Dan Caplis on his return to the airwaves, 710 KNUS and his war on Amendment 64
As we've reported, attorney and conservative talk-show host Dan Caplis, whose KHOW show with fellow lawyer Craig Silverman ended in June 2012, returned to the airwaves this week at KNUS, an outlet that also provided a refuge for ex-KHOW mainstay Peter Boyles. And on his debut program, he immediately made a splash by announcing his plan to spearhead an attempt to repeal Amendment 64, which allows adults 21 and over to use and possess small amounts of marijuana. Caplis talks about this mission and more in a wide-ranging conversation below.
"It's just great to be back in the fray," Caplis says. And while he's been busy with his law practice (last October, we wrote about his representation of Las Vegas footballer Nathan Starks's successful bid to play for Cherry Creek High) and occasional fill-in gigs for Clear Channel Denver, KHOW's corporate overseer, he frankly admits that he's felt something missing since his program with Silverman was bounced.
"I'd done a show for twenty years before our last one ended, and I missed it a lot," he notes. "It's a privilege and a thrill to have a microphone, and a chance to impact the issues that really matter. So I'm absolutely ecstatic to be back on the air, and it works out very well with my law practice. My understanding with KNUS is the same as I had with Clear Channel: My family and my law practice come first. If I need to miss a show for family or the practice, I'll be allowed to."
After leaving KHOW, Caplis says he was approached by a handful of radio operators about future broadcasting opportunities, but nothing felt right until KNUS came calling. The station, owned by Salem Communications, which specializes in Christian programming, has gotten more aggressive about competing with Clear Channel Denver in the secular arena over recent years, hiring longtime KOA morning host Steve Kelley in 2011 and providing a landing spot for Boyles after he was fired last year following a physical altercation with his longtime producer, Greg Hollenback. Since starting at KNUS, Boyles's ratings have regularly topped those of his replacement at KHOW, Mandy Connell.
Caplis with former partner Craig Silverman, left, during their KHOW days.
"KNUS has been doing great things with Pete," Caplis says, "and Pete and I talk -- and he understood that I was ready and willing to get back into it. This opportunity came together quickly and was kind of a no-brainer at that point. There are great people there, with Peter and Steve Kelley both doing live and local, so it was a perfect fit."
That was true from a theological standpoint, too. Caplis is a very active Catholic who regularly quotes Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila: He references Aquila when saying, "If you want to change the world for the better, go into politics or the media." In his view, "my Catholic-Christian worldview meshes well with Salem's Christian ideology."
At the same time, he emphasizes that he'll be talking about a broad range of issues on the program, with Amendment 64 being first on the agenda.
"I want this show to be the home base for the Repeal 64 effort," he maintains. "There are a lot of good people out there who have done what they can individually and through their organizations in an attempt to stop and reverse this debacle, but I hope having a radio show that can be available to get the facts out there, to allow for the full discussion for the opposition point of view and serve as a rallying point for the forces of repeal can be a very valuable tool. I want the show to be a critical part of a smart, well-funded, winning repeal effort. And it's all about winning."
Continue for more of our interview with Dan Caplis.