These days, it seems you can barely turn the radio dial in Asheville without bumping into a talk show. Here's an annotated guide to who's talking when and on which frequency.
In deciding which shows to include, Xpress looked for programs that consist mainly of discussions and commentary on general news, public affairs and politics, excluding those focused on any single topic or issue.
The local airwaves also offer many other shows featuring top-notch talkers, but those specializing in entertainment, sports or religious talk, as well as regular news programs, did not meet our criteria. For information about some of the nonpolitical talk shows on local radio, visit the Web sites of the stations below, which provide full programming schedules.
WWNC-570 AM / www.wwnc.com
The Rush Limbaugh Show (Mon-Fri, noon-3 p.m.)
The man who almost single-handedly made right-wing talk radio a national institution still has a lot to say.
Take a Stand! with Matt Mittan (Mon, 3-6 p.m.; Tue-Fri, 3-7 p.m.)
In this locally produced show, Mittan invites listeners, callers and guests of all stripes to join him on "the front porch" for straight talk about local and national politics.
The Michael Savage Show (Mon, 9-10 p.m.*; Tue-Fri, 7-10 p.m.)
Savage is mad as hell and he's not taking it anymore. If you're a homosexual, immigrant, environmentalist, feminist, liberal anything or moderate Republican, he's mad at you.
Saturday Soapbox with Matt Mittan (Sat, 1-1:30 p.m.)
The host of the weekday-afternoon show pre-records this weekly installment of whatever's on his mind.
The Drudge Report (Sun, 10 p.m.-1 a.m.)
Internet gossip guru Matt Drudge sounds off on political scandals from across the nation.
* The Monday hour of Michael Savage begins airing in three weeks, after football season ends.
WPEK-880 AM / www.880therevolution.com
Morning Sedition (Mon-Fri, 6-9 a.m.)
The Air America network's wakeup show, billed as "far more fun than any self-respecting liberal is supposed to have," features irreverent political humor.
The Stephanie Miller Show (Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-noon)
Says the host: "As talk radio has more and more become a sea of right-wing wackos, I think the audience has finally recognized the need to balance that with some good left-wing wackos, and I'm thrilled to be able to fill that need."
The Al Franken Show (Mon-Fri, noon-3 p.m.)
With a strong assist from co-host Katherine Lanpher, writer/comedian Franken fills his show with biting political satire, visits from liberal luminaries, and rebuttals of the likes of Rush.
The Ed Schultz Show (Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.)*
This feisty populist touts his Jones Radio Network show as "straight talk from the heartland."
Best of the Randi Rhodes Show (Sat, 2-4 p.m.)
One of Air America's strongest voices, the New York City-based Rhodes is good company for lefties left blue by the recent national elections. This edition of the show is drawn from her weekday broadcasts.
So What Else is News? (Sun, 8-10 a.m.)
Air America's Marty Kaplan "un-spins" the news.
The TalkRadio Count Down Show (Sun, 10 a.m.-noon)
Doug Stephan is joined by Michael Harrison, editor/publisher of Talkers magazine, a leading trade journal, to review what's hot in talk radio.
The Majority Report (Sun, 4-6 p.m.)*
Another Air America star, former Saturday Night Live-er Janeane Garofalo (along with her co-host, Sam Seder) has got the jaded-but-still-funny thing down pat. This edition of the show is drawn from weekday broadcasts.
* A daytime-only station, WPEK shuts off at sundown, so this program leaves the airwaves early during the winter months.
WZNN-1350 AM / www.supertalk1350.com
The Bill Fishburne Show (Mon-Fri, 7-10 a.m.)
Conservative talk from a radio veteran and former chair of the Buncombe County Republican Party, with a strong emphasis on local issues.
The Laura Ingraham Show (Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-noon)
Sassy liberal-bashing, courtesy of a former Reagan White House speechwriter and law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The Neal Boortz Show (Mon-Fri, noon-2 p.m.)
This cantankerous, conservative libertarian tells "the terrible truth about liberals," as he calls it. (The station also airs a "Best of Boortz" edition, Sat, 7-9 p.m.)
Carolina Journal Radio (Sat, noon-1 p.m.)
John Hood, director of the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh-based conservative think tank, delves into state politics.
Saturday Night America with Rusty Humphries (Sat, 9-11 p.m.)
Quirky and intensely patriotic talk from this Reno, Nev.-based broadcaster.
Best of Tammy Bruce (Sat, 11 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sun, 9 p.m.-midnight)
Highlights from the previous week's shows by a self-proclaimed "openly gay, pro-choice, gun-owning, voted-for-President Reagan progressive feminist."
Best of Jerry Doyle (1-4 a.m.)
Highlights from the previous week's shows by a part-time TV actor dedicated to "exposing the corrupt" and "challenging the Hollywood elite."
The Mountain Guardian (Mon, 2-3 p.m.)
News and commentary from Peter Dawes, publisher of the local monthly newspaper Mountain Guardian News & Opinion.
Citizen Speaks (Tue, 2-3 p.m.)
Activist/political gadfly Don Yelton and co-host Fred English offer no shortage of opinions about local government.
The Inside Pages (Thu, 2-3 p.m.)
Morning host Bill Fishburne, who moonlights as senior editor of the Asheville Tribune, is joined by the paper's editor at large, David Morgan, for a chat about the week's news.
The History Guy (Fri, 2-3 p.m.)
Science-fiction author and Montreat College history professor Bill Forstchen, who has co-written two books with Newt Gingrich, takes a trip down memory lane.
The Sean Hannity Show (Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.)
The star of Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes takes his act on the radio, sans Colmes. (The station also airs a "Best of Hannity" edition, Sat, 7-9 a.m.)
The Radio Factor (Mon-Fri, 6-8 p.m.)
Another Fox News Channel heavy, Bill O'Reilly, the host of TV's The O'Reilly Factor remains popular after weathering a much-publicized sexual-harassment lawsuit.
The Michael Reagan Show (Mon-Fri, 8-10 p.m.)
The son of the late President Ronald Reagan, this talk-show host is even more conservative than his father was.
The Mike Gallagher Show (Mon-Fri, 10 p.m.-midnight)
A rising name in conservative talk, Gallagher is also a frequent commentator on the Fox News Channel.
Heads Up America with Ken Bagwell (Sat, 9 a.m.-noon)
Local conservative-talk veteran Bagwell says he interviews "anyone I find interesting."
WCQS-88.1 FM / www.wcqs.org
Conversations (Wed, 6-7 p.m.)