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Are You Really Done With That Great Radio Talent?

This week a disturbing trend creeped into my consciousness. Radio is losing great talent at an alarming rate. It started with Stern, Leykis and Corolla. Apple is plucking great radio talent from the UK. I talked with three guys that previously worked for me who are out of work and they aren’t even getting nibbles. One of them said, “I’m not sure radio has a use for me anymore.” These are all really talented folks. There are dozens and dozens of these people who are now cranking out great, inventive and creative podcasts to keep sharp and selling insurance or cleaning pools to help make ends meet.

I and others have frequently asked, “Where is the next great radio talent coming from?” But, really we should be asking, “are we really done with that great radio talent?”

Radio needs to find ways to use all these discarded personalities turned podcasters that has either fled radio out of frustration or were pushed out the door. We need guys and gals who love radio, get radio, are good at radio and are ready to reinvent it.

02-larry-wachs

Larry Wachs, sinner

Larry Wachs is one of those guys. For 20-years he hosted the Regular Guys radio show, entertained listeners, and made companies like Clear Channel and Cumulus lots of money. Now he’s like too many other great radio talent: out of work and off the air.

“I think I committed the sin of making too much money for the Cumulus people. They don’t like their talent making money,” Wachs talked about the end of the Regular Guys on Episode 101 of the Radio Stuff Podcast. “I was also burnt out. In all fairness to Cumulus, I did sit down with them a year before and them pretty much gave me the hint that this run was coming to an end.”

For now Wachs is podcasting, redefining his style, honing his craft, and building his storytelling muscles, because he wants back on radio.

“Oh yeah, absolutely. I love it. It’s the best medium. It is so warm and intimate. And when done right it is extremely powerful.”

Great talent is out there just waiting for radio to give them another shot. We’d be shooting ourselves in the foot not to give it to them.

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  1. Jason Page
    May 15, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    I can’t help but laugh a little bit at this posting Larry. Corporate radio conglomerates don’t want people who are radio savants anymore. They don’t want people who eat, live and breathe the industry. They want cheap talent on their terms.

    I just heard of a hire made today in a major market station. It was a hire of somebody who had ZERO right to be on a major-market station. Yet this person is being given that opportunity. Why? Because the person fits a certain “type” that the station wants. Whether it’s filling quotas, having a certain look (in the case of TV) or having tons of twitter followers, the reasons that stations make hires today have less and less to do with talent and more to do with connections and things other than “what is coming out of the speakers.”

    • May 15, 2015 at 3:02 PM

      Thanks for that Jason. I guess I’m old school. And radio knows vanity hires don’t last or rate…yet they keep doing it.

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