“My Cool Inventions” Host Akos Jankura was passing through Washington and spent a few moments with Radio World to discuss his rather unique show.
Radio World: How did you get involved in radio?
Akos Jankura: I am an inventor that lost over $1 million to a marketing group that took advantage of my lack of experience in the invention field. I had an invention, made a deal with them and took a serious loss. I later realized that I was not an isolated case. I would say in my experience is that over half of the inventors I meet get taken advantage of.
Clear Channel’s WFLA(FM) in Tampa [later] offered me an hour on Saturday afternoons. We created “My Cool Inventions,” a safe island for inventors. We never charge the inventor for being on the show. They “Pitch it for a Minute” and the audience votes.
We are also TV people who work with HSN, QVC internationally. The hosts on the show have a combined 50 years’ experience in product development.
Radio World: How has the program evolved? Did you start out with over-the-air broadcast, then transition to satellite and streaming?
Jankura: We have grown from the first Tampa station to 82 cities. We also broadcast on TuneIn, iHeartRadio, iTunes and the Spreaker podcast platform.
Radio World: What are the unique challenges in radio, as opposed to TV or live events?
Jankura: TV is a platform where you are speaking to a“group. When I am on TV, I imagine millions of people all watching. On radio, I had to get used to treating the audience like I was a passenger in a car, in the passenger seat having a one-on-one conversation with the driver. It is a dramatic shift in style.
Radio World: Where do you produce the show?
Jankura: We produce our show at America’s Talk Radio Network facility in Saint Petersburg, Fla.
Radio World: Anything else Radio World readers would be interested to know?
Jankura: Radio is alive and well. The secret, we think, is the engagement.
“My Cool Invention” engages the listener by votes. When the inventor does the “Pitch it for a Minute,” the listener votes thumbs-up or thumbs-down (text, call-in or Web). They do it anonymously, and they love it. Interactive engagement is the key.