The Atlantic: Established media see the key to their survival online

Friday, April 20, 2012 - 11:15am

"These days, even the stalwarts of traditional media make themselves available on call, on screens of all sizes, and in evolving ecosystems of free and paid versions," writes Peter Osnos in The Atlantic. "What were once simply great newspapers, magazines, television, and radio are now websites with all the trappings, and that's where the audiences seem to be headed in droves."

The nation's most-established and traditional sources of news have all made very significant investments in digital distribution: online video, blogs, photo galleries, podcasting, mobile applications, widgets, and more.

"Major public radio stations, such as WNYC in New York, WBUR in Boston, and WBEZ in Chicago, have also turned their websites into bastions of multimedia to build their audience share."

What of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)? While "not yet the moneymaker forecasted for it," it is useful to spread "the word for those digital products that are generating cash."

Read "Even Old Media Institutions Are Acting Like New Media" in The Atlantic online here.

Legendary on-air shocker Leykis to debut daily online show Monday

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 11:40am

On Monday when he clicks on the mic, West Coast shock-jock legend Tom Leykis will become the latest former on-air talent to begin producing a daily radio show on the Internet (e.g. Bubba the Love Sponge, coverage here)

Leykis left the airwaves in February 2009, when KLSX-FM/Los Angeles owner CBS Radio changed the format to top-40. Leykis has a 5-year contract with CBS that continued to pay him (much like Chicago legend Steve Dahl (more here)), so he sat on the sidelines.

In July 2010, Leykis launched New Normal Music, an online stream of independent and new rock and pop music. Today, that stream is just one of eight audio options on his NewNormalNetwork.com site (there are two other music streams, several podcasts focused on high-end cocktails (including his own "The Tasting Room," which is syndicated on-air), and the daily "The Gary & Dino Show").

“We can produce the same or better content without real estate, without big, expensive and outdated equipment such as transmitters and satellite dishes, and without government regulation," he explains in the press release announcing his Monday debut. "We can be heard anywhere in the world rather than in select radio markets... We can sell advertising at a far more reasonable price than a local radio station... We are offering special rates to small and medium sized businesses that feel that they’ve been shut out from radio advertising..."

The new Tom Leykis Show will debut Monday and stream 3pm (PT) weekdays at http://www.blowmeuptom.com/. Read the press release here.

New York Times spotlights podcasting comedians pioneering into new, sometimes dark territory

Friday, February 3, 2012 - 11:00am

"The paradox of the podcast explosion among comics is that it’s at once a minirenaissance for comedy and a retreat by comics further into themselves — a sort of talking cure for a group of people who suffer from something not yet covered, I don’t believe, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: a need, when not formally doing comedy, to talk about how and why one does comedy."

Paul Brownfield, writing in today's New York Times, is talking about a trend he's noticed lately: podcasts by comics that aren't meant to be funny.

Rather, these downloadable and on-demand audio shows, such as Paul Gilmartin's "The Mental Illness Happy Hour, "play(s) to the trope that all comedians are in actuality broken people who are willing to expose their brokenness for our light amusement." Gilmartin and his guests set aside the jokes to talk about mental illness, addiction, and depression.

Read more today in the New York Times here.

Steve Dahl Network adds long-time Q101 personality James VanOsdol

Monday, January 30, 2012 - 11:00am

James VanOsdolFormer on-air radio personality James VanOsdol has joined the Steve Dahl Network, reports Chicagoland Radio and Media.

VanOsdol is a former personality and music programmer who has served at Chicago's Q101 (WKQX-FM), WXRT-FM and WZZN-FM. VanOsdol will produce interview podcasts for Dahl's subscribers. He joins former radio personality Kevin Matthews (who joined the Dahl Network in November 2011, see RAIN here) and of course Steve Dahl himself. 

After his own contract with CBS Radio in Chicago ended, Dahl began podcasting in September 2009, making his shows available for free on his website (He appeared at two RAIN Summit events last year to speak, and learn, about the business.). In August 2011, he made the podcast a $9.95/month subscription service (see RAIN here).

Chicagoland Radio and Media has more coverage here.

Lifestyle magazine Monocle launches 24/7 webcast modeled on BBC World Service

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 12:05pm

Monocle 24 showsMonocle magazine publisher Tyler Brûlé has invested in a full studio suite and hired 22 people to staff his new 24-hour Internet radio service, Monocle 24. Brûlé styled the new webcast after the legendary BBC World Service, saying, "We are hoping to create a station which follows the tradition of the great Commonwealth broadcasters. It’s no surprise that we have drawn a lot of great people from the BBC World Service."

The webcast mixes talk radio (four live shows a day, and ondemand) and music, with news updates at the top of the hour. Listeners can also access news and national weather on demand, geo-targeted (we heard weather reports for various parts of the U.S.).

According to The Telegraph, Brûlé decided to start the radio service following the success of the Monocle Weekly podcasts. Over three years, the free, 45-minute shows were downloaded up to 650,000 times per month.

"We will also be making documentaries too. No commercial radio station will cover the ground we are going to be charting and it will be done very differently to the BBC," he said. "The web has pulled down traditional radio’s costly barriers to entry. We have invested heavily in both our people and facilities, but we have also signed up a roster of premium advertisers [Rolex and J. Crew to start] – making the service profitable from day one."

Monocle is a highly-regarded, London-based magazine and website which launched in 2007. According to its Wikipedia entry, "the magazine provides a globalist perspective on issues as fashion, international affairs and design."

Read The Telegraph's coverage here.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 11:00am

Bloomberg earlier Bloomberg's mobile appsthis week announced the launch of its Bloomberg Radio+ app for iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Users can stream Bloomberg Radio 24/7 via the app, listen to on-demand podcasts, view "real-time charts, get the latest market information and news, and access guest bios," says Bloomberg.

Writes Audio4Cast's Jennifer Lane: "It is a good example of the way a radio app can become so much more on a mobile device…[the app] is a big value proposition for listeners -- and a smart move for Bloomberg." You can find Lane's coverage here and Bloomberg's press release here.

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