Each Monday, we will have an installment in our series called #thenextradio.
The series came about when we were, like many, noticing experienced broadcasters striking out on their own…more often than before. Some had left “traditional radio” voluntarily, some not in such a voluntary way.
In the old days, these people basically disappeared when they left the chair behind the microphone…until they managed to get a new radio job, a lot of times “across the street” in radio parlance.
Of course, with large clusters, many owned by big companies with 4 or 5 (or more) stations in a market, there are significantly fewer radio “streets” to cross.
Some of those early displaced broadcasters tried doing things on the Internet. Online radio back then was pretty much attached to the phrase “from your mom’s basement”.
Well, not any more.
Just ask Los Angeles radio veterans Adam Carolla and Tom Leykis.
Carolla grew his podcast into a moneymaking empire, with a staff and sponsors.
Leykis’ Westwood One show ended when his flagship station, KLSX/97.1, dumped “hot talk” and, in fact, all talk. He decamped to the Internet, and recently crowed that his self-funded venture has also started making money.
Internet-based radio is certainly not new to Northeast Ohio.
Paul Belfi’s SportsTalkCleveland.com flew on its own when it stopped rebroadcasting now-Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850”. It even hired some names, like former WKNR talker and former Morgantown WV resident Bruce Drennan…who was hired by SportsTime Ohio for the daily show now known as “Drennan Live”.
The excellent stream WIXY1260Online.com continues to pay tribute to the old top 40 giant, WIXY/1260 (now Radio Disney’s outlet in town, and very soon to be Catholic religious “AM 1260 The Rock”). It is very well put together, but at its heart, WIXY1260Online is still a tribute to a long time former station.
And Internet-based radio in the Canton area made national news, when former D.A. Peterson top 40 WDJQ/92.5 tried to stop former morning drivers Pat DeLuca and Charlotte DiFranco from doing Internet radio.
DeLuca and DiFranco won in court.
DeLuca ended up back on over-air radio, and is now partnered with Kathy Vogel in morning drive on Digity AC WHBC-FM/94.1 “Mix 94.1”, brought aboard by his former “Q92” program director John Stewart not long after Stewart took the same role at “Mix”.
DiFranco…you’ll read more about her on Monday.
The new breed of Internet radio is hoping, in many cases, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with over-air stations….whereever they are standing.
Some are pure play Internet stations. Some are based on podcasts. Some are trying to “super serve” suburban or small cities that get little attention from the larger part of the market – with an LPFM license attached – as the city’s first radio station.
Some of them are very much trying to make money.
All of it is rather interesting.
As this series goes on, we’d love to hear from you, and we’d also love to hear from “traditional radio” types who want to talk about the topic, and how established radio fits in with this.
Remember, nearly all existing AM and FM stations now stream in some form, but is that enough as online goes? And how can you make money off online services that bring in dimes to over-air’s dollars? (Just ask ANY newspaper about that.)
Our first installment Monday morning will be a question and answer session with Cleveland radio veteran John Gorman.
The former WMMS/100.7 program director with plenty of other call letters attached to his resume has launched “oWOW”, which features an album adult alternative (AAA) format that might resemble, a little, what was playing on WNWV/107.3 “V107.3” – which he consulted.
(John has some interesting observations on that short stint, which you’ll be able to read on Monday. 107.3, of course, returned to its former identity as “The Wave”, running a smooth AC format for new owners Rubber City Radio Group.)
We don’t know how long this series will last. It’ll probably run four or five weeks. We have one interview “in the can”, that will run next Monday.
And we hope you enjoy reading it.
And a sincere thanks to Lance Venta, from our partner site RadioInsight, for designing the logo above. If this site looks good, it’s because Lance does it…