(by Ed Ryan) Jack Hammer and Andre Kane love creating great content on the radio. They love entertaining, and they love putting in the hard work, day after day, doing whatever it takes to make it in this business. Hammer and Kane host a syndicated morning show called The Electric Radio Show.
You may not have heard of the Electric Radio Show until reading this. It’s not syndicated by Premiere or Westwood or Compass or any of the other syndication companies in radio. They launched the show into syndication themselves and they’re making the calls every day to try to convince managers and PDs all across the country to give them a shot. We’d like you to know their story.
It all started at one FM station in Pennsylvania. After years of doing mornings together, working for others, they had a dream of syndicating their own program. So, they took the risk, not knowing anything about how to syndicate a show. And so far so good, they are up to 40 stations already. Hammer says they’ve been very fortunate the industry has taken them as seriously as it has. “I’m sure the quality of our product had a lot to do with it, but we still feel very fortunate, there is a lot of talent out there.”
What gave the guys their first push was getting the show on the Internet. The 365 Radio Network had a massive audience, according to Kane, and they made a pitch to them. “They put us across all of the stations they have. It was great for us because we were kind of able to get the feel for syndication before we went to FMs. We got them simply by sending them our show and asking if they’d like to air it. They’ve been amazing to us since and we are still on with them today. Don’t ever underestimate the power of some of these big Internet radio stations; some of them have triple the listenership of FMs.”
We spoke to Hammer and Kane at length about their careers and why they decided to take a step many in this industry will never take. Here’s what they had to say…
Radio Ink: Tell us about your radio careers?
JH: I started in late 1989/1990 as a board op on an AM Oldies station in upstate New York. I never had any thoughts of working in radio or having a show. I was a mechanic and prior military serviceman at the time. But, it seemed like a fun job. I applied myself, and within a few years I was assistant to the Chief Engineer, Assistant Production Director, AM radio host, FM radio host, and Assistant Promotions Director. Yup, I wanted to learn it all. Now, this might seem a little unfocused, but trust me, it all paid off. Fast forward to 1996 and I’m doing Afternoon Drive and also the Production Director for a heritage FM, also in upstate New York. I was cutting my teeth and applying what I’ve learned. After working there for three years, I moved to a station cluster that housed the original two stations I worked for. Over the course of the next 13 years, I honed my skills even more, met Andre Kane, became a regular on morning radio, and conceptualized a morning show that I knew could work if provided the right tools. Thus the birth of the Electric Morning Show, which would eventually become the Electric Radio Show today. That is the very short version of a very long story! But, you get the idea…work hard and anything is possible!
Kane: I started radio in 1997 with K-104 WSPK’s morning show, which is a 50,000-watt station located about 50 minutes from New York City. It’s owned by Pamal Broadcasting. That’s where I met Jack Hammer and really learned radio from some of the best in the biz. Jack and myself moved over to do mornings for another Pamal station and we were there until 2010. In 2014, we got the band back together and decided to take over (laughs). I really was very lucky in my career, I got to work alongside, and become friends with, some super talents; to name a few: Scotty Mac PD of WSPK, Skywalker APD at WSPK and Amp Radio in New York City, Donny Michaels who now is in Atlanta at Star 94.1, Terry Donovan who’s now at WPLJ in New York City, and John Foxx who is now the PD at WPLJ in New York City. Among many others, these guys have been a big inspiration to me and our success, and I’m lucky to have worked with them.
Radio Ink: When and why did you launch this show?
Kane: We launched the Electric Radio Show in 2014 from a small FM in Pennsylvania, with the idea of syndicating. Prior to that, we were doing mornings for many years in New York. Syndication has been the plan since the beginning. We have been picking up stations around the country since 2014. This show has really grown into a powerhouse in only two years and it isn’t stopping anytime soon. The show is really larger than life and it sounds amazing. You know it’s good when some of the biggest names in the industry reach out to you and say “Hey my name is ___, it’s nice to meet you. By the way, love the show and what you’re doing.”
Radio Ink: Tell us about the show.
Kane: As we said, we were previously a morning FM show in New York. So we haven’t changed the show around too much, we are an entertainment show, we touch on news topics and pop culture, along with Hollywood gossip; but we love to laugh, so we keep things fun and very funny. We have always felt it’s important to share laughter with the world, so that’s what we do. The show is four hours, and it’s content rich. We do listener e-mails, celebrity interviews, and we even feature upcoming artists on the ERS Underground Spotlight. We also have our own news guy named Tom. You really gotta listen — it will make you laugh all day long. By the way, you can sign up for the Underground Spotlight on our website, theelectricradioshow.com. Shameless plug (laughs).
Radio Ink: How is it going getting affiliates?
Kane: It has gone pretty smoothly for the most part, it’s never really easy though, but our product and brand is super solid and we believe in it 150 percent. And the show really sells itself. We know how to hold listeners over and get ratings, so the stations love us. We have a way of getting people talking also. When you bring us to your market on your station, we’re gonna get everyone talking about it. We just picked up Cincinnati and Kentucky and that brought us to over 40 stations. Our cume is tremendous and it’s growing by the week. We have a great solid relationship with all of our affiliates and really love working with each and every single one of them. We’re looking forward to growing and adding more stations to our family. You can check us out at www.theelectricradioshow.com. We fit great on Classic Rockers,Classic Hits, and Hot Country Stations. But we will fit any format.
Radio Ink: Why should radio stations consider picking up the show?
JH: I think that a lot of the radio that we hear today is what many would call “safe.” Some is just “Rip and Read” or just phoned in. There really is no benefit to that style. Our show is creative, structured, well planned, and thought out to provide the listeners with equal parts of everything — comedy, serious, informative, listener involvement, and of course…the music! If stations are looking for a show that’s fresh, bold, and original, then the Electric Radio Show is definitely for you!
Reach out to Andre Kane by e-mail at [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
Do you have a great radio story you want us to tell the industry? Contact Ed Ryan at 239-247-3833 or [email protected]