Internet Killed the Radio Host
If you’re too young to understand the title–that’s fine. Leave it to us oldies to chuckle.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to host a radio show? When I first started Teen Talk Radio two years ago, I was nervous that I’d be a flop on the air, I’d run out of material, or that people would see it as self-serving. Well, two years later, having recently expanded to Choose NOW Radio with both Teen Talk and Parent Talk, I can say that my fears were unfounded and I’ve had the time of my life!
Here’s a link to a recent show I did with non other than the talented, Gina Conroy!
1. Do you love to converse? This is different than public speaking. I try to run my shows are like conversations that I have in public with people I admire. Every once in a while I have a guest that I just can’t connect with no matter what I try, but that’s so rare it’s almost not worth mentioning.
2. Do you generally like people? That might sound like a strange question, but it’s really important. If you’re going to have guests and talk to them about their work, you need to genuinely like, or at least appreciate, them, their efforts, and their time. It’s just a matter of having the mindset to enjoy people and what they enjoy. That comes across on the air and makes guests comfy.
3. Do you have a something to say that people want to or need to hear? If you launch a show, you need a specific audience narrow enough to be considered focused, but broad enough that you’re not limiting yourself to five people. For example, a show on travel to foreign countries is good, but a show on Ethiopian tattoo shops might be too narrow a focus. My shows are about choices–teens making good ones and parents helping them do that.
4. Are you able to make the time? Being honest here, I don’t have time. I didn’t have time when I first launched my show and then even less when I launched the second one. But I wanted to do it and felt strongly enough that I was called to do it, that I made/make the time. It can be done.
5. Are you okay with vulnerability? This is a big one for a lot of people. I often end a show and wish I’d said something different, or hadn’t starting choking on my coffee, or wished the tornado sirens hadn’t gone off…but the fact is, it’s a recording and it’s NOT going to be perfect. You have to be okay with that. If it’s live, it’s a one-shot deal and then it’s done. Depending on the service you use, you may have minor editing capability, but you can’t fix everything. That’s part of the authenticity of it, though. You have to be able to shrug it off and move on.
In case you’re wondering, there are free sites out there, like Blog Talk Radio, where you can host your show. There are also services you can pay for that are more inclusive. I host both of my shows at Toginet.com, and I’ve never regretted my decision–though it might be seen as a costly one. In my opinion, it has paid for itself in several ways.
- I get landing pages for both shows that are desigined by Toginet staff.
- My chosen theme music is edited with a professional voice-over opening and closing.
- Bump-in and bump-out music ends each segment and welcomes back from commercials.
- Commercial space is managed by Toginet–I sell it and provide the commercial to them, and they manage its placement in the show.
- I have access to a back-office with archives, statistics, weekly show promos, etc.
I asked: John, since people can pay the fee and get started with their own radio show, do you feel like it’s at all risky to let just anyone become a host?
John replied: Absolutely it is risky to let just anyone have a show. We also have the station’s image to protect. Now I am not necessarily talking about content here, I am talking about someone who just does not have the ability. As you have seen on shows like American Idol, there are many who just have no talent whatsoever, but they think they do. We run into that often. Unfortunately we have to turn them away. For the most part though, unlike the free sites where anyone can have a show (and it is very evident that anyone means anyone) we do charge a rather healthy fee for our full-service program. This fee normally weeds out the non professionals right up front. And the public does the rest of the vetting process. If listeners don’t tune in, the host and the station will quickly see that the show isn’t succeeding for some reason. We can help the host work through some (not all) of those issues.
Nicole: What does it take to become a host with Toginet?
John: To be a host on Toginet Radio, the candidate must have an expertise in a particular subject, or the expertise to talk about anything intelligently. They need access to the internet, a nice computer, a headset, a microphone. They need to be able to be free once a week for an hour for the next 12 months and they need to be able to pay for the services that we provide which includes air time on one of the largest radio stations on the net, a website with graphic design, all professionally voiced-over promos and show production, and a live producer to handle the shows in such a way that all that is needed is professional content. We do the rest!
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, John!
John: It’s been my pleasure. And, as a thank you for taking the time to read through to the bottom, I’m pleased to offer a special to your readers. With the coupon code: ChooseNOW, you will receive 15% off the cost of one year of hosting at Toginet.com!
I hope that helped to answer some of your questions. Do you have others? I’m happy to tackle them!