WOW!!! Not much love for WAKY on this board.
Quite the contrary Les...when I pass through Louisville, WAKY is must listen radio for me...it's a class act and I admire your efforts. I've been in radio since 1967 and understand engineering very well and programming to a degree but couldn't sell an air conditioner to a millionaire in the desert southwest. So my understanding of the business is a little lopsided. I don't recall 79 WAKY having their weekday stars on over the weekend, so I guess I'm still unmoved on the wisdom of not having decent part timers on live during the weekend and at night (or is the day of the 'decent part timer' long gone??). The radio that we saw in the 60's and 70's had what I'd now call the "killer app" where the listener could call the station at any hour of the day or night and communicate with the guy in the air chair and the guy in the air chair could use (or not use) the result of that call to create a bond with that listener--and entertain the audience as well. Either way, the caller talked with the jock on the phone and then heard the jock on the air and the 'magic' of radio was perpetuated. With voice tracking, that magic (which money can't buy--but a live human can create) is voluntarily thrown away in the name of saving $10 or less an hour. Presumably the Voice Trackers are paid something per hour for their efforts and if that translates to say $3/hr, then the magic element is being tossed out for less than minimum wage.
While WAKY is a delight, the poster who mentioned the time being wrong has a point. 45 years ago, if the time given was wrong, how would anyone know? Nowadays, a very accurate clock is in every cell phone. For anyone who keeps an eye on the clock, the voice on the radio giving an incorrect time check paints the jock and/or station in an unfavorable light at best. Many automation systems allow the jock to record the time and temperature in their own voices and insert them on the fly. WDJO in Cincinnati had that and I was convinced that their morning show was live a few years ago (and I am very hard to fool on that topic). There are better ways to make a station sound live than just hoping it turns out close.
If you are comfortable doing so in a public forum, please explain all of the things that go into deciding whether a shift is live or VT'd. Is it all about the money, is it about the available talent pool or are there other things at play? I'd be interested in knowing more about the thought process that goes into the live vs VT equation at a station that is allowed to make that call in house.