KFC Radio Turns 5 Years Old
2012 was the year. Super Producer BC had been pushing me for months to start a podcast, hounding me saying I needed to keep changing and adapting because just churning out 10 written blogs a day wasn’t gonna pay the bills forever. At that point I had probably been full time at Barstool and totally done with accounting for like 9 months so there was really no more excuse about not having enough time. Podcasts were nothing new – they actually seemed old to me at the time. They were invented a while back and it seemed like they hadn’t caught on, but B Clance just kept explaining they weren’t new, but they were about to be popularized and turn more mainstream. This was back when he wasn’t really involved in anything yet. Just a consumer looking out for me trying to make sure I stayed ahead of the curve and didn’t get complacent.
So anyway the table was set but the last hurdle to overcome was that I didn’t think I was good enough. At this point I didn’t really have a cohost or partner around, available, or interested. Didnt have the technological capability to take calls, didn’t have the talent capability to carry any sort of show by myself. And that’s when BC introduced me to the Google Voice phone number/hotline which sealed the deal. I knew as soon as he explained how that worked that it was going to be the way I launched the show. It was exactly what I needed to be able to fill airtime and give it the same feel as all the shows I liked and listened to. The first episode was probably like 10 mins long. It featured an impression of Patty Portnoy, and a “would you rather” question about having to live the rest of your life wearing 1 roller blade or walking behind a slow, angry dwarf forever, amongst a few more hypothetical scenarios and questions. And from then on, the tone was set for that show. I didn’t give callers any direction or instruction. I let them go whatever direction they wanted, and that’s where they took it.
Fast forward 5 years. In that time span, we figured out how to “solve” the long distance issue with google hangouts and skype. We added Feits like 20 episodes in. Added Dan when he joined the Stool. Added a second podcast that wasn’t a call in show, Mailtime. I added daily micro podcast solo for a couple years, Daily Mail. We took it live to NYC comedy clubs and Boston theaters. We lost members, added members, and changed venues. I recorded in 4 different apartments, 2 different studios, including my parents house and a baby’s nursery.
But through it all, despite all that, we’re still pretty much the same show. I think what’s cool about the show now in 2017 is that if you’ve been riding since the beginning, you see elements of everything we’ve gone through in today’s show. It’s kind of an amalgam of everything that’s gone down. Some worked, some didn’t, and you can hear elements of all that in today’s show. As my life and Feits’ life changes in the future, the show changes as well. But everything that happened prior makes the show what it is. Dan was a big part of establishing what the show was when he was here. When he left for PMT, we took a chance on Asa and created a whole new show to relaunch things after losing a key member. She came in super hot and invigorated the show and downloads at a time when we really needed it. We learned a lot about the business side of things, particularly trying to sell a podcast when one of the cohosts is a pornstar. Push back on that was way more than what we anticipated and we anticipated a LOT. We learned a lot about the chemistry between male and female voices and mixing new styles with old styles. And now like 9 months in we’ve settled in to the show belonging to me and Feits in front of the mics with BC and his guys behind the boards. Like I said, a lot of change but also simultaneously remaining tremendously consistent talking about sex, relationships, entertainment, friends, family, work, sports, social trends, pop culture, whatever.
I think that’s what I like the most 5 years in. Seeing how all the pieces of the puzzle fit. I’m obviously a huge radio guy. As a fan prior to Barstool and as a quote unquote professional once joining up here. I’ve put all my eggs in that basket and so I think more than anyone else here I take notice of everything that goes into creating a show, not just the end product. I’m most fascinated by what it takes to try to keep the water churning and the wheels spinning and continue moving forward. Like everything else in my life as the Most Mediocre Man In The World, it’s not like I had the talent to just snap my fingers and put out a bangarang product that just succeeded right off the bat Day 1 as a show like Pardon My Take did. It’s been a 5 yr uphill grind. From the very beginning when Dave didn’t think it was a viable product. It’s been managing egos and cohosts and advertising. Juggling sales with content with listeners. Trying to give the people what they want but sticking to your gut on what you know works. Attracting a new, young audience while also being authentic as I age and keeping the old audience happy. Being humble enough to listen to feedback but confident enough to keep doing what you built. The delicate balance between letting your product and listeners speak for itself while making sure you’re assertive enough to let people know you’re making it happen.
Which is what I’ll leave you with as we kick off another 5 years. That delicate balance. It’s the one thing I don’t think we do well at KFC Radio. I think it’s because we’re generally some apathetic dudes in this operation. I don’t think Feits or myself are ever gonna be the type of guys to thump our chest over any of our content and I think we suffer for it. The KFC Radio PR department could use a ton of work. We’re not in the press often. The company won’t speak about us much. Probably a product of subject matter, probably a product of being around from the old guard. But whatever the reason, the general public doesn’t know what level we’re operating on. We ain’t on the Pardon My Take level, nobody is. But it’s the 2nd largest show at Barstool by a wide margin, no shade to any of the other awesome shows on the network. If you loved Big Cat and don’t like it without him, fine. If you don’t like me and Feits, also fine. I don’t think me and Feits even like me and Feits. But when I see some of the diehard Stoolies lurking in their dark corners of Reddit and Twitter acting like the show is failing for some reason, that’s what bugs me. Downloads are up, rates are up, opportunities are up, and it’s a big portion of Barstool’s business. Again you ain’t gotta like it. If you feel the need to choose between a show with me and Feits and a show like PMT and Dan, god bless ya for whatever you choose. But don’t twist that into diminishing what KFC Radio has done. We’ve been snaking it for far too long to have you disregard where it’s come from and where it ended up.