ClearChannel's hyper-DJ

ClearChannel — the media conglomerate that owns a sizable fraction of the music radio stations, advertising, venues, and concert promotion outfits in America — has turned DJ Carson Daly into a super DJ by recording his voice in mix-n-match snippets that are pieced together to serve the top-10 request countdowns in markets across the country. Ah, the efficiencies of scale — so good for local communities. And it's about to get better, as the FCC decreases regulation so that ClearChannel can buy even more stations.

"Most Requested" has been on the air for nearly two years, but only recently have people not directly involved in the program become aware of the extent to which technology is allowing Mr. Daly to cozy up to local listeners. Radio experts say the program involves perhaps the most extensive use yet of digital audio processing to offer localized shows from a central location. And members of a major broadcasting union are investigating to determine whether the techniques violate local labor agreements.

Clear Channel executives and Mr. Daly declined to discuss the program and the technology. But according to former Clear Channel employees, Mr. Daly spends several hours a week in a studio in his Manhattan apartment, reading scripts with short song introductions and longer segments of D. J. patter. His audio feed is transmitted to Los Angeles, where the show's engineers turn the segments into digital files and drop them into a database.



(Thanks, David!) (and others!)