They'll probably hire jocks for a while at least. Contemporary radio formats, from McLendon and Storz down through the ages, depend on live talent to drag the audience from one quarter hour to another.
But that is changing.
I have been authorized to announce that some of the best music and computer programmers in the nation, with the aid of some visionary venture capitalists (some of whom made their capital in the post-dereg station-trading days) have combined to form AutoAnnounce LLC, which is introducing the new Post-O-Matic (tm) voice tracking system.
The Post-O-Matic (tm) computerized system automatically selects a voice track that covers the intro of a song right up to the post, while choosing between several alternatives as to pacing, trandition, rhythm, beat and 15 other factors, while also delivering synchronous promotional liners, contest promos, request line numbers and other station specific information in a set number of spots each hour. The PD just programs the concept into the Post-O-Matic (tm) processor, using a computer, tablet or smartphone. We have also contracted with a weather service to relay real-time conditions into the computer processing center in Merrimack, N.H. so that we are also selecting weather-appropriate liners. PDs can use their phones to make adjustments to the local-determinate segments.
We are close to our launch goal set by our finance team, of having the equivalent of cume for four major-market stations signed on, it doesn't need to be four majors, just enough Top 50 stations in whatever sized markets that bring sufficient cume to match our financial algorithm. The goal is to let each market program its own music based on local taste, competitive influence and market variables while providing a quality voice presentation that is enthusiastic, upbeat, caring and warm. The cost effectiveness will be realized through cross-market branding allowing a single identity even with differences in music selection.
We've already reserved the same telephone number in the top 50 markets. In fact we'll save money by doing things like taking (for example, not a real client) an AMP Phoenix fast-to-slow, :11 sec., it's a hot day, stay tuned for your chance to win liner and using it in Boston during July.
It is currently in beta and we're running a dummy station using the programmers on staff as "talent." The next step is hiring fresh, new voices willing to follow our instructions as tracking talent. It's harder than you think to get the right person since we're avoiding known names, so we're spending a lot of time on auditions.
It's the first day of fall, not April Fool's Day.