As I was driving around today I came to the realisation: it would really suck to be a music radio disc jockey now.
Back in the 60’s and 70’s I imagine it was an amazing job. You were one of the go to people for musical taste and relevant cultural information. People listened to the radio because of the DJs not inspite of them.
Now we have DJs who sound more like salesman who are being told to pitch item x. When they talk about a movie they “saw” on the weekend, I can’t help but think they are reading a script. Once I called in to request a song and the DJ asked me if I was going to buy lottery tickets. Huh? How does that have anything to do with the Barenaked Ladies?
I don’t think we can blame the fall of the DJ on the internet though. There are still some talented jockies, Alan Cross comes to mind instantly, and George Stroumboulopoulos is good (expect ads and syndication have really ruined his show).
Nope, the reason that radio sucks in the 21st century is because most DJs don’t care about the music, or the their listeners. If you compare a college/university DJ to a mainstream one you can hear the difference. Yes, they don’t sound as professional, but they sound like they love what they are doing.
You could have a long argument about whether radio is worth saving (I do), but ultimately the only way it can succeed is if people that care are using their voices.