Sunday, March 6, 2011

This has never happened before, right?

Good news for the Left, until you are really sort of all out of breath ...

From RadioDailyNews:

Some of the people who phone in to talk radio shows (that caller with the pitch-perfect rant, provocative comment or burning question) may actually be actors hired by Premiere On Call reading from scripts.

Michael Harrison, the editor of Talkers Magazine said he knew nothing of this particular service but was not altogether surprised to hear that it was in place. 

From Premiere On Call's website, now offline:

Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service. We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we'll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won't hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners.

Here are some other links for this story, that include access to cached pages.,,,

In addition to all the right-wing talkers mentioned, Premiere also syndicates Randi Rhodes, Bill Cunningham, Jesse Jackson, Bill Handel, Dr. Dean Edell and others.  Premiere's service was available to all of their syndicated clients and to any other talk or music shows that subscribed to their service.

Now, let me speak to the issue of having the management of a talk radio syndicate create the occasional call to a talk show host.


And it has, at least in my experience, since the early 1970's. I've programmed talk shows in regular programming since my first position as a PD in 1973. It occurs sometimes that a show host comes up cold on a topic and needs a little help. I've called myself or had someone else call in to tickle the topic.

In the mid-1800's it was called "salting the mine" when bandits tossed gold flakes into the field of discovery with a shotgun.  These days, we make a phone call and toss in our ideas, left wing, right wing or whatever.  If the call results in a fiery thread of calls, then good deal!  Suddenly the talk show guy is playing hits!

It doesn't matter if it's left or right, it just matters that something, anything, has happened on the air.

So why should it matter that someone gets paid to act out the call, reading a script?

Both sides do it.  Now shut up.

Discuss on the STL Media Message Board. (Registration Required)