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Topic: Does talk radio use actor call-ins?
Message: Posted by: landmark (Mar 8, 2011 09:40AM)
This may be a man bites dog story, but I'd be curious if those familiar in the industry (Doug Higley are you there?) could give your thoughts and experiences. The story is about a company that hires and trains actors to make call-ins to big name talk radio shows to make for a more interesting show.

[quote]“I was surprised that it seemed so open,” the actor told me in an interview. “There was really no pretense of covering it up.”

Curious, the actor did some snooping and learned that Premiere On Call was a service offered by Premiere Radio Networks, the largest syndication company in the United States and a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, the entertainment and advertising giant. Premiere syndicates some of the more sterling names in radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. But a great radio show depends as much on great callers as it does on great hosts: Enter Premiere On Call.

“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service,” read the service’s website, which disappeared as this story was being reported (for a cached version of the site click here). “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.”

http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/58759/radio-daze

[/quote]
I guess what's interesting to me is that this is a service provided by the giant Clear Channel, and targeted towards the biggest in the business, not some DJs in upstate South Dakota fresh out of community college. I assume, though I don't know, that it cuts across political lines.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 8, 2011 09:51AM)
I think it depends on which talk radio you are talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqYW1-NzZNE
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Mar 8, 2011 10:32AM)
I remember reading in the local paper that a local actor had just taken part in his fifth television talk show. So at least here in Germany those Jerry Springer style shows are simply faked. I had never known that.

As for radio, I have no idea. But I bet it isn't a big industry for actors. Just a few get paid to occasionaly prime the pump is my guess.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 8, 2011 10:44AM)
Mark Dice tells you how to get on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRb-k-T4wwU&feature=channel_video_title
Message: Posted by: critter (Mar 8, 2011 10:49AM)
Larry the Cable Guy got his start calling into a local radio show. Maybe not the same thing as this though.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Mar 8, 2011 11:30AM)
Only show I'm aware of that's a set up is Phil Hendry, where he character voices most of the 'guest' callers himself to bait the 'unsuspecting' callers to argue with their outlandish statements.

When I was doing a talk show there were many days I wish I had some plants to get the machine rolling!
IF this is not a 'dirty tricks' scenario, I can see it used in smaller markets for local hosts, maybe like a daily 'joke service' to supply material. I really don't see the big names needing it since the phone lines are gridlocked from the jump from those with agendas trying to get thier 1 minute of fame. Though who knows, ANYTHING is possible in the fraudulent 21st.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Mar 8, 2011 12:11PM)
Phil Hendry is a funny dude.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Mar 8, 2011 03:54PM)
They may have regular callers but I don't think talk shows need actors, there are enough characters out there to keep things rolling.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 8, 2011 04:16PM)
The radio station that I listen to doesn't tell you the news, or the time. Am I the only one left that still listens to all music radio?
Message: Posted by: kasper (Mar 8, 2011 06:04PM)
I've realized this when Ive listened to talk radio. When the person calling in has a good strong debate against the topic the radio Dj is talking about; they usually cut him off. There could a interesting heated debate. Once the caller starts to make an excellent point against what the DJ is discussing. Guess what? Clicks over to a different caller. Im starting believe a lot of times the news is not necessarly the news; its more of a show. Ive had folks been at these "scenes" where the news team wants their story. By the time they get home to watch the story its all distorted. By the time the story is on the cutting room floor; they might as well actors. It's Kind of like when they cut to a clip of a random group of screamimg excited women; after a story that deserves an applause.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Mar 8, 2011 11:45PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-08 10:40, landmark wrote:
This may be a man bites dog story, but I'd be curious if those familiar in the industry (Doug Higley are you there?) could give your thoughts and experiences. The story is about a company that hires and trains actors to make call-ins to big name talk radio shows to make for a more interesting show.

[quote]“I was surprised that it seemed so open,” the actor told me in an interview. “There was really no pretense of covering it up.”

Curious, the actor did some snooping and learned that Premiere On Call was a service offered by Premiere Radio Networks, the largest syndication company in the United States and a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, the entertainment and advertising giant. Premiere syndicates some of the more sterling names in radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. But a great radio show depends as much on great callers as it does on great hosts: Enter Premiere On Call.

“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service,” read the service’s website, which disappeared as this story was being reported (for a cached version of the site click here). “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.”

http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/58759/radio-daze

[/quote]
I guess what's interesting to me is that this is a service provided by the giant Clear Channel, and targeted towards the biggest in the business, not some DJs in upstate South Dakota fresh out of community college. I assume, though I don't know, that it cuts across political lines.
[/quote]

Do more research. Seriously dude. Talk radio does not generally use this tactic.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Mar 9, 2011 08:21AM)
Yes I had assumed that there were enough real characters and nutcases to keep things hopping. And what with the screeners and all, the hosts have pretty much total control over what's going to be heard. I only called in a radio show once or twice in my life, to mention something that I had personal expertise in. It was basically a waste of time.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Mar 9, 2011 09:06AM)
This reminds me of an incident that occurred during the run-up to the Seoul Olympics. There had been some talk at the IOC about holding some of the events in the Democratic People's Republic, and a delegation traveled from Pyongyang to Seoul to discuss the possibilities.

At one point, the North Koreans made an angry fuss, complaining that the South Koreans had transferred every automobile in the country into Seoul, in order to create artificial traffic jams and humiliate the North Koreans.

The South Koreans looked at each other, and seemed very concerned. Then one of them shrugged his shoulders, and admitted it was true.

"And you see all those tall buildings and skyscrapers in the city?" he asked. "We moved all of them into Seoul just to impress you, too."


Woland
Message: Posted by: landmark (Mar 9, 2011 12:31PM)
Okay, I'll bite. And your point is . . .
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Mar 9, 2011 03:29PM)
Thinking about this...I do doubt the actual 'shows' or broadcast companies would employ this tactic...BUT what about outside activist groups with Agendas or companies that lack a coherant spokesperson or somebody who can feign the passion to challenge a host and put forth a certain package of propaganda? Then it begins to seem viable.
No?

Just like Unions hire outside non union pickets. I was once paid $10 a day to picket a construction site along with a bunch of other out of work folks. Froze my butt off. :)

Just a thought.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Mar 9, 2011 08:52PM)
I think you could be right from the demand point of view. From the supply side however, the company supplying the actors appears to be owned by Clear Channel, Doug. They're not just anyone as you well know. So I'm wondering what's going on?
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Mar 10, 2011 10:58AM)
Only thing I found this morning...but who knows...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKAE9IOg-hg&feature=player_embedded
Message: Posted by: Woland (Mar 10, 2011 11:22AM)
My point, landmark, is that the 30 million people who listen to Mr. Limbaugh every day are not all paid stooges . . . . nor are the people who call in to speak with him . . . .

W.