Ep. 22 - Running a radio show with TechTalkRadio's Andy Taylor, Justin Lemme and Shawn DeWeerd
Thanks to our interview with the creator of Winamp, Justin Frankel, we met Andy Taylor, a host of TechTalkRadio. After a few back and forth messages on Twitter, it was clear Andy would be a great guest for the Metacast podcast due to his three decades of experience in radio, podcasting, and television.
TechTalkRadio started in 1995 and became an online collection of downloadable audio files (a.k.a. podcast) in 1996. Now think about it. The term “podcast” didn’t even exist until 2001 when Apple introduced the iPod.
To my embarrassment, I thought TechTalkRadio was a podcast but, during the recording, I learned that it is a radio program that’s also published as a podcast. Andy and his co-hosts Justin Lemme and Shawn DeWeerd have been doing radio and television professionally for decades and, boy, can you feel the experience in how they talk, manage the conversational flow and have fun!
This episode dives into how radio works, why it’s still important in this day and age of streaming (spoiler: emergencies), taking phone calls on a live radio show, equipment for running radio, and a bunch of other enlightening topics.
My favorite story of the episode is about a rat (poor thing!) causing some illegal overpowering of radio stations on the other end of the country because of the air getting thinner at night and radio waves reaching farther distances.
One night there was a rat that was in that area and it got caught between the thing. So it got fried with 10,000 watts, but also the thing never fully switched onto 1,000 and nobody really knew the difference. […]
Keep in mind, this is in Tucson, Arizona, 50 miles from the border of Mexico. And the next morning, I was getting calls from Ohio saying that we could hear your radio station at night. That's how far you can go with 10,000 watts.
— Justin Lemme
To put things into perspective, here’s a map.
It will take you 29 hours to drive almost two thousand miles from Tucson, Arizona to Ohio. The radio guys really have to work with physics and biology (rats!) unlike us, digital nerds, operating at a very high level of abstraction in the modern software.
Enjoy the professional radio voices of Andy, Justin and Shawn and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below!
Talk like you’re talking to one person, regardless of whether you have 5 or 500,000 listeners.
Listen to the hosts you admire and replicate them. That’s how Justin learned — by listening to DJs he admired. Then he practiced, practiced, and practiced.
Trust in serendipity, the universe has something going on for you. Shawn got lost in the middle of nowhere and that allowed him to shoot a video that was nominated in top 5 TV clips of the year and raked up hundreds of millions views on YouTube.
Don’t give up. In radio, they say it takes two years for listeners to bond with a show. It’s probably true for podcasts as well. Consistent production of content is key. Just keep going.
Inviting guests is like climbing a ladder. Guests you’ve already had enable you to invite guests of a higher profile and eventually you make your way up the ranks.
“Winging it” with no prep is sometimes the best strategy. Just go with the flow but keep in mind that you’ve got to have good chemistry between hosts for this strategy to work.
Bring all your passion and fun to the podcast. You’re doing this because you’re passionate about it. If you’re not passionate, maybe find something else you’re excited about.
Take breaks if you’re burned out. Life happens. It’s ok.
Where to find TechTalkRadio
This episode was produced by Mike Semashko
Get in touch
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Bye for now.
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