Thursday, December 03, 2015

He's Not Late, He's Just Holding Onto the Ball

The opening of each Tom Leykis Show is now like a Phil Hendrie bit, only Hendrie would do it much better. Leykis refuses to actually start his show until he has over 1,000 people listening live. Unlike terrestrial radio, he knows exactly how many people are listening to him live at any moment, because his show is done via the Internet, and since he is self-employed, he can decide when to start the show. This has proven to be handy when there has been something going on in the evening and he wants to do the show earlier.

So now... the interstitial music will play (a metal-ish instrumental piece) and every so often he'll speak up and say he's not going to start the show until there are enough people listening. Listeners do tend to "tune in" late, six, seven, eight minutes or more into the show, perhaps, for some, because Leykis himself has often started a little late in the past.

It sounds a little funny, almost like a toddler saying he's going to sit on his rubber ball until the other kids nearby do what he wants.

At the other end of the show, Leykis also often threatens to cut the show short for the day due to a lack of calls even though he often will talk for 90 minutes without taking call (and sometimes to tell a story he could tell in much less time). He has indeed cut the show short a few times, but on the other hand, he's sometimes honored "we'll keep going until the calls stop" the other way, too, by doing an extra hour or more. That makes for an interesting show.

I also find the show interesting when he'll tall to his crew for an hour. He won't announce that's what he's going to do; instead, it sounds entirely spontaneous. I used to tune out when he did that on corporate terrestrial radio, because it never was of any interest to me, but since he's now self-employe and running his own company and free of FCC broadcast restraints, those discussion are fascinating, especially when they talk "inside baseball" about the show, dealing with fans, and the radio industry.

While I do pick at his show here and there and have a few serious disagreements with him, I strongly appreciate his business model, professionalism, and ingenuity. If I know an hour is not going to interest me, I won't listen, but he does have some of the most interesting talk show content to be found anywhere. And everyone should listen to his regularly weekly "bonus hour" at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesdays with an attorney who gives free legal advice and alternates criminal law discussion with family law discussion.  To be fair in getting back to the opening line of this entry - Hendrie and Leykis have completely different objectives, in that Hendrie does stuff like that to entertain, and Leykis does it to try to train his audience.

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