Do the three or four of you really know what the word "radio" means?
Here's what Merriam-Webster say it is:
noun ra·dio Simple Definition of radio
That's a pretty narrow definition of "radio." Using this, when you stream your AM radio station, that isn't radio. When I stream a video stream of my morning show, that isn't "radio" either. What I think needs to happen is that we need to expand the definition of "radio."
That's something we've been trying to do for five years, ever since we put a camera in the old studio so that Stew and I could watch where the hosts set the dials. We were having trouble with various hosts leaving the dials in the wrong positions when they left, so that when the switcher did what it's supposed to do and switched things.... we sometimes went to dead air.
The interesting thing was that when we put the stream up on the WJOB website, people started watching it. Sometimes a lotta people. That caused problems in that we had to pay the streaming service for each person. So then we built our own vertical digital streaming system, to the tune of a bunch of money, and that had it's own challenge - the cost of internet. Internet costs a lot less now, but for a while there it was really expensive. We signed a bad contract with a poor provider and we paid for it for three long years.
Anyways, we did learn some things along the way, and it resulted in these amazing, new, video-equipped studios we occupy at the Purdue Commercialization Center along Indianapolis Boulevard in Hammond. There's three cameras attached to the glass around the studio, and they all lead to a Roland V-4EX mixer. We gather the video and the audio (from the radio board) in to Wirecast on an Apple computer... and we send the stream to a company out of Indianapolis that sends our video to...
The three or four of you.
There isn't that much interest in watching my morning show. At least not yet. We're still tweaking all of the controls and the lighting and such, and I just now hired a video director for the morning show - Sam Michel - but still, it makes you wonder if there is a market at all for VIDEO of RADIO.
I lost my nail
Little toe, little toe
If nothing else, I like watching radio. But then again, like at least two of the three or four of you, I like anything to do with radio - All radio is good, just some is better than others. I would, right now, instead of blogging in the middle of the night to the three or four of you, watch a video stream of a middle-of-the-night radio show from Topeka, Kansas. No kidding. So would you.
But where is it? Why do we cede to television networks and Youtube all video. Think about it - if just 10 percent of the radio stations in America put cameras in their studios and sent the stream of their video to a single gathering site, we would have real video power. Sounds like something we could march for in Berkeley. Video power.
... That's enough on the future, however bleak it may appear at the moment, of video of radio. Check out the videos of the Purdue broadcasting students who came in to the WJOB studios today. There were, I think, five groups. Each went on JED.tv for about eight minutes each. We couldn't broadcast them live on the radio also since we were broadcasting a South Suburban college junior college tournament game on WJOB. It was the first time that we split the radio signal and the video stream. Oh well. What next?
The students had some cool things to say about the upcoming NCAA tournament - it's a sports broadcasting class, remember. And they had emotion. It might be the first time every one of the students seemed somewhat at ease in the studio. That might have something to do with Geno's involvement. In past semesters, I have guided the students, along with instructor Joe, through their on-air time. But not now. Geno helped me out one day and it became clear that the students responded much better to him than me, so I stepped out of the way. I hang around during class sometimes and talk individually with some of the students, but I leave the rest to Geno and Joe.
By the way, there's another innovation - on-air education. The students go on the air on WJOB and/or JED.tv once a week for 90 minutes or so... and they seem to love it. Or at least respond to it. Sometimes they get callers, and that's a hoot in that they get all nervous about it. But on the whole the "live education" part of it works. I wonder if other commercial radio stations are doing this.
Video of radio
Neither makes me any money but adds to the whole idea of "quality of life," whatever that is. It's the middle of the night and the three or four of you really should be sleeping. Me too. Got a big day of radio ahead. You're not gonna believe this, but WJOB sports director Ryan Walsh procured a good portion of the first few rounds of the NCAA tournament. That means that the three or four of you could drive around the Region listening to NCAA games between your stops in bars or to the grocery store. That's kinda cool. Almost makes you proud to own a 93-year-old radio station,