Sirius' Indie Talk debuted today with the inaugural show of political maverick Ron Silver. With politics in the air, I tuned into the show to see what it was about, and to take a good listen for a review of the show.
In all honesty, the first show ranked as okay in my book. Silver is a very even keeled and somewhat soft spoken host that will take time for some listeners to adapt to. If you are used to compelling voices that have inflection and emotion in them you will be somewhat taken aback at the conversational tone of the host.
I found that the show had the typical glitches that a new team working together would have. This was expected, and all in all, the show gelled more as it progressed. Silvers interaction with callers was fine, but getting the callers on the line was not as smooth as one would expect. The coordination of breaks was a bit off, but again, this is only the first show.
I found Silvers show topical, and that it covered all of the bases from a perspective that was not leaning to the right or the left all of the time. Silver seems to himself lean more left, but that is perfectly acceptable. Everyone has political leanings one way or the other.
Interestingly, the thing that stuck out most in my mind was the contrast between the show lead in musical bumpers and the show. The bumpers had a dynamic voice-over backed by fast paced music. The bumpers just did not seem right for the tenor and style of the show. Simply stated, the bumper did not seem to match Silver. This could change as the show continues, and I will definitely tune into this channel some more.
The Ron Silver show features regular segments called "Blogcasts" where interesting posts from various blogs are revealed to listeners with a small excerpt of blog stories on the net. The concept is cool, but I would like to see a couple of changes. First, when citing the blog, the announcer states the "www" prior to giving the website. In my mind the "www" can be assumed. I think hearing the announcer say, "you can read more at huffingtonpost.com" is far better than saying, "you can read more at www.huffingtonpost.com. Second, Sirius should take the Indie Talk concept a step further and develop a web page that gives links the blogcast articles cited on the show. People in cars can not get to the web during the segment, and they already will have to go to a computer to read the article. Having these links on a web page would allow the announcer to skip the spelling of each website.
In closing, I think the show was good, and when some glitches get ironed out will only improve. I like the idea of getting talk radio from a differing perspective without being subjected to talk radio that is all the way across the political aisle from my own views. I would love to see Sirius fill in this channel with additional hosts and shows, and feel that Vinnie Politan, formerly of Court TV Radio could fill one of those slots nicely. While his talk is less political, his brand of radio would be great for the 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM drive-time slot when people tend to want news, and topical information to start their day. Jumping straight into political talk on the morning commute is not everyone's cup of tea.
Position - Long Sirius