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Letter: Invest in Radio Personalities, Not AI Tools

"Just because you can do something that seems to increase your bottom-line revenue, doesn't mean you should"

In this letter to the editor, the author responds to Daniel Anstandig’s recent post “The Loss of Radio Personalities Isn’t AI’s Fault,” in which Anstandig advocates for the use of Futuri Media’s AI technology, RadioGPT. Comment on this or any article. Email us.


Anstandig wrote a very good, and, in some ways compelling, letter. What frosts me, though, is that the industry would perceive that it needs to leverage AI versions of its existing air talent in order to increase the amount of locally-relevant (pronounced “engaging and audience-retaining”) content. If the station owners weren’t so, uh, thrifty, and hadn’t perceived that they needed to move to voice-tracking methodology to save The Almighty Dollar, they would still have that relevant content — and would likely have retained a lot of the listeners they’ve lost to alternatives over the preceding decades.

It’s been said that advertising doesn’t cost; it pays. I’ve long argued — way before AI personalities came onto the collective radar — in favor of better-quality air personalities and for putting the FUN back into radio.

Note to owners and managers who focus on spreadsheets instead of programming: just because you can do something that, in Excel, seems to increase your bottom-line revenue, doesn’t mean you should. You “saved money,” but at what cost?

– Eric Smith, former air personality & production director

[Check Out More Letters at Radio World’s Reader’s Forum Section]