The audience expects to be part of the show.

Social Media set an expectation.
People now expect to interact with their media.
Just look at that-thing-in-your-pocket-we-used-to-call “a phone.”
And the way we graze — and create — all the video content which now = “TV.”

Thus the value of high call count to Talk Radio, and the way music stations need what’s-between-the-songs to be special.
Yet-further evidence that people expect to contribute:
This item — SOLD OUT by 715AM ET — on deal-of-the-day site

And ABOUT “selfies.”

Talk Radio Stunt?

Or rookie blooper?
JoeWalshAttention is currency, so jumping-in-front-of-the-parade is de rigeur if you’re yet-another radio righty working the same talking points du jour that the other soreheads are reciting.

But how do you make-the-same-old-same-old your-very-own?

Conspiracy theorists won’t buy, even for a minute, that this wasn’t a set-up…

“‘Found out if I said Redskins, or Cracker, or Redneck Bible Thumper, I could stay on. But if I said N***** or S****, they cut me off. ‘Radio station sent me home. ‘Don’t know what’s going to happen next. We’ll find out Friday at 5.”

That’s ex-U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, now hosting on WIND/Chicago. It’s a Tweet that followed — you guessed it — management clipping Walsh’s microphone, after he reacted to the latest chapter in the unremitting controversy surrounding the name of DC’s NFL team. In this case it was the trademark revocation that had Washington-area garage silk-screeners working overtime.

After-which — of course — came The Meeting.
Then — yep, The Announcement — written in promo copy style, from the GM:

“Yesterday AM 560 The Answer’s Joe Walsh conducted a segment of his show regarding the recent controversy about the name of the Washington Redskins. During the segment Joe intended to cite several common racial slurs as examples. He did not in any way use them in a defamatory or derogatory manner, simply as examples. However, we did not allow them to go on the air. AM 560 The Answer has a policy of not using certain words on the air that are highly inflammatory and offensive even in the context of a discussion of why those words are offensive. We will continue that policy. Joe Walsh will be back on air tonight at 5PM.”

During his one-and-done term in Congress, Walsh (R-IL) was already in shock jock mode, with a blooper reel of sound bites, sometimes shrieked.
Example: When asked whether a woman should be allowed to have an abortion if her “life is at issue:”

“There is no such exception. With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance.”

WHO KNOWS if this was a stunt, or a radio rookie blooper?
OR…possibly…nimble management turning-lemons-into-lemonade?
Walsh, his boss, and any others there in-the-loop, all-of-whom P.T. Barnum would congratulate in either case.

Talkers/NY 2014

bizarreEveryone-who’s-anyone in Talk Radio was there.
If you couldn’t be, see my real-time Tweets @HollandCooke

And read my notes — from Talkers/NY and a great New Jersey Broadcasters’ Association convention — in a sure-to-be-meaty July HC newsletter.

And just this once, a freebie…
Download my June newsletter, distributed at Talkers/NY.

“One of the great voices of American broadcasting”

“It was wholesome, peppy, a little showbiz, with a timbre and cadences that were instantly recognizable and universally understood. His voice meant that you were in the hands of a rock-and-roll professional of the old school.”
The New Yorker
CaseyKasemThe father of hit radio countdowns died on Father’s Day, after a sad family soap opera tortured his final frail days. Casey Kasem was 82.
He was an interesting guy, away-from the countdown. A prominent California Republican who championed the anti-Arab defamation cause.
When I chatted-him-up in the Westwood One suite at a radio convention in the early 90s, I asked about the buzz that he was being nudged to run for Lt. Governor. “I think I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing,” he grinned.
When we hear those great AT40 re-runs on SiriusXM, we’re hearing a lost art, from a-time-when those AM stations — then Top 40, now Talk — sounded…happy.

DO politicians’ offbeat TV ads really work?

Video from MSNBC’s “The Ed Show:”
adandsubtractCan radio imaging take-a-lesson-from candidates’ commercials?
And DO zany :30 on-air spots on local TV still work in our YouTube culture?

At smart Talk stations, “It’s a Solid Gold Weekend!”

Weekends can be prime time, a moneymaker and appointment listening.
OR an embarrassment for lame-o stations who mail-it-in with weekday re-runs naïvely offered as “Best of,” and unlistenable pay-for-play hours.

NOT that brokered shows can’t be listener and advertiser faves!
Properly coached, pay-for-play experts can become listener faves. Reviewing airchecks with weekend warriors is one of the things I do for client stations.

We polled ask-the-expert show topics, and there are several topics you’re remiss without, some of which do well as pay-for-play, if well-cast.
“Which of the following topics interest you?”

Read more: Help yourself to a copy of the most-requested back issue in the 20 years I’ve been writing my monthly newsletter, a special report.
Scroll-down and look for “Solid Gold Weekend” in the column to the right.
It’s a free download, no login, no password.

Another national talker goes new-platform.

Tom Leykis re-wrote the playbook for entrepreneurial broadcasters.
And he’s getting plenty of company on The New Platform.

052114After his Fox News divorce, Glenn Beck is bigger-than-ever, via his do-it-yourself Internet TV venture. Michael Smerconish walked-away-from 60+ AM/FM stations, some in big markets, for satellite radio.
Public Radio icon Ira Glass announced he’ll self-publish when his contract ends.
Local hosts are making similar moves.
Boston sports talker Glenn Ordway recently went-there. And WGN/Chicago’s Garry Meier migrated to Tribune’s Internet sibling.

Now MSNBC’s Ed Schultz swaps his 3-hour weekday SiriusXM + AM/FM slot to go on-demand.
Video: Why this trend continues
Click-to-listen: Live radio: “Mathematically, the only people listening right now are those who happen to be listening right now:”
After Ed and I talked about his move on TV, a viewer noted on my Facebook page:
“Ed is the reason I subscribe to Sirius/XM and for myself the best part of Ed’s 3 hr radio are the callers, I like hearing the same viewpoints and differing viewpoints…Ed’s callers have always been more coherent & more intelligent than Limbaugh’s EIB callers….and Ed respects the callers, not so much with the EIB guru.”
I replied:
“A lot of people said-what-you-said about why-they-subscribed-to-satellite-radio when Howard Stern migrated there. Darn flattering to the talent! In this case, acts like Ed that move to on-demand distribution are following YOU, by not-requiring-YOU to make a listening appointment. And by making the show available on your smartphone, they put it back-in-the-pocket, where radio used to be.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Spacey & company are filming a third season of “House of Cards” for Netflix.
Stay tuned…