Charlie Sykes, insanely popular conservative talk show host, author, and full-time college hater, is leaving Milwaukee radio. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, Sykes will depart from the WTMJ-AM (620) airwaves at the end of 2016. He plans to devote more time to family and other projects.

“It has been both a pleasure and honor to work here,” Sykes said in a statement. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to be a part of the momentous changes that have taken place in Wisconsin over the last two decades. This is not a decision that I made either lightly or recently and it was not driven by this year’s political season.

“My father died when he was 63, and I will turn 62 this year, so this year has always been circled on my calendar. Frankly, if I was ever going to make a move, it was now. While I am stepping back from my daily radio duties I intend to remain an active voice. I want to write more, travel more and pursue new opportunities.”

The right-leaning Sykes has made more news than usual in recent months due to his harsh and unexpected criticism of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. According to the Business Journal, “beginning in January, current midday host Jeff Wagner will move up to 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. with a new show to be announced for 12 – 3 p.m.”

In completely unrelated news, here’s an Urban Milwaukee piece which discusses the time Sykes called Michelle Obama “Mooch,” and how he called out “the pigs of mothers who are too lazy to put their children in a crib and roll over the top of them while sleeping on a futon on the floor.”

UPDATE: Sykes’ full statement can be found at his blog. It reads as follows:

No, this is not good bye. I intend to continue to be an active and independent voice. But I just won’t be setting the alarm at 4:15 a.m. every morning.

This morning, I announced that I am stepping down from my daily radio show on WTMJ at the end of this year:

“It has been both a pleasure and honor to work here,” said Sykes. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to be a part of the momentous changes that have taken place in Wisconsin over the last two decades. This is not a decision that I made either lightly or recently and it was not driven by this year’s political season. I made this decision more than a year ago for both professional and very personal reasons. My father died when he was 63, and I will turn 62 this year, so this year has always been circled on my calendar. Frankly, if I was ever going to make a move, it was now. While I am stepping back from my daily radio duties I intend to remain an active voice. I want to write more, travel more and pursue new opportunities.”

I know that lot of people will assume that my decision has something to do with this current campaign and the rise of Trumpism. But, the reality (as my friends and family know) is that I made this decision a long time ago. Twenty-three years is a long time to do a radio show and most hosts don’t get to go out on their own terms. So I’m lucky to have had that chance.

But it would also be fair to say that this campaign has made the decision easier. The conservative movement has been badly damaged; obviously the conservative media is broken as well. So this is a good time for step back, sit down for a while, and ask “What the hell just happened here?”

[…]

I intend to continue to write and edit RightWisconsin.com and remain editor of Wisconsin Interest Magazine. And I plan to spend much of the next year working on a book about the crackup of the conservative movement. My working title is “How the Right Lost Its Mind.”

I’ll have more to say later about my other plans. But I keep thinking of what my one of my early mentors said when I asked what he planned to do after retirement.

“I plan to sit on a rocking chair on my front porch,” he said. “After a couple of weeks, I plan to start rocking. Slowly.”

That sounds like a plan.