Monday, May 16, 2005

Out of The Blog and Into The Pod

Andy Abramson - VoIP Watch

It's hard to believe that 31 years ago, yes back in 1974, I did my very first radio news accounts for WFIL, WIBG and WIP radio, providing sports reports about the Philadelphia Wings when I was only 14. Back then those recordings were called beepers because the "beep" had to be played when you were being recorded by law, all due to wiretap regulations. Little did I know that it would take 31 years for my return to real "AM" radio. Well technology has changed, but in many ways, the song remains the same. I still do reports remotely, now using Skype, or VoIP phones, fed into the mixing boards, but the business of broadcasting has clearly changed.
Back in 1998, Ken Rutkowski and I, along with a few others launched a venture called Plus Media, that with backing from a Silicon Valley VC fund was launched in 1999. While that didn't make it, we continued in 2000 to bring our brand of journalism to audio listeners around the globe via our daily show, the "World Technology RoundUp" via KenRadio, streaming the broadcast using Windows Media, Real and MP3 formats. A few years later, we became one of the original plankholders and founding content providers to Microsoft's forward thinking Sync N' Go platform, which took content from the Internet, and automatically downloaded the programs onto Windows Mobile Devices. All of this preceded the idea of Podcasting, and yet in so many ways, likely helped provide the foundation for what would come next.
Ken rarely receives the credit he deserves. He started the daily Internet based webcast back in 1993, combining technology from Progressive Networks (now Real) and Mark Cuban's Audionet (which later became which later was purchased by Yahoo) to record, encode and distribute content over his web site called to those who had the bandwidth and patience download or stream and listen. Some five years later I joined him and since then, together we've garnered over 200,000 daily listeners from around the globe. Over the years we've added some supporting castmembers with Richard Sherrill and Gregory Markel. Then there have been the guys like Peter Yorke and Web Talk Radio's Rob Greenlee have been there along the way to help when either Ken or I couldn't record or produce the daily show, and of course the last few years the support from Microsoft's Windows Media Team who sure have helped make things happen in so many ways.
But really our daily show would be nothing if it wasn't for the regular listeners who tune in each day, download or stream it to get the daily low down on all things Media, Entertainment and Technology. So as excited as I am, and I know Ken shares this feeling, we'd be nowhere without the regular critique our band of fans provides us. While I won't mention any listener names, those of you who have been with us along the way know who you are, and its you who should take the credit with us. You heard us first, and you ALWAYS WILL.
After a great seven years on the Internet, Ken Rutkowski and I have expanded the reach of the World Technology RoundUp to the San Francisco Bay area, by providing a feed of the worlds' longest running daily technology show 1550-KYCY-AM that has been tabbed, fulfilling a quest and vision we both shared back in the 90s. So, while what we're doing is called Podcasting in current language, the World Technology Roundup is really a part of a new initiative from Infinity Broadcasting that may actually redefine radio. But as they change radio once again, we're not changing anything we've ever dreamed of doing. We're still two guys telling the stories you need to know, with the only difference being our reach just jumped dramatically.
Given that we've survived for as long as we have, solely by delivering content that is fresh and new each day, we're more than confident that the World Technology RoundUp and other KenRadio broadcasts will continue to be viewed as original, insightful and downright informative, all done in a rather laid back, but entertaining way. Each morning we offer up 8 to ten items everyone needs to know about, all full of facts and informed opinions and spiced up with just the right bit of edge to them.
But it's really Infinity that is taking the lead now by being edgy and bringing new concepts of broadcasts to the public. So like the gladitorial games of Roman times, only the best will survive. Infinity for as long as I can remember has been innovators in radio broadcasting. Growing up in Philadelphia I watched as they dismantled WMMR with their own upstart WYSP-FM, knocking one of the true legendary pioneers of progressive radio off their pedestal for many years. Infinity also broke ground with Howard Stern, and now they are breaking ground with Podcasting via terrestrial radio. To our friend Jim Griffin who has listened for years, we thank you for bringing both Ken and I back to real, serious radio.
So tune in to us and all the new and inventive content on because it's time to get out of the blog and into the pod.


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