The Death of Chucklehead DJs and Bad Talk Radio Hosts.

By Brad Beckstrom

chucklehead talk radio

Here’s why you should dump satellite radio and chucklehead talk radio shows and start streaming podcasts.


I remember when podcasting first got hot. It was around 2006 and people were discovering podcasts via iTunes, listening on their iPods. Podcasting had another growth spurt when the iPhone came out, soon to be followed by Android phones, and lots of options for listening to podcasts on all types of devices. But by 2011, listening to podcasts started to seem dated and there was less buzz about new podcasts.

At the same time, there were lots of new options like streaming radio apps, tunein and iheartradio as well as video blogs.  People were busy looking at their phones instead of listening to them.  Podcasts didn’t go away, but they stopped growing.

The Resurgence

About a year ago, things started to change.  Apple vastly improved its podcast app for the iPhone in iOS6 and iOS7. New improved apps that helped users discover podcasts, launched including Stitcher and improved versions of Downcast.  Lots of people were getting their first smartphones and discovering these new apps. Easy-to-use Bluetooth adapters allowed commuters and others to stream podcasts in the car.  Users could curate their content by subscribing to several of their favorite podcasts. Audio and Video podcasts are now available everywhere including set-top boxes like Roku and Apple TV.

Golden Age for Podcasting

This is my prediction, I believe we’re entering a golden age for podcasting. The recent resurgence was helped along by comedians and many popular bloggers who recently launched their own podcasts.  Video podcasts will also continue to grow in popularity with many options including sports, travel and special topic podcasts like TED talks.

Replacing Satellite Radio

I  thought it was odd that all of the sports and finance shows I listened to on satellite radio included lots of ads even though I was paying $15.00 monthly for commercial free satellite radio.  They also wanted to charge me for every device I accessed them on.

Being The Frug, I replaced satellite radio with streaming radio (Pandora) and streaming podcasts via my iPhone.  I added a bluetooth adapter to my car radio and also listen to podcasts while I’m out walking the dog or on a hike. If you don’t have Bluetooth, a simple auxiliary cable from your phone to your Aux jack will do the trick with most car stereos.

The best thing about this content is that t it’s free and has a significantly fewer commercial messages than news / talk / sports shows on satellite radio, AM and FM.

Replacing Chucklehead DJs and bad talk radio hosts

Speaking of interruption free content, many podcasts are vastly superior to today’s AM/FM talk radio options of DJs, opinionated hosts, and their equally annoying call-in listeners.  Many podcasts are commercial free or have a single sponsor with minimal interruptions.  The biggest advantage I’ve found is it you can pause them anytime and pick them up later.  There are currently over 20,000 podcasts covering every genre from alien life to zoology.

How to automatically queue your podcast content so you always have something to listen to:

  • If your smartphone doesn’t have a podcasting app built-in, you can download the free Stitcher or Downcast apps.  I use the iTunes podcast app that came with my iPhone.

  • Once you have the app, you can search for your favorite topics and see a vast selection of podcasts, including those from the traditional media outlets and networks.

  • Start by trying a few single episodes based on your interests and what’s highly ranked in the directories.

  • When you find a few that you like, you can set your app to alert you of new episodes and automatically download.

  • I turned off the auto download since I like to review the topic before I hit the download button. I still see a full list of recent shows in the app.

  • If you’re on a limited data plan, just hit download on your queued up list of podcasts before you head out of the house.

  • If you’d like to snoop around, or just listen online, you could go to iTunes on your computer or this podcast directory

Here are a few of my favorite podcasts.  

To start, I would just try out one or two before you subscribe, there’s plenty of content out there to try. Search these on any podcast app or iTunes.

  • The Unmistakable Creative with Srini Rao

  • The Tim Ferriss Show

  • TWIT This week in technology

  • This American Life

  • TED talks

  • The Nerdist

You’ll be amazed how much content you can listen to in 30 minutes when there are no call in listeners and very limited commercial interruptions. Enjoy.




  1. Do you prefer video podcasts or just audio?

    • I like both, but find myself mainly listening to audio podcasts on my iPhone.


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