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Bluefreedom's avatar

Why do radio DJ's insist on talking over the top of the start of songs?

Asked by Bluefreedom (22944points) March 5th, 2011

I was driving home from work last night and my iPod quit working so I thought I’d listen to the radio for the first time in months. The DJ talked over the top of the start of 4 or 5 different songs that I listened to, probably 15 to 30 seconds into each one. Maybe it’s just me but I find this really annoying and unecessary. Anyone know why this is a common practice or if there is any legitimate reason for a DJ to habitually do this?

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18 Answers

markferg's avatar

The start of a lot of ‘pop’ records are quite slow compared to the main body of the work. I think this means DJs think that they have additional time to talk crap over the start of the song.

I never really thought about this until I wanted to turn some of my favourite song hooks into ringtones and them I realised that the start of a lot of songs are really dull!

OpryLeigh's avatar

There is one Radio DJ in particular that does this with every song right at the beginning and then, to make it worse, he will sing along with the last few lyrics as well. I hate listening to his show because of it. Steve Wright BBC Radio 2 – bugs the hell out of me.

Zyx's avatar

Because they have nothing better to do.

BarnacleBill's avatar

They don’t do that on public radio stations.

Scooby's avatar

I think years ago it was done to discourage people taping songs from the radio, as I used to do quite often as a teenager, when the top forty was played on a weekend, all them years ago :-/
Anyway, I think it’s just what they think they should do now just so you know they are there, it’s just formed into a bad habit they have, besides it’s their soap box! :-/
I don’t bother with radio now, too many advertisements same as TV, waste of time…..

ucme's avatar

Verbal diah….....diaor…....oh you know what I mean. The shit they pull ;¬}

12Oaks's avatar

It’s their job, that’s what they’re supposed to do. When they stop talking that half a second before the lyrics start is called “Hitting the post.” We have a radio station here called Jack FM. They play pretty much any type of rock song that spans from maybe the mid-60s to today. It’ll play Back In Black, Hey There, Delilah, Summer Nights, Something by CCR, some 80s new wave thing all in a row. Best part, this station has no DJs, so each song is played from start to finish with nobody talking over them. You could listen live at if you like.

filmfann's avatar

Program Managers, who are the ones responsable for what you hear on their radio stations, often push for what is refered to as a “tight board”. That means quick cuts between songs and commercials, or other songs, absolutely no dead air, and always talking up the intros.
For years I have been listening to KFOG in San Francisco, and they have NOT done this, for the most part. Now that I spend a lot of time up north, I end up listening to an oldies station there that does, along with cutting off the end of a lot of songs. It is infuriating.

Scooby's avatar

Oh & while on the subject of radio DJ’s,,,, BBC’s Chris Moyels, his show would be a lot more entertaining if he wasn’t apart of it :-/
Just saying……. What a waster IMO.

reijinni's avatar

@12Oaks, You’re lucky. I listened to their station when Vegas got rid of theirs to simulcast an AM talk station.

john65pennington's avatar

Being a DJ for several years, back in the early 60s, I have an answer to your question.

Its called continuity. In other words, commercials radio stations should never have “dead spots” in their broadcasting. Five seconds of dead air is like ten minutes of waiting to the listener.

I understand that you are recording the songs off the air. A lot of people do this. It saves them money.

About the only commercial radio stations that do not do this are FM stations that still play elevator music as their format.

I don’t think you would be interested in this.

Its all about “dead air”

TexasDude's avatar

I had no clue until reading this thread, but I had always wondered.

It’s pissed me off, before though, because my mp3 copies of “Intervention” by he Arcade Fire, and “When You Were Young” by the Killers both have pretty significant chunks of dj banter in them. The Killers song is worse, because it was played on Krock radio and the beginning of the song says KROCK in the background several times, the closing has a background chant of “ROCK k k k ROCK k k k ROCK k k k” and there is one final growl of “K…. ROCKKKKKKKKK” as the song ends. It’s really fucking stupid, honestly. and that’s before the DJ starts going on about KROCK and so on while the music still fades.

“Intervention” basically has a dj talking about how you don’t have a soul if you don’t like this song and how he feels bad for you for about 25 seconds of the closing music.

blueiiznh's avatar

bad form. Some stations do it to fit more advertisements in for revenue.
Some DJ’s like to hear themselves talk. (most of them). I really dislike that practice as I listen for the music and not them.

flo's avatar

I think it is to maximize the number of people who would buy the song.

Kraigmo's avatar

The radio management actually thinks you LIKE that shit. They think you WANT it. They think you love it! And no one will ever convince them otherwise, unless they are a Jack clone or an NPR type of station.

That’s why the deejays get baritone as they can, while talking in a sing-song salesman cadence, overlapping the beginnings and ends of songs. Ever since this style was developed in the 1950s, they have not been able to let go. They also think you love contests and that you will listen more, if a contest is occurring. They also think you pay attention to the commercials, and they think that if they play the commercials louder, that it will have more of an “impact”.

So as you can see, terrestrial radio in America, is run by a cartel of idiots.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I hate it and as such never ever do that on my radio show :P

El_Cadejo's avatar

actually I dont ever really talk on my show at all either. When I turn on the radio I want to hear music, not some random asshole babbling about whatever :P

Bluefreedom's avatar

Thanks for the great responses everyone! I know more about radio now than I ever did before.

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