In the 1970s, local radio legend Steve Dahl revolutionized talk radio with his raw form of radio verite.
Now, he’s breaking new ground by turning his “Dahlcast” podcast (at dahl.com) into a podcast network haven for personalities who are no longer on airwaves and deserve to be heard.
Subscribers who pay $9.95 a month (or $99.95 per year) can hear podcasts three times a week by Kevin Matthews and his alter ego, Jim Shorts, as well as a monthly interview show by former Q101 (WKQX-FM) jock James Van Osdol. At press time, Dahl was talking to rock legend Joe Walsh, sports talker Chet Coppock, and others. He also added a weekend archives show highlighting the best bits from his own storied past.
The podcast is not free or live like broadcast or satellite radio, but there are no commercials, or time/content restraints. Plus it can be heard anywhere, at any time.
We asked Dahl — who’s been off the air since 2008 and podcasting since 2009 — about the new network.
IE: When/why did you decide to turn the “Dahlcast” into a network?
Steve Dahl: I was always planning on adding more shows, but Kevin Matthews getting fired in Grand Rapids was definitely the catalyst for doing it now rather than later.
IE: You’ve always been on the cutting edge of digital/internet technology. Are there any innovations that have made this endeavor possible, where it might not have happened, say, five years ago?
SD: Smart phones really make the whole thing doable. We have both iPhone and an Android app, and I’d say the bulk of our listening is done via those devices. Of course you can just listen the old-fashioned way, too: on an iPod or just streaming from our website on your computer.
IE: I assume that the others record their shows at home, and do not commute to your basement . . .
SD: They send us the files via Yousendit.
IE: Why’d you want James VanOsdol to be a part of it?
SD: I think he’s talented and he’s a displaced radio person, so he meets my criteria for network status.
IE: Do you own your archives? How many years to you have?
SD: I own everything that I’ve ever done in Chicago.
IE: Are you serious about Chet Coppock?
SD: Yes, if we can think of a good concept for him. It’s not live, so some thought will have to be put into it.
IE: Any women on your wish list?
SD: I asked Wendy Snyder and her husband if they wanted to be a part of it and they declined. Come to think of it, they might not meet all of my criteria.
IE: Why not Kathy & Judy? They still have a loyal following.
SD: That’s an excellent idea, and I would love to talk to them about that.
IE: What does it feel like to be running your own “station”?
SD: I like it. My favorite part is letting people do whatever they want to do. No limits (except libeling someone). I feel like I’m on the cutting edge of something revolutionary, which is a feeling I’ve had before, but not in awhile, so that’s fun, too.
“JBTV” Goes Nationwide: Chicago’s longest-running independent music showcase was picked up by the NBC Nonstop Network on February 18th. Now, fans of new and independent music in major markets across the country can catch “JBTV” at 10 p.m. on the digital sub-channel. Smoking Popes, Rise Against, White Lives, Kill Hannah, 30 Seconds To Mars, The Menzingers, and Phantom Planet will all be featured in March.
“It is definitely our most robust opportunity to bring ‘JBTV’ to a national audience via broadcast,” says show creator Jerry Bryant, who has been dong the show as a labor of love for the past 27 years.
In recent seasons, “JBTV” added hosts such as Ryan Manno, Tobias Jeg, and Jenna Martinelli, and segued from a music-video show to a live-performance stage shot in Bryant’s state-of-the-art digital studio. “We want to continue to introduce people to new music first,” says Bryant.
But it doesn’t stop with the network show.
“We’re laying the foundation to transform ‘JBTV’ into a 24-hour radio, new media, and television network,” he says. “We believe very strongly in introducing music fans to exciting artists that don’t have a platform anywhere else, so we’re creating the platforms.”
Stream the developments at jbtvonline.com.
ODDS ‘N’ SODS: No word on whether Jonathon Brandmeier‘s weekly NBC Nonstop Chicago TV show “Almost Live” has been picked up nationally . . . We’re sad to see the demise of scrappy little new-age mag Mindful Metropolis. The paper rose from the ashes of Conscious Choice in May of 2009. Publisher Richard McGinnis explained in a note to clients, “After 32 consecutive monthly issues, we decided to retire the title and move on to other endeavors,” and referred readers and advertisers to Natural Awakenings Chicago North and North Shore . . . Jim DeRogatis‘ riveting, meticulously-reported “Pop ‘N’ Stuff” blog posts about Lollapalooza’s sweetheart tax deals really do deserve a Pulitzer. Read them at www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis.
— Cara Jepsen