Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Leykis Talks Business

The Los Angeles Business Journal caught up with Tom Leykis, who had a high-rated syndicated radio show based in Los Angeles until the flagship station switched in February 2009 from "hot talk" to Top 40 - and made significant gains on the longstanding Top 40, home-of-Ryan Seacrest station of the rival industry behemoth. He looks like he's not doing to well in keeping his weight down, but then as he'd say, he doesn’t need to be physically attractive because his “money, power, and fame” gets him exactly what he wants when it comes to women. "I'm really attractive to women when I'm wearning my suit made of $100 bills."

I think he would have laughed at podcasters in the past, but times have changed.

Since the publication is a business journal, it focuses on the business model Leykis is trying, necessitated by his contract still being in effect and changing conditions in radio. He's producing podcasts out of his home and selling ads on eBay.

Leykis was a colorful personality on the former KLSX-FM (97.1), where his daily show included misogynistic advice to lovelorn males about how they could bed women without spending a lot of money or effort.
Although the word if often applied to him, I’m not sure "misogynistic" is the right word, at least according to this definition: “showing a hatred and distrust of women”.

Distrust of women? You bet. He showed distrust of people in general. He's a "get it in writing", self-reliance kind of guy. But the definition says "hatred and". I know women who called in or women in the media/blogosphere found him infuriating when he called them out for their double standards, logical fallacies, and bad behavior and he correctly explained a set of behaviors men could employ to get more sex while avoiding commitments, obligations, or spending a lot of time or money. But if a woman would call him and ask for advice or explanation and wouldn't try to pull one over on him, he would give it with respect and often cheerfully and generously. I just can't conclude that he hates women as a group after I've heard him tell women callers how to protect themselves from abusive men, or how to make the most of their finances.

His contract with CBS pays his full salary and prevents him from doing his talk show until March 2012. Getting paid not to work sounds great, except that it can hurt his career to be off the broadcast airwaves or so long, lowering his profile. So he's hoping to get this new thing running well and attracting downloaders until he can resume being a talk show host.

“It’s called the New Normal for a reason,” he told the Business Journal. “You can’t run a business with the same cost structure and pay the salaries that you once did. But we have no transmitter, no cubicles, no sales hierarchy – just an Internet server.”

Leykis is now an off-air producer who plans to create high-quality talk and music programming for “cents on the dollar” compared with what it costs traditional radio stations, while also selling advertising for these programs for a fraction of what radio stations charge. His goal is to prove the validity of this business model before his contract runs out. That’s when he can launch a show with his own voice, and capitalize on the distribution system he hopes to have established.
The article notes that former broadcast mainstay Adam Carolla has a thriving podcast model going already - the difference, of course, is that Carolla is the talker.

I have yet to get into the podcast thing. I’ve downloaded exactly one hour of radio – the hour in which Dr. Laura read my letter. Maybe that will change when my newly purchased player arrives.

As for Leykis – I disagreed with him on some important things, but his advice was usually entirely logical for secular hedonists. Women seemed to hate the fact that it "worked" in large part to how a lot of women behave.

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