Although there has been a shift from the conventional format of short talking segments in between songs, radio hosts say working behind the mic is even more exciting nowadays with the rise of social media and the podcast era.
After shifting from rock to a Top 40 hits radio station, Energy 106 morning host Jasmin Laine has seen firsthand the difference social-media engagement has made in connecting with listeners.
“Radio used to be ‘when you miss it, you miss it,’ but now, if you miss something, you can listen to it later. We will cut up a clip and put it on social media. Overall, I just think that it has been a really lovely partnership,” she says.
Despite the rise of podcasting, Laine doesn’t feel like it has threatened radio’s success. People still tune in during car rides. She says the major change is that hosts can now incorporate talk shows in between songs, so that they too sound more podcast-like.
“I heard people talk for forever that the industry is dying, and it’s really not at all. With podcasting, everyone is wanting to get behind the microphone and share their thoughts, and that is something that we were able to do in radio for so many years,” she says.
Given that audiences are more eager to listen to conversations over music, radio shows such as Wheeler in the Morning with Tyler Carr and Jasmin Laine are now recorded and released as a podcast on streaming platforms. This allows audiences from outside the city to still hear the show from elsewhere at any time.
“We’ve seen our analytics, and there are people from quite literally all over the world listening to us. We are just a show from Winnipeg, talking about Winnipeg news,” Laine says.
Radio continues to be an outlet that allows creatives to get noticed in their community. This is especially true for college radio. Musician and CKUW 95.9 FM radio host Jacob Brodovsky says it’s valuable to have platforms that highlight local artists.
“I think community radio is very important, especially for up-and-coming musicians. For me and a lot of folks, the first time that you get played is through a college radio station. It’s the place where you do your first interview. It’s your first exposure and contact with the media,” he says.
His primarily talk-show program Let’s Play DJ! welcomes local artists to share their own personal favourite songs and why they enjoy them. Since it premiered in 2019, Brodovsky has spoken with artists like Taylor Janzen, Amos the Kid and housepanther.
“The reason that I started was because I am terrible at finding new music that I like, and one of my favorite ways to meet people is (when) you sit in a car and play DJ for each other,” he says.
Listen to Jasmin Laine on Energy 106.1 FM during weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. and Jacob Brodovsky on CKUW 95.9 FM on Fridays from 4 to 5 p.m.
Published in Volume 76, Number 23 of The Uniter (March 31, 2022)