For many radio broadcasters, their first foray into the podcasting realm involves repurposing their on-air content. In some cases, for example with an all-talk morning show or a weekend public radio show, they can take the entire show and upload it to a podcasting host without making any changes. But for many on-air talent — especially those who play music on their shows — this is not a feasible route.
Instead, these broadcasters are better served by repurposing select pieces of their on-air content as podcasts. For example, suppose a radio morning show has a signature phone scam bit. They could take the recordings of these bits and publish them as podcast episodes.
However, there's a common mistake that should be avoided when doing this: Many podcasts alienate new listeners by not providing enough explanation for the uninitiated. Any given podcast episode may be a listener's first exposure to a show, so broadcasters should not make the mistake of assuming that the audience already knows who they are or what the basic premise of the bit is.
In the past, I have written about the importance of using the first minute of every single podcast episode to explain the overall show, introduce the hosts, and provide a roadmap for this particular episode. This advice holds true for radio broadcasters who are repurposing pieces of their show as a podcast. In all likelihood, it is not enough to simply post the edited audio exactly as it was broadcast over the airwaves; a short introduction will need to be added. For example, a reuseable produced intro might sound like this:
[WKRP Phone Scam Sweeper]
Johnny: Hi, this is Johnny Fever.
Les: And this is Les Nessman.
Johnny: We host the Morning Zoo on 108.8 WKRP in Cincinnati.
Les: And every day at 6:05, 7:05, and 8:05 we prank call somebody in our Super Duper Jam Scam.
Johnny: Take a listen…
[Insert recorded bit]
On the radio, DJs don't need to tell people who they are and where they are because most listeners already know, but when people around the world may be accessing your podcast for the first time, this information is important; it invites new listeners in.
Here's another example of a podcast setup, this one for an afternoon DJ who occasionally interview bands on the air and then posts those interviews online as a podcast:
Venus: This is Venus Flytrap of 108.8 WKRP in Cincinnati. From time to time, I get to interview one of the great rock bands we play here on the station. Here's a conversation that I had recently…
Venus (repurposed recording): Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch is here in the studio with me…
Notice that the intro doesn't need to be long. While it would be better if a unique intro were recorded for every podcast episode, the reality is that that's not always possible given time constraints. Instead, crafting a setup that can be recycled may suffice. The important thing is to make sure that the beginning of every episode of your repurposed content podcast is as inviting to a brand new listener as it is to a hardcore fan of your station.
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