“Wait, you mean that there were these towers sticking up in the air and they sent out electric waves and you could pick them up on a, what, receiver? How barbaric.”
“Crain’s Daily Gist – presented by Wintrust. Business News Out Loud. Get a head start on tomorrow during your commute home with our roundup of important Chicago headlines and analysis from Crain’s reporters and host Amy Guth.”
This means that if you’re driving home and you want Chicago news that’s heavy on business, you don’t have to go to radio at all. Just pull up the podcast.
Covered in grime,
Grease spots and slime,
He returns from the mill
Unscathed. She'll hug him tight -
After he's bathed.
There is similar competition from podcasts of all sorts. Our good friend Ben Stombaugh does a local podcast called “Hey My Man Podcast .” They’re really good. I tried for a while playing the podcast on the radio, but it doesn’t work.
For whatever reason, the podcast world and the radio world don’t mesh. You can’t do a podcast that is first a radio show, and vice versa. They are disparate universes that should be kept separate.
That’s unless you are in Pennsylvania. I saw the other day that a radio station is going “all podcast, all the time.” Their programming will be completely podcasts. That’s it. Podcasts only.
This is something that I have considered. To program radio, you can’t do live shows and then mix in podcasts, which are taped. It just doesn’t work. We’ve tried it.
But what if you didn’t mix the two. What if you just ran podcasts all the time? I’m very interested to see if that works for the radio station in Pennsylvania.
Sunshine beats down
on my soul more
today than yesterday.
That's 'cause winter's finally
Why all this talk about radio and podcasts? Because it’s time I give some attention to the spoken word. For the past couple of years, I have focused a ton on developing a TV station for the Calumet Region. We have momentum, especially with the addition of Amazon, Apple and Roku. Our Facebook Live video is going strong. And we’re gonna add a couple of video things in the near future.
But what about the radio stations?
In this blog I have pledged to the three or four of you – and students 50 years from now – that I will lay out the life transitions that I go through… and the transition from life to possible death that radio goes through.
With radio, we make money in two places:
1. the morning – the show I host and the paid shows after it
2. high school sports
Everything else that we do in radio loses money. We are doing some amazing local radio in all sorts of places throughout the weekday and weekend. These lose money.
the Harrison Street bridge.
How did you wind up here?
Wait, don't tell me.
So what should I do? We have rescued WJOB radio from the scrap heap. Fifteen years ago, it was in bankruptcy and about to die. We gave it new life, the three of you, me, and thousands of others. It takes a village to resurrect a radio station. We did it.
But at what price?
I have given 15 years of my life to radio. Basically, I do morning radio that pays for everything else that happens at the station. My sister, the accountant, tells me that if, 15 years ago, we turned off the station every day at 10am, I’d be over a million dollars richer.How sad is that.
As you know, on this past Monday, we reached our 15th anniversary of owning WJOB. There is so much beauty in these 15 years, I don’t know where to start.
But it’s also been a long road and I’m starting to feel it. What keeps popping into my mind is this – I’m not doing another 15 years of this.
If the magic
leaves me, I won't
care, except that the rain
dripping down a soffit
won't mean as much.
There are two different worlds at WJOB. In one, radio struggles like it has for the past 15 years… and the 15 before that. In the other world, we are creating a streaming TV network that is going gangbusters. Where do we go from here? I really can’t tell. I just know that writing it out to the three or four of you helps me figure things out. So thanks for listening.