Just a small news paper focusing on the sleepy little hamlet of Masontown PA.
Alexander finds niche with “netio”
By Daron Christopher
Prepare to add a new word to you mental dictionary – “netio.” As in “The NETIO Show,” and online radio show hosted by local radio veteran Bill Alexander.
As Alexander describes, the inspiration for the word came from listener named Randy in Mississippi back when the show was still called simply, “Online with Bill Alexander.” The show’s website, http://www.netioshow.com/ describes the term as “ a portmanteau word combining Internet and radio into an online stream (or download) of digital audio entertainment.”
“Podcasting”, as is the popular term, is “not that much different from traditional radio,” says Alexander, who hosted shows on WMBS and WASP before beginning a career teaching broadcasting classes at Albert Gallatin High School. “It’s the same concept - listeners call in and they largely determine which direction the show will take.”
He sees the benefits, however, as numerous in using this technology in comparison to standard radio.
“My first three shows, I was basically talking to myself. The listeners slowly grew, however until I was able to reach a much larger and much more diverse group than I’d ever been able to before,: he said noting that he gets regular calls from as far away as Canada, Ireland, and Australia. He has also seen a substantial increase in numbers of listeners, with an estimated 300 listeners to each show whether live or in archived form. According to Alexander, his show ranks with in the top ten such programs nationwide in terms of listeners.
Another benefit is that Alexander is able to broadcast from his home, something that invariably keeps his wife happy.
The nature of the medium has changed how Alexander conducts business on air. The tradition base for his WMBS show was a predominantly older audience. “There is still this perception that everyone over a certain age is afraid of the Internet and it is true that more people who listen in to this show are younger. I’ve found that this is a very easy process to get a handle on, however – even my father has been able to figure it out and he is not especially computer savvy.”
Listeners can listen to the show live by going to the website or can listen to archived copies of old shows, the majority of which focus on current events in politics, pop culture, and society.
“Do I think podcasting is going to take over radio? No, but I do believe that it will emerge as a viable alternative.”
Although Alexander uses his own collection of radio equipment for his broadcasts, anyone interested in hosting their own show can do so with as little as an internet connection and a telephone. He directs prospective radio personalities to check out http://www.talkshoe.com/ for more information about how to begin. Alexander’s show usually broadcasts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night at 10 p.m.