wilder -- before his botched brain transplant.

With the turn of the radio dial, the common Richmonder now has the opportunity to literally hear echoes of Wilder's thoughts pre-November 2006.

Paul Goldman, once the mayor's political Jiminy Cricket and the guiding strategist who helped make Wilder the nation's first elected black governor — and eventually landed him in City Hall — has taken to the AM airwaves on WLEE All News 990.

"I do think the political discussion in Richmond is a little insular," says Goldman, explaining his decision to go live in front of a microphone in late December. "The average person doesn't have much of a say."

Goldman parted company with Wilder two years ago; he was let go for moonlighting as a campaign consultant for Gov. Tim Kaine while working as Wilder's senior adviser. Since then, he's run for City Council, in Bruce Tyler's district, and lost. Until recently, his blog on NBC 12's Web site often took Wilder, City Council and the Richmond School Board to task for political missteps. The demands of the radio show forced Goldman to drop his popular blog last week.

"We kind of approached him, knowing he was involved with his blog and being a free agent now, not being involved with the Wilder administration," says Tim Hurley, who serves as program director, among other things, at the radio station, which went to an all-news format last March. "We wanted to put something on in the middle of the day to complement the all-news format," he says. "We were looking for something more long-form … and a lot more local."

They got long-form. Goldman's show, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, gives the newly minted pundit ample time to talk.

"Doing it three hours a day by yourself — it's a lot of time," Goldman says. "It's more than I thought."

Which has driven Goldman to thumb liberally through his Rolodex.

Among recent high-profile political guests on the show were Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Richmond Delegate Dwight Jones and Virginia Democratic Party Vice Chairman Barney Day.

Though the show went live last month, the station just began promoting Goldman Jan. 1. S

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