I thought it would be a good idea for Radio Personalities (DJs) to have a podcast. I know that they often lose their jobs due to the consolidation of stations, automation, genre changes, and more. However, I only thought it was a good idea. I didn't know because I only know podcasting. Erik K. Johnson is the Podcast Talent Coach and co-host of The Podcast Review show and he's been in radio 30 years and is a program director for iHeart Media. So I asked Erik for his opinion and he gave me three reasons radio personalities should have a podcast
Note: Most of this post was transcribed from the recording, so when you read “We” it's Erik and iHeart (not Erik and myself).
Three Reasons Radio DJs Should Have Their Own Podcast
Having a podcast as an on-air personality is an amazing idea for you. It's just a fine line to walk with whoever you're working for; you have to make sure that it's all clear up front:
• We all know who's doing what.
• When we get to do it.
• What resources we can use to do it
• Who owns it.
Three ways of podcast benefits and on-air talent
If you get fired, you have a demo. Like people say, Oh, tell me what you're all about and what you're like. Now you actually have samples of your work because it's on your podcast.
A lot of times your boss will call you in after your show and say, how was your last show? (Because it was your last show). Then you're exited out of the building and you have no access to any of your work because it's all stored on the hard drive back at the radio station. You were just fired and now you're trying to get ahold of the weekend guy so he can sneak in the building after hours so you can download some stuff. That means he's risking his job and it's just bad for everybody. Benefit one of having a podcast is it gives you the opportunity to have a demo of your work.
Freedom To Talk About Whatever You Want
The second benefit that you get by having a podcast as a radio host is that you can talk about stuff you're not allowed to talk about on the air (or maybe you don't have time to talk about on the air.
If you're a morning host or you're on a talk show, you have plenty of time to talk about whatever you want. But if you're just jocking a regular music shift, you don't. You have 30 to 60 seconds to get in what you want to talk about. A podcast allows you to talk about whatever you want. For as long as you want.
If you're on a country station, but you really love football and you want to talk football, it may not fit the country format, but you can talk football you'd like on your podcast. Having a podcast allows you more creative freedom.
Develop a Deeper Brand
The third thing a podcast does is allows you to develop your personal brand.
Where morning hosts really do a lot to develop their personal brand, and you might know Howard Stern or Elvis Duran or Ryan Seacrest or any of the big morning hosts, but you probably don't know the afternoon guy. You're probably not familiar with Valentine or you're probably not familiar with all of these other guys that are on the radio, but not on the morning drive.
So having a podcast allows you to create your brand and reach beyond, your local city like a syndicated host might do, but you get to control it because it's your own brand.
Read That Contact and Look For Pitfalls
Now, a couple of the pitfalls that you need to be careful about.
The Use of Equipment
The use of the equipment. If you're using the radio studio's equipment, you must make sure your company knows that (if you're under contract). You must make sure that you maintain ownership of your show and your creative content on your show.
Contacts may have clauses that say anything that you create under this contract is owned by that company. Have your attorney look at the contract before you go sign it. That contract is 14 pages – not for your benefit – it's for the company's benefit. Make sure you know what you're signing.
Conflict of Interest Clause
Make sure that there's no conflict of interest clause in that contract as well that prevents you from doing outside work without disclosing it. You can do outside work as long as you disclose it and the company approves of it – before you start doing it.
Keep What is Yours
If you come into a new situation with your podcast already in hand, because you've created a hundred episodes, you have to make sure that the contract you're signing doesn't turn ownership of that podcast over to the new company. The contract makes sure that you don't turn your brand over to the new company, and it makes sure that it's not a conflict of interest with the agreement that you're signing.
Examples of DJ’s Doing Podcasts
Working for iHeart media, we own 850 radio stations in 150 different markets. And on the iHeart radio app, we are huge into podcasting and they encourage everybody who's on the air should have a podcast.
I've helped all of my talent at the seven radio stations I handle, every one of my on-air talent has a podcast. They all do. I have two different morning shows and I've taken the female host of both of the morning shows and I put them together so they can just talk about their stupid stuff their kids do. It's awesome. It's called two moms and a mic.
We have a movie review podcast. Another one of my guys goes off on political rants. We are all about creating new and different, that's the great thing about podcasts.
The great thing about a podcast is you can try it if it doesn't work. Try something else. You don't lose anything. Radio personalities are used to doing that. They are used to being on the air for five hours a day and talk into the mic and it just goes away into the ether, never to be heard again. So a DJ can do 10 episodes of a podcast if it doesn't work, they don't care. They just start another one because they’re just used to their audio being disposable.
Great Advice For Everyone
Even if you're not a radio personality, you should listen to these tips. If you can have the awkward conversation about who owns what, how you're going to record using what tools, and who owns what if things go bad, once that is over you can get back to making great content.
While this was under the context of radio stations, this also applies to you and a co-host, or you and a podcast network. In the end, always know what you are signing.
Avoid Puke Voice
It's not 1980, and when podcasting is brand new people loved it because people didn't sound like “radio people.” Talk to your audience like they are sitting across the table from you.
Question of the Month
Arnie from www.footballhistorydude.com
Steve Stewart from www.stevestewart.me
Brande Ushio from https://fandompodcast.com/
I'm going to leave this open. “What do you use to create your podcast?” This could be hardware, software, business tracking, organizational if you use it in some capacity with the creation of your podcast – we'd love to hear about it. Go to www.schoolofpodcasting.com/question by April 24th, 2020
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Table of Contents
[3:46] Revisit Bad Audio
[5:26] Three Reasons Radio Personalities Should Have a Podcast
[17:07] Say No to Puke Voice
[19:53] Question of the Month