Archive for Talk radio

The Joel Gaines Show 1-31 to 3-28

Posted in Health Insurance, Politics, The Joel Gaines Show with tags , , , , on April 7, 2010 by raingeg

I guess I’ve done a pretty bad job of keeping you up to date with The Joel Gaines Show.

So, here are the download links for all of the shows that we’ve done since 1-24-2010.

We hit on all of the hot topics like health care and politics in general, and we even had Marc Thiessen on the show.

Hope you enjoy.

January 31

February 14

February 21

February 28

March 28

I am also happy to announce that we’ve become a part of Stitcher, which is like a news/talk radio version of Pandora, you should check it out.


The Future of Media: Radio

Posted in Music, Technology with tags , , , , on October 14, 2009 by raingeg

What will happen to radio? My prediction is that music radio will be gone within a decade if radio stations don’t start taking a new approach to music radio, well, it could be considered an old approach. The best part about old radio was the jocks, some might say that people don’t want to hear the jocks anymore, but I beg to differ. They don’t want to hear the jocks talking about useless junk. I would submit that if music radio took a highly opinionated and music savvy jock and just let him loose he would actually bring in listeners. Just let the DJ play what the DJ wants to play, and if the DJ wants to not play something or even say how much he dislikes a certain band, let him do so! I know that there are people that will disagree with this approach, but I think its the only real way that music radio can be salvaged. Pleasing everyone is a very hard thing to do, in fact its darn near impossible to do, so stop trying to do it.

The second thing that music radio can do to improve, is to start creating one to three hour long blocks out of the day and gear those blocks to certain audiences. We’re already seeing this on some stations but it is not done nearly enough. For instance, the rock hour or the hard-rock block. Just three hours of hard-rock with the same jock, playing what he wants to play, much like The Alice Cooper show. This is a very talk radio style approach to music radio, but I think it is a way to make radio more entertaining. If both of these methods, opinionated, music savvy jocks and block shows were implemented, I think music radio has a better chance of being salvaged.

If those two methods don’t get implemented, forget about listening to the radio for music, you might as well just buy an iPod or listen to Pandora on your phone. The internet and technology has ruined the old radio industry and a new type of radio is emerging in the form of pod casting and music radio is going away because people can create their own play lists of music that they want to hear.

Lets say something like what I recommended happens and music radio still dies, what happens then? I think that within a decade you will see talk radio shifting gears and completely moved over to the FM side of the dial. A trend that we are already seeing a lot of. The value of the FM radio station will go down and AM will be rendered obsolete. Something that might happen, as the value of AM radio stations drop, as a result of everything moving to FM, smaller entities might take over AM stations, possibly religious or independent groups, and use them to provide very low-fi radio, provided the FCC would let that happen.

Internet stream in cars is not far off. You can already hook up your Blackberry to an AUX port in your car while streaming Pandora. As technology like that improves and cars start connecting to the web, radio over the internet in the car will be a reality.

All in all, music radio has run its course. I am sad to see it leaving, but I am not sad about what’s on the horizon. Technology will improve and the internet will expand, and the internet will be the “transmitter” and a web based iPod or phone will be the radio. Will the jock all but disappear? That is yet to be seen.

In the coming days I will write about all of the media industries in depth and tell you what I think will happen to them. So be sure to look for these posts interspersed with my normal blog activity.

Please read my introduction to this series by clicking here.

5 Things You Do Not Say Or Do On Talk Radio

Posted in Humanity, Politics with tags , , , on August 27, 2009 by raingeg

Things You Don’t Say or Do On Talk Radio

1. “I was telling your screener”

This is not something that you need to say. In talk radio time is of the essence, segments go by very fast and this is just something that you don’t need to tell the host. In your mind it might seem a bit redundant to tell the screener and then have to say the same thing to the host, but that’s just how it works. As a call screener it always bugs me when my name gets mentioned.

2. “Let me finish!”

I don’t think there is anything that irritates a host more than the words “let me finish.” You need to remember that when you call into a talk show, it is not your show! The host is supposed to let you ask your question or state your point, but you have to allow the host time for a rebuttal. If you start wasting time by not making a point and continuing to say “let me finish,” it doesn’t make for good radio or good political discussion. Hosts will not let you filibuster, unless of course you are making a gigantic fool of yourself, in that case they will let you talk. Coming from a producers prospective, when you are running the board one of the most painful things is hearing the dreaded click of the phone when someone hangs up. If you get angry and hang up the phone fast board ops don’t like it. To avoid this problem, if I see that you’re getting out of hand I’ll take your slider down.

3. Lie to the screener

Don’t lie to the screener about what you want to talk about. If you lie they will cut you off, its as simple as that.

4. “You’ve been paid off by (name a group)”

This is one of the worst claims. It usually happens right about the time that someone realizes they’re loosing the argument. Its so funny too, because it is so far from the truth. Talk show hosts are not getting paid under the table to say what they say, that is a claim that is totally baseless. Contrary to what you might think all of these guys out there talking don’t agree on every subject.

5. Don’t mention another host on a show (Note: there are some exceptions.)

Most of the time it is not proper talk radio etiquette for callers to mention another host  that has the same political leanings or ideas. You need to remember that this is (insert host name)’s show and when you bring up another guy it just doesn’t sound good. It especially doesn’t sound good when you start to draw equivalencies between hosts. “So and so said this!” So that must now apply to all talk show hosts? Here’s some news, if you call in and mention to Dennis Miller something that Dennis Prager said its not going to matter. Let every person speak for themselves. Again, I must reiterate this, not all talk radio hosts agree on everything.

Here is the exception to the rule. If you are calling in to say that you saw a certain host with another host, then that is alright. If you know that a certain host is friends with another host then you can mention them. If the host has been talking about another host then you can mention them. Hosts that are on the other end of the political spectrum are fair game.

The Joel Gaines Show 8-16-09

Posted in Economy, Health Insurance, Politics, The Joel Gaines Show with tags , , , , , , , on August 17, 2009 by raingeg

Download high quality file here. (22mb)

August in a non election year is typically a very slow, non-political time. But we are not seeing this with the Obama administration.

Arizona is reporting the effects of a 2006 voter initiative regarding services to illegal immigrants.

The Deficit – which is a leftist talking point about how terrible President Bush was, grew by 181 billion in July and is now higher than at any time in history.

In a very Putin-like move, a very soviet- like move, Dmitry Medvedev, president of Russia involved himself in the Ukrainian presidential elections.

And finally, will there be a big 1994 – like upset in congress in 2010? My thoughts on that today as well.

IRM: Dave Mason Interview

Posted in Technology, Top Posts with tags , , , , on May 15, 2009 by raingeg

For more great stuff go to Internet Radio Magazine DOT com

If there was one guy I’d ask about the current state of radio, internet radio and the technology that effects them both, it would be Dave Mason, so that’s exactly what I did.

Dave Mason is an 18 year veteran of talk radio and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show “Computer Talk with Dave Mason” heard Saturday’s from 1-3pm EST. Whether you have a question or just want to find out what is worth knowing in the tech world, Dr. Dave is your man.

IRM: There is a slight argument as to why radio is floundering and it comes down to technology vs. deregulation. Last week I wrote an article discrediting the idea that the fall of radio must be attributed to the deregulation that we saw during the 80’s and 90’s. I think that with the rise of the internet technology poses more of a threat to terrestrial radio than deregulation. What do you think?

DM: First, there was no deregulation. There was big change in regulation, but not deregulation. It’s important to understand that. But I’ll call it that so everybody knows what I’m talking about. There’s also a misunderstanding of deregulation that doesn’t take in to account poor decisions made by executives post deregulation. The deregulation of the end of the 20th century allowed the wrongheaded consolidation that killed quality local radio. That doesn’t mean deregulation was wrong. The national media conglomerates were wrong. Check their stock prices for the last few years. But the wrong-headedness of bureaucrat’s is often far worse. In fact it could be argued that the pent up demand artificially created by prior stiff over-regulation, lead to over-valued stations whose owners couldn’t turn down offers made by the national media companies. But the cookie-cutter strategy didn’t work and the stations weren’t strong enough to endure the “McDonalds-ization” of radio.

IRM: What other threats do you think terrestrial radio faces?

DM: Primarily the complete commoditization of inventory, and the lack of exciting local content. There is NO attention paid to nurturing talent and personalities, so we have no radio that anyone wants to hear, outside of the top 5 or 10 national hosts and a handful of large market local hosts. You cannot generate the kind of listener numbers you need by putting the oregano oil guys on all the time. Yes, the station gets a check but you drive one more nail in the coffin at the same time. People tune out and stay tuned out.

Of course the economic environment right now is deadly. Many will not survive this downturn.

There is another major negative factor that dampens excitement about radio is the cool factor. Radio doesn’t have it any more. All the stats about the effectiveness of radio can’t undo that. I don’t know if it will ever come back.

We live in the time of decentralization. Smaller station groups and smaller stations. The management that is good at VERY lean organizations with highly targeted listeners that they can identify and appeal to will be successful. Look at the fragmentation/specialization of cable TV networks. Similar dynamic in radio.

IRM: We’ve talked in private about poor radio station management, what can terrestrial radio station managers do to better radio in the 21st century?

DM: I don’t know if there is a long term answer. The best management I’ve seen by far is Good News Communication’s management (Dave Masons flagship station). From maximizing signal, to efficient, high integrity personnel, quality content and community involvement that matters, Clear Channel could learn a thing or 2 from those folks. The panic of dwindling revenue makes you do stupid things sometimes, and you have to get paid, but we quite often sabotage our best interest for the short term buck. Good News management seems to make the most rational decisions in the upside down “looking glass” world of radio today.

So what is management to do? We have the convergence of the negative response to the change in regulation in the late ’80’s, the complete lack of a farm system to develop talent and content, and the introduction of alternative distribution models, primarily the Internet. Super lean organizations, accurate audience identification, pertinent exciting content, highly effective marketing and promotion ability and effectively leveraging Internet presence are all required by Radio today.

Radio will be more polarized in content, with a few big national hosts, and a few effective local hosts. The stations that have more targeted compelling content that listeners want to hear and advertisers want to support, along with a serious Internet presence will survive.

IRM: Where do you see terrestrial radio in 10 years?

DM: Satellite is on it’s heels so I don’t think they are a major long term threat. The Internet is a big problem for radio, but can be utilized by savvy stations to add to their reach and appeal. Helps get back some of the cool factor. But it must be integrated with the radio portion rather than as an afterthought. The Internet will be the distribution model. AM/FM will be all but gone.

IRM: Do you feel like its not a matter of if terrestrial radio will die but when?

DM: Radio will die eventually, but will take years. Until then it will change dramatically. Weak shows, stations and networks will evaporate. FM will move more to talk as music continues to shrink. But radio will exist for the time being. Cellular and satellite Internet access in cars will eventually become the distribution model of choice. When that occurs, the stations and networks who have not produced an effective on-line presence will die.

IRM: Lets talk taxes. How do you feel about the governments desire to put a new tax on radio?

New taxes will kill an already weak industry. I’ve never understood the reflex of the Government types at all levels to tax what is marginal already. Comprehensive economic ignorance is the only explanation.

IRM: Talk radio is not only on AM radio these days, a lot of talk radio is moving to the FM side of the dial. Do you think talk radio will eventually move over to the FM side of the dial? If so do you think music on FM will be slowly faded out?

DM: Yes, and yes. Then on to the Internet…

IRM: Lets move on to Internet radio. Where do you see Internet radio in 10 years?

DM: Internet radio will be THE distribution model. Cellular and satellite broadcast of the Internet to computers in the car. AM/FM radios and even CD’s will go the way of the 8 track and cassette.

IRM: This is a question that is on everybody’s mind. How long will it be before we start seeing live internet radio in our cars?

DM: As mentioned in my prior answer, it’s on the way. In fact Ford is doing it now. It’s not mainstream yet because reliable, universal geographical access is not available. Give it 5 years for access and another 5 for content availability to work itself out.

IRM: You are a talk radio host, do you feel threatened by the large volume of pod casts and live web casts that are available these days?

DM: No, we are doing it. It’s a no brainer. It’s difficult to stand out in the crowd though. That’s new territory that we are all trying to get our heads around. But a host has no choice.

IRM: Pandora and Last FM, do you like/use these? How and why?
Love them personally, but haven’t seen a way to have them significantly contribute to our business model, other than giving listeners an easy way to hear our incredible bumps…

IRM: Whether you are doing a web talk show or a show on terrestrial radio advertising is a must. One issue I brought up in my article last week was the shrinking attention span of people in the 21st century. Hulu can get away with 15 second spots. Do you ever think that 60 and 30 second spots will become a thing of the past?

DM: It depends on what you’re trying to do. Video lends itself to shorter spots. I think both :30’s and :60’s will continue to be available, because of the lack of effectiveness of :15’s for some advertisers. Remember several years ago micro spots of 5 or 10 seconds were tried, but failed. You have to get the listeners attention, then tell your story. Hard to do in less that :30 seconds for many products.

I think you will have polarization in spot length. Long form spots will become more popular, as will :15’s and even :10’s.

IRM: For anyone that uses the web to distribute information social networking is a must. As a talk radio host what’s your opinion on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace? Do you use them? How and why?

DM: The Internet is still in it’s infancy, and consequently effective business use of the technology is lagging. Add the faddish nature of many of the popular services and it’s clear it has a long way to go. Clearly certain technologies, particularly the social media services can be used to good effect in business, but the details of how to do that most effectively are yet to be fully understood. Even the most successful social media companies themselves are having a hard time figuring out to monetize the millions of members they reach.

I believe you utilize the most popular social media outlets carefully. Overt commercial appeals only isolate you. Genuine personal interaction works. Understand that it is mostly a fad with questionable demographics, but great potential. It can be used to position yourself for the shakeout, so you’ll be experienced and ready to take advantage when we finally get an idea how things are going to go.

It’s easy to be distracted by all the opportunities. Choose carefully and be consistent, and personal. We’ll know more in a couple of years…