March 4, 2023

Radio: This is Who You Are

Radio: This is Who You Are

There was an awful lot of opinions being passed around on social media about radio and where it is at. First comes the news from Futuri that they are releasing Radio GPT which is AI Jocks for your radio station. I cannot for the life of me figure out why people are offended or upset by this. I say.... Bring it. Then there was the launch of 102.7 The Pole in Kingston, Ontario which is cute, clever, sexist, misogynistic dated, archaic, well-written and imaged, and unfolding as we launch this episode.

Somehow the radio critiques who are banging away on their keyboards don't understand that this is what radio is: Progressing towards AI while regressing back 30 years with old dated launch strategies that only work today because the people in charge have not evolved the medium. In short - both these things are happening for the same reason.

Sound quality on this is not ideal as I recorded this in an echoey loft in Spain.

Thanks to those who make this possible:

NLogic: TV & radio advertising and audience data solutions

Megatrax - Licensed Music for your radio station or podcast production company.


Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:00:01
The sound off podcast. Bonus episode.

Matt Cundill 00:00:05
Well, I got one week into the company's March relocation to Europe before I had to bust up my microphone and say a few things about two radio issues. Honestly, I can't leave the continent for more than ten days before I've got To get involved again. Two issues this week. Let's start with Futuri's AI Automated DJ 3000. Okay, it's not really the DJ 3000.

Matt Cundill 00:00:27
That was parody by a 90 94. Episode on The Simpsons.

Matt Cundill 00:01:02
Well, the future is here. And while there was a lot of horror, screaming and yelling about this, I say just bring it.

Matt Cundill 00:01:09
Over the course of a day, there are so many thrown away breaks on.The radio that I've often thought you may as well have AI do the work. Reading the weather on the radio has.Not actually required a human. For about a decade now, Siri's been doing a great job for any iPhone user. And when you think about it, there's. No real difference between the weather and. Those ten second script reads that tell. You to go to the Facebook page.For more of what you were going to talk about before the record started. And when you think about it, you're.Not really horrified by AI because of what's coming.You were horrified because this is what radio is, and it's been that way for a long time. We've all worked for someone or some group that says, read this here. Read this here with the call letters. Now read the call letters a little bit slower. You see, there's no real personality to all that. You just read it. And then there's that word personality. Personality is defined by you, who you are, what you're about. A personality is someone who can only speak to your perspective.And if you do it right, your listeners will like or even love you.To the point that no one, human or otherwise, can take your place. If you have no personality, this is going to be bad for you. You will be replaced by a robot. Your career is not over. There are some radio people at radio stations who are still developing personalities and talent. Another thing to consider, now might be. A good time to retain the services Of a talent coach to boost your personality. Speak to management about getting a talent coach involved, or better still, invest in it yourself. There are actors and voice talent around the world who are doing that right now, myself included. Now, if I were programming my radio stations correctly, I already have the right personalities in place, and I'm looking to the skies, praying that my competitors are Calling futuri right now and ordering up AI jocks for all their day parts. Because that will guarantee another three years. Of ratings and success for my group. Many of you who know me know. That I have always thought of radio as wrestling. The personalities rise to the top. So let's finish this part of the show with a flashback to a time. When wrestling's biggest personality, The Rock, took on a new flashy wrestler named Goldberg, who was largely devoid of any personality. And cut promos in a robotic fashion that people really just didn't buy into the character Bill Goldberg, you want to come out?

Matt Cundill 00:03:46
So if you're a personality, think of.Yourself as The Rock.Welcome your new AI competition because it means the other stations have given up.And you're good for another three years of personal brand building.

Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:04:05
The Sound Off podcast 

Speaker 3 00:04:28
The second thing that needs to be addressed is 102.7 the poll. It went live in Kingston, Ontario last week, featuring music you expect to hear in a strip club. It's got a morning show hosted by Destiny and Chastity, and the Twitter account has 62 followers, which is about one.Fifth the number of people who taken. A night at Chez Paree in Montreal. It's not lost on me that one. Of the owners is John Pole and the station is called The Pool. Cute. I get it causes a buzz, and my timeline is full of the story. It got my attention. I gave the station a listen and love the music. The imaging is well written. The concept, however, is not new. It's also lowbrow dated and dumb. I would, however, have gone with different and more dynamic voice talent, but every programmer says that and the general manager is on the air and owning it. They're making the listener feel as though they're in control of where this thing goes. That is in sharp contrast to when Bell removes your favorite radio station and shoves Pure country down your throat and gives you 100 in a row, which is something you never asked for. I wasn't going to address this topic. Until one of my old friends expressed profound disappointment on social media about the launch. Her last words on her since deleted. Post ask something to the effect of have we not moved on from this sort of thing? Now the post has been deleted, and. I'm guessing that person had some brand. Safety concerns of their own that they needed to tend to. But back to her question have we not moved on from this sort of thing? Well, pull up a chair, because I Ask that about Radio every single day. When it comes to commercial loads. Contests asking for the 9th caller to give away a pizza ten in a Row in a spotify era where you. Can customize 1000 in a row. Or more. Personalities asking me to sit through stop sets for weather that I can get by asking my phone contests that are nationwide but appear local, and voice track. Shows from people pretending to be in my market. Oh, and did I tell you how. Much it bothers me when people tell me to go find out more on Facebook? The fact is, you are who you are, and Radio has done a shit job handing over the programming and creative ratings to Millennials. Even those millennials who have the title of PD are often more line cooks than chefs when it comes to creating programming. There are often Gen X or Boomers above them who get the final say. Right about now is a good time to ask any of my Gen Z. Adult children to program a radio station. And see what they come up with for the day. You might be surprised. Lots of those younger demos may like it. Radio has been doing the same thing over and over again for 30 years. At times, it even appears to lose interest in building up big personalities outside of the big markets where they can make some money. Stations are now creating teams to do higher profile dayparts in some media markets, but is that any different than huddling up to prevent the oncoming hypothermia? You are who you are. And right now, 102.7 the poll feels like some old white dude using a 1990 launch strategy to create a little buzz in the industry. And if it feels that way, it's because that's what's happening, and it's the result of not developing millennial programming talent. The chickens, as they say, have come home to roost. Now, if one of you would be. So kindly to help me off my Soapbox so I don't twist my ankle. Thanks.

Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:07:56
The Soundoff podcast is written and hosted by Matt Kundal. Produced by Evan Surminski, social Media by Courtney Krebsbach Another great creation from the Soundoff media company. There's always