Monday, January 26, 2009

Podcast Review --The Chris Moyles Show

Few broadcasting entities have embraced the new media as tightly as the BBC. Virtually all of their radio programs (across all their channels) stream online, have associated blogs and podcasts, and other online components.

The Chris Moyles Show airs Monday through Friday morning on BBC Radio One. For those of us over here, it's the equivalent of any of the nationally syndicated morning programs heard in this country. There's the main personality (Chris Moyles) and a team of coworkers for him to play off of (Comedy Dave, newscaster Dominic Byrne, sportscaster Carrie Davis, and daytime producer Aled Jones and producer Rachel Jones).

They interview celebrities with movies, TV shows, books and DVDs to promote; stage silly games with the audience; play today's top hits and generally have fun.

Like some of America's morning jocks, such as Howard Stern, Chris Moyles can be quite dirty-minded (if not always as dirty-mouthed), and his acid wit can cut deep sometimes.

The "Best of Chris Moyles" podcast features the best bits of the week's programs, condensed down to a single 45 minute podcast with some exclusive new content. Music, of course, is out (thanks RIAA!), so what's left are the speaking parts of the show. And that's just fine.

The comedy is brilliant (and compared to American broadcasts far more sophisticated and off-center). And it's clear that the program is rigorously planned out -- with ad lib sections built in, of course. Moyles always has an amazingly diverse library of sound effects and music cues at his fingertips, and always has just the right audio clip to further the comedy.

It's definitely entertaining for the average listener. But it should be required listening (in my opinion) to anyone involved in broadcasting in this country. Each week Chris Moyles and his team demonstrate how to engage an online audience, how to drive listeners to a website, how to make text messaging work for you, and how good radio should be done.

I've used specific examples from the Chris Moyles show before to illustrate how American radio can move into the 21st Century (nine years and counting, guys). I count on the Chris Moyles Show podcast to provide me with at least a half an hour of solid laughs. I'm seldom disappointed.

Remember, you don't need an iPod to enjoy a podcast. Just go online and listen!

- Ralph

Day 215 of the WJMA Web Watch. (Now here's an organization that really, really, really needs to subscribe to this podcast.)

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