By Valerie Baldowski
Herman Cain works in a small, cramped booth, wearing headphones and getting an earful from opinionated listeners.
An author and radio talk-show host, Cain, a McDonough resident, can be heard on "The Herman Cain Show," broadcast on News/Talk 750 WSB Mondays through Fridays from 7 to 10 p.m.
The 66-year-old said his entrance into broadcasting, after a career in the restaurant industry and a try at politics, was unintentional.
"I sort of stumbled into radio by accident," he said.
After an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in 2004, a radio talk-show host in Gainesville asked Cain to substitute for her for a few days. The two met previously, when Cain had been a guest on her show.
"I said, 'I've never done this before,'" Cain said. "She said, 'You can talk, can't you? Don't worry about the technical stuff.'"
Cain agreed, and did the show, as he described it, "cold turkey."
"It worked out very well," he said. "I had fun, the listeners liked it, and she invited me to come back and do it again."
He hosted a live, weekend radio show for WGKA for about a year, then was contacted by WSB - what he calls "the big blowtorch."
Cain was asked if he wanted to move his weekend show to WSB, and he agreed, he said, because WSB's market is significantly larger. Compared to 15,000 listeners to the weekend show, WSB had 400,000 listeners, he said. He took his weekend show to WSB for about a year, and was eventually moved to his current weeknight slot on the station.
As a staunch Republican, Cain has been critical of Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration.
"I've seen the political and social landscape change as the control in Washington changed, and I would say that it is dramatic," he said. "I do not like the changes."
The issues causing him the most frustration, he said, are health care and global warming.
Most of the calls Cain gets come from listeners in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.
However, he said, when the eminent domain case between the City of Stockbridge and a local florist erupted several years ago, Cain fielded a flurry of calls.
"I got into that," he said. "A lot of people wanted to talk about that because of the implications on their property rights. I ended up talking a lot about eminent domain issues. That's always a hot topic."
Cain's administrative assistant, Karleen Smith, who worked for him during his bid for U.S. Senate, said working for Cain "is exciting - always fun."
"There's always something going on - not a boring moment," she said.
Cain has authored four books, "Leadership is Common Sense," "Speak as a Leader," "CEO of Self," and "They Think You're Stupid." He is chief executive officer and president of The New Voice, Inc., a business consulting company, and is a FOX News business commentator and columnist with World Net Daily.
He is the former chairman of the Godfather's Pizza chain, which he took over from Pillsbury in 1988.
What Cain said he enjoys most about being in radio is being able to express his point of view on the air.
"It gives me a platform," he said. "I'm not on the radio for entertainment value. I'm more on the radio for information value, in terms of what people learn."