Social Question

bookish1's avatar

Have you ever called into a radio show?

Asked by bookish1 (13050 points ) January 13th, 2013

I listen to the radio daily, but I’ve never called into a talk show. I often feel like I should, but I get nervous or distracted…

If you have called in, what was the show? Did you have to explain your question or comment to someone first before they would let you on the air? Do you feel like you were able to express yourself in the way that you had hoped? Did you change the direction of the conversation?

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23 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Several times and always on NPR. I have no problem in asking my questions and chatting briefly with the host.

Once was about astronomy, once about the English language and once about grief.

I was screened all three times.

dxs's avatar

I won tickets to a concert once by guessing the name of a song. The contest was to guess the song that they mixed up using computers. But I forget which song it was.

bookish1's avatar

@gailcalled: Was it the Diane Rehm show by any chance??? Man, I would love to be able to talk with her…

@dxs: Super cool! I won tickets that way myself once, by identifying a guitar riff on an alternative rock station. But I’ve never joined a conversation on a radio talk show.

gailcalled's avatar

@bookish1: I never heard of her.

These are guests who bring various kinds of expertise to our local public radio talk shows.

Cars, stamps, coins, computers (my local guru),antiques, medical issues, birding, gardening, astronomy, books, poetry, movies, politics, cooking, home beer brewing. bee keeping (my bro-in-law)...you can find it here.

SuperMouse's avatar

I have called into several radio shows. Before Tom Leykis turned into a bad impression of Howard Stern I was on his show at least three times. I was also on a couple of other local and LA and Santa Barbara radio shows and once I asked Sally Jesse Raphael a question. The most recent was a year or so ago when I was on Tell Me More on NPR.

My call was screened every single time. Most of the time I was able to get my points across. A couple of times I was nervous and had a hard time getting out what I wanted to say. Once or twice I was cut off before I got everything out.

bookish1's avatar

@gailcalled : Is she not syndicated on your local station? She is one of my heroes. She has an hour of domestic or international politics, and then an hour interviewing an author/scientist/etc. She’s definitely on the left but really strives for balance and civility in her discussions. Once, she made Henry Kissinger so angry, by refusing to let him avoid answering questions, that he walked out of the studio.

@SuperMouse: That’s cool. What is Tell Me More about? I’ve never heard that one.

glacial's avatar

I remember trying repeatedly to call for movie or concert tickets as a teen, but I never managed to get through! It was exasperating, especially at that age. I did get through once to the local weekend trivia show! That was exciting (I was such a nerd).

Irritating correction: It’s “called in to…”, not “called into” in this context. I can’t help it, it’s a pet peeve of mine.

gailcalled's avatar

@bookish1: No, she is not. I just checked her out. Our local radio station is basically local, with the exception of “Car Talk,” (now a memory) and the Met. Opera.

Dealing with a local audience makes it easy to get on the air; if you call at the beginning of the program, the screener likes your question, and you don’t mind keeping your phone on “speaker” until you get to the beginning of the queue.

burntbonez's avatar

There’s a local talk show that goes on for two hours every morning about issues of interest to the NPR public. I’ve called in two or three times about issues of interest to me. Once a friend heard me and asked if that was me. I don’t remember what issues were.

Each time, someone else answers and finds out what you want to talk about and then tells you to turn off your radio and wait. When you are bout to go on, the screener tells you you are next. It’s a bit weird for me. I find myself talking fast and being a little anxious. I’ve noticed that other callers often compliment the host, but that annoys me because I feel it takes away valuable time from the issue.

SuperMouse's avatar

@bookish1 I was mistaken, I was actually on On Point.

Tell me More
On Point

gailcalled's avatar

I recognize people I know all the time on our local NPR when they either call in or are the guest speakers themselves.

hearkat's avatar

In NJ there is a talk station dedicated to issues about the state. I’ve called-in a couple times, but it’s been several years, so I don’t recall the topics. I won a prize from a local AltRock station (R.I.P. WHTG) – some CDs – once, too.

It is standard practice for Talk Radio programs to be tape delayed by a minute or two to allow for censorship. They have a screener who answers the phone and gets the gist of your question or point, then they tell you to turn down your radio and put you on hold, during which you hear the program in progress. Then the hosts say, “Now we’ll go to Kat on the Parkway… Hi, Kat – you’re on the air!” and you just speak and they’ll interact with you. By the time you hang up and turn your radio back up, your little moment is usually over.

ucme's avatar

Not called, but I sent in my fave 3 songs as requested to a local radio station when I was about 15. They actually played them & read out my name too, sent me a signed photo of the d.j & a mug as well…big time or what?

filmfann's avatar

Back in the day, I had a touch tone phone, when the rest of the world seemed to have dial phones. I used to win lots of stuff on the radio, so much so that my name got blacklisted.
I occasionally call disc jockeys to give them ideas or direction on a playlist, but I am never happy hearing myself on the radio.

Kardamom's avatar

I spoke to Cousin Brucie in the late 80’s about The Monkees, when they were doing their re-union tour. First I talked to the screener and they told me what CB was going to say to me, and then she said to just say what I wanted. It was fun.

@SuperMouse I too, used to listen to Tom Leykis, when he was a liberal news guy, but I got totally turned off when he became this mysogynist trash talker that was only interested in talking about getting men laid. Like they need him for that. I have no idea why he changed his format.

Jeruba's avatar

Only once, ages ago, to an NPR program in Boston. I was asked the general nature of my comment or question and was put through. I don’t remember anything else about it now.

I’ve occasionally sent comments in by e-mail, though, to a local (SF) NPR program and heard them read on the air. It was Michael Krasny’s excellent program Forum, which I used to hear live on my way to work.

Let’s hear from somebody who’s been on Car Talk!

 
P.S. I nearly forgot—I was a guest on a radio show once. A local college radio station invites NaNoWriMo winners to read excerpts from their stories on the air after a brief interview. I did that once just for the experience of it.

wundayatta's avatar

Nope. Not on Car Talk. Not on the Sunday Edition puzzle with Will Shorts. Never called into TOTN. Nor Diane Rehm. I haven’t been on You Bet Your Garden.

My local public radio station has a show hosted by Marty Moss-Coane. It runs for two hours every weekday, and is repeated again at the same time at night. It’s live in the morning. I remember calling in about a health care show many years ago. I remember that you never seem to get much time to say anything on her show. You’re only allowed to ask a question. Very rarely, she’ll ask you something about yourself.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Kardamom there was a time when Leykis was worth listening to, now he is a pathetic parody of Howard Stern and it makes me rather sad.

Kardamom's avatar

^^ So true. What do you think happened to him? Do you think he was just doing the liberal news stuff, because it was kind of edgy at the time (not because he actually believed it) or do you think that he was really a douchey dog the whole time? He seemed like he was for women’s rights in the beginning, but then he kind of tried to make women seem only like pieces of meat for men to use. It just didn’t make sense how he could change so much. I used to admire him, not anymore.

SuperMouse's avatar

He always seemed pretty passionate about what he was saying, it seemed odd when I tuned in and he was so gross and all about picking up women. He was so incredibly gross I tend to think he had to have been douchey all along and the thoughtful liberal thing was just an act. Then again I am pretty cynical.

Kardamom's avatar

^^ Either that, or he had a stroke or a mental breakdown, or they threatened to fire him if he didn’t act more like Howard Stern. I know he was making a sh*t pile of money, so maybe he’s just in it for the money and he doesn’t care at all, one way or the other. That makes me sad.

wildpotato's avatar

Just for a song on Philly’s XPN listener request segments. I asked for McCartney’s Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five and he gave me Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey. Hmph. I heard a friend of mine call in to the Philly classical station once, listed as the requester for a lovely piece by Tchaikovsky. Always wanted to call in to Car Talk but never had a problem worth it. I am hoping to get on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me one of these days.

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