Aspiring radio hosts need only a computer & phone

Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:21pm EST
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By Paul Thomasch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anyone with dreams of being a talk radio star -- ranting about sports and politics, chatting with callers, sharing recipes or car-buying tips -- can play host on their own show, right on the Web.

BlogTalkRadio, Talkshoe and Skypecasts are among the Web sites that have become popular for would-be radio jocks, and all it takes is a computer and a telephone.

"You can create a show within five minutes and be on the air within 15 minutes," said Alan Levy, the CEO of BlogTalkRadio, a site he started shortly after his father fell ill with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006.

At first, Levy created a blog for his father, allowing him to easily keep in touch with family and friends. Later, Levy decided he wanted something more than a blog.

"I wasn't feeling like it was a conversation -- it was all text." So he came up with the idea of creating broadcasts for bloggers, and BlogTalkRadio was born.

With BlogTalkRadio, hosts use a telephone and computer to create live, call-in shows. Unlimited participants can join, and the service is free because it's advertising-supported. After airing, the shows are archived and become available as podcasts for other listeners.

So far, nearly 46,000 shows have been created -- with subjects ranging from entertainment to politics to sports and lifestyle. Actor Brad Pitt, politician John Kerry, baseball player David Wright and author Jodi Picoult are among those who have been interviewed.

"Some shows are good, some aren't so hot," said Levy. "The cream rises to the top."   Continued...

<p>A screengrab of captured on December 27, 2007. REUTERS/</p>