Since writing our original "Stop Voicetracking" last month, the evidence rolls in suggesting that TV is way ahead of radio when it comes to using late night hours for experimentation. This article in the LA Times reinforces how cable TV has used these less critical hours to beta test new concepts and talent.
Now, this time period is more than just a sandbox. This fall, Comedy Central has a series of shows that will start at 11 p.m. and later. And young viewers recognize that the programming restrcitions that have become common during prime time are loosened up when these late night shows air.
Some network television analysts argue that these viewers and these hours will never replace mainstream tastes and prime time ratings. But that view is short-sighted and misses the point. Late night TV caters to a different type of viewer, allowing the networks – cable and broadcast – to take some risks, try different things, and yes, to be purple. You can bet that the cream of this crop will find its way into the prime time lineup.
We have the same less-critical hours available to us in radio. Let's start using them them to develop new shows, new jocks, and new concepts. What's the downside?