Sometimes Things Happen; It’s Live Radio!

Dave’s Write Away
By Dave Scott, Host, Spaced Out Radio
Sometimes Things Happen; It’s Live Radio
So this past Friday night, I did something I have never done before.  I had to kick a guest off the show.  It wasn’t something I had ever wanted to do, but I knew eventually it was coming.  You see when you host live radio, it’s much different than being a podcast host.  On a podcast, you can say what you want, how you want, and exactly what’s on your mind without any concern about language or who you offend.  There are millions of podcasts in the world that do this.  Some have made it big, like Joe Rogan’s new$100-million dollar contract to bring his podcast exclusively to Spotify.  To those on Blog Talk Radio who are having fun and don’t care about the size of their audience or who they offend.
But when it comes to terrestrial radio, like we are on, there are different rules that have to be followed.  The CRTC in Canada and the FCC in the United States have rules and guidelines that have to be followed in order to keep your show on the air.  Both the CRTC and the FCC frown when it comes to ‘offensive’ language.  So before each show I remind our guests who are new to the show that we are NOT a podcast, but a live radio show that has to play by the rules.  Sometimes, when it’s a repeat guest, you’d think that they would already know the rules of the show.
We also, a week before show time, send out a confirmation email to each guest reminding them of the show.  Here’s the portion from that confirmation email:   PLEASE NOTE!  We request your understanding, as a guest on Spaced Out Radio, that we (Spaced Out Radio), are not affiliated politically or religiously with anyone.  And we ask your understanding that we do not condone any political, religious, racial comments, and/or attacks on any affiliation.  With our affiliation to terrestrial radio, we MUST follow any and all guidelines of the FCC in the United States, and the CRTC in Canada.  Which means any offensive comment that is political, racial, religious, or involves cursing or swearing, or anything derogatory, that does not meet the requirements of Spaced Out Radio or our affiliate stations, may and will result in the interview being immediately cancelled.’  Every guest sees this, and when they confirm this email, they know our show is something different than what they may be used to.
Look, sometimes people slip up.  I have on occasion and swearing is a part of everyday language for most people.  Coming from a hockey playing background, the ‘F-word’, is common language.  However, I know that for those three hours a night on the show, I cannot swear.  It’s because I respect my craft as a show host and the responsibility that comes along with it.  Many podcasters do as well.  But the danger is when you put a microphone in front of someone’s face, they feel it’s a free ticket to say what they want, how they want it.  Those rules apply to podcasters, but not to what we do in terrestrial radio.
It’s the same thing when people moan and complain about our archives having the commercial breaks in them.  So many times over the years I have read comments from listeners, great show, but all the commercials suck.  Or call it a waste of time.  Not realizing that we are always what we call in radio ‘live to tape’.  Which means there are no edits, and everything you hear is live.   The funny part about people complaining about the commercials is they can skip right by them by just fast forwarding.  I don’t get the gripe, really.  Have we become that lazy?

But as for our guest….. Things like this are going to happen.  Sure it’s disappointing, but rules are rules.  Guests though, do need to learn and understand that if you want professionalism in your broadcast host, be professional back.  Our time is just as valuable as your time as a guest.  That being said, not all guests are gold medal winners.  Every now and again, and it’ll happen again.  Cory, our booking coordinator, who does a stellar job in finding our guests, as well as myself can only do so much to vet these people.  We don’t know, unless they’re a well known name, whether or not they’re going to be a gem or what I like to call a ‘one and done’.  We do our best to rock every night.  Sometimes it’s not going to work the way we thought.

We just do our best, and keep filling those dates.

Author: Gail Hodson Shirk

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