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What Is a Radio Show?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated: May 23, 2024

A radio show is any type of program broadcast on the radio, or on the Internet in the case of Internet radio. Radio shows are broadcast in many different formats such as talk radio. Listeners phone in to the radio program to air their views. All radio shows have a host and the show is designed to interest the target listener of a certain demographic so that the advertising during the show will reach those listeners.

The show host is given a certain time slot to fill. The main draw to the radio listener is either the music played or the talk or news featured. Most shows are named after their host such as The Clark Howard Show. In that case, Howard, an Atlanta based consumer advocate, focuses his show on issues relevant to consumers such as how to save money, avoid scams and buy products and services wisely.

Radio shows that play music may have one or two hosts that offer little tidbits of information after a set of several songs. The hosts also mention the name of the recording artist and sometimes add news about the artist. Local news, traffic, school closures and weather updates may also be broadcast during a show to keep listeners up to date. The hosts also mention the time every so often, usually more frequently on weekday mornings when many people listen to the radio while getting ready for work or school.

Contests help to draw listeners to a radio show and are a good way to get them involved. Talk radio gets listeners involved in the topic and gives them a chance to interact with the host and guests by calling in to voice a comment or question. Some shows also include little plays or skits. The idea of the radio show as an entertainment venue goes back many decades and predates the invention of television. Today, Internet radio shows are becoming more common. Average people can podcast their own shows on independent, or indie, Internet radio.

WiseTour is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By nony — On May 12, 2011

Some time ago I received a survey in the mail that asked me if I would be willing to log my radio listening habits for two weeks and report the results. Everything was written down on a card, day by day, what I listened to, what station and when. They gave me a few bucks to participate.

The next thing I knew the big A.M. station in our area carried ads that said it was “Number 1” in our city. I’m glad to have been a part.

By hamje32 — On May 09, 2011

It’s probably an axiom, but I think that it’s safe to say that talk radio saved the A.M. dial. I remember before talk radio shows almost no one listened to A.M. radio. Now A.M. practically dominates the news cycle because of talk radio.

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