March 1, 2017

James A. Smith Sr.





Hewitt: ‘Fragrance of Gospel’ Needed on Talk Shows

hewittORLANDO, Fla. (NRB) –  Christian radio show hosts have an obligation not only “to deliver great news talk” but to make certain the “fragrance of the Gospel is there, Hugh Hewitt said Tuesday evening (Feb. 28) at Proclaim 17, the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention.  

Speaking at NRB’s Media Leadership Dinner, Hewitt told the audience of other talk show hosts and broadcasters that he has hosted his many guests during 17 years with Salem Media Group “with one purpose in mind – to smuggle in the Christian Gospel into a secular setting.” 

As a nationally syndicated host, he – as well as Salem – has a “secular platform which we do faith messages on, which we invite secular people into, because like the early church now we have to earn an invitation into the culture. We used to own the culture.” 

Hewitt, also a news analyst with NBC News and a law professor at Chapman University in Orange, California, urged his audience to treat the news and media opponents carefully. 

Christian broadcasters “can’t get anything wrong” at a time when news happens quickly, he said. “All of us have got to be careful to be right. 

“[W]e cannot make a single false accusation,” Hewitt told attendees, adding, “It will break us. It will come back against us.” 

He also said, “In the secular media there are a lot of people that we treat pretty badly, and we say terrible things about them. We shouldn’t.” 

During his comments, Hewitt explained his pilgrimage as a talk show host following his work in the Reagan White House. He first hosted a weekend talk radio program in 1990. When CNN came looking for a partner in four 2016 Republican presidential debates, Salem was well positioned after many years of work, Hewitt said. Salem chose him to join the CNN hosts for the debates. 

After conducting 15 interviews with President Trump on his talk show, Hewitt told the audience, “No matter what anyone tells you, he is not a racist; he is not a bigot; he is not an anti-Semite; he is not an Islamaphobe.” 

Trump “is at war with the media because he does represent the deconstruction of the administrative state, Hewitt said.

During the dinner, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson announced Bernard (Bernie) Marcus, a co-founder of Home Depot and a conservative leader, as the recipient of the annual President’s Award.  

“He has committed his time, his influence, and his resources to benefit our culture, to benefit our country, to benefit the conservative movement, particularly in this election cycle,” Johnson said of Marcus. 

Marcus was unable to attend, but Aubrey Shine, pastor of Glory to Glory Ministries in Tampa, accepted the award on behalf of the honoree. 

Sponsoring the dinner were Revival Outside the Walls, Salem Media Group, and Trinet Internet Solutions.  

By Tom Strode  

About NRB

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at

About the NRB Convention

The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. The next Convention, Proclaim 18, will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, February 27-March 2, 2018. For more information, go to




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