When college student Anthony Rodriguez told his parents that he was interested in pursuing a career as a professional sportscaster, they reacted like most parents would—they built a radio station.
No, not like WKRP or KISS FM, and there was no brick-and-mortar involved with the station’s “construction.” With today’s technology, the face of radio is very different. The station, named LightningRod Radio is in their northeast Longmont home and it’s quickly become a family affair. Not only does Anthony now have a successful show of his own called SportsTalk, but his dad Chris (no stranger to radio shows) has jumped on board and is now hosting two weekly shows: Friendly Fire and Longmont Politics. His mom, Brigette is also part of the team and works as LightningRod Radio’s producer and social media coordinator. The very “talkative” family recently shared some insight into their radio station and their shows.
1. What’s the history behind LightningRod Radio?
Chris had a locally-based internet radio show/podcast a few years ago called Longmont Advocate, which despite getting a lot of downloads, was a lot of work for one person, so he eventually shelved it. When our oldest son Anthony showed interest in becoming a professional sportscaster, Chris decided to buy some space on a service to allow him to broadcast his show SportsTalk. It got Chris thinking about reviving his own show and creating a few new ones. We now have others sharing in the workload, which eased Chris’ transition back into audio. The LightningRod Radio network title came naturally with our last name of Rodriguez and Chris’ reputation of being a “lightning rod” in our community of Longmont. In fact, the network has drawn so much attention that shows on it have been downloaded one thousand times in just the last month.
2. It’s great that this is a family affair. What’s everyone’s role?
Our oldest son’s SportsTalk show took off fairly quickly and now he (along with his friend Josh as a regular co-host) hosts his show twice weekly. Brigette is enjoying being our “Studio B” producer and social media coordinator. Our younger son Nick, who is finishing out his sophomore year of high school, has helped a bit with on-air producing and may possibly add his own show in the future. Chris is also an Air Traffic Controller here in Longmont and he brought on board his co-worker Stephen for the show called Friendly Fire. Stephen is the spitting image of a younger Chris, but with a totally different perspective and their show concept was motivated by co-workers who enjoyed listening to their “sibling-like squabbles” at work and thought they should take it to the airwaves. The online chat room for their show is equally entertaining. Chris also took his years of blogging about local politics and turned it into his show called Longmont Politics.
3. What are the benefits of using online radio?
Internet or online radio opens up all kinds of possibilities and multiple platforms, it’s not just limited to a PC. While we produce our shows from our home studio, the service we chose is carried on multiple devices, from iPods to iPads to iPhones to Android to Roku and Internet Radio streaming devices. Anywhere there’s WiFi or 3G service, there’s internet radio.
4. What do you want the community to know about LightningRod Radio?
That we exist and to give us a try. Competition for content providers is stiff and we know there are a lot of choices out there. We are a small family-run business and are active in supporting our local community. We also play local independent bands and artists over our stream. We have other hosts who want to join our network on subjects as diverse as camping, cooking, astrology, movie reviews, video gaming, and subject to governmental approval...possibly a show based on the air traffic controller profession.
5. How and when should people tune in?
Currently most of our shows are broadcast live with call-ins and live chat Thursday through Sunday nights. Re-broadcasts of our shows are in the form of podcasts that are available on our website, iTunes, SHOUTcast, Stitcher, the Blackberry and Zune directories or any podcatcher. We also have a Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/lightningrodradio and are on Twitter at: www.Twitter.com/LightRodRadio
6. Anything else you want to share?
We appreciate you interviewing us for Examiner.com. We feel like we’ve come full circle! Examiner.com was instrumental in furthering the reach of Chris’ original podcast back in 2008 as Chris began airing it the same week he joined Examiner.com. Brigette also gained her social media experience by picking up the column a few months later, which continued to bring our online blogs/websites more recognition. This is also why our current foray into online radio was an easy transition. We’ve always thought Examiner was ahead of everyone else with their online news concept fed by local insiders. Internet radio expands that reach even further. And similar to our years of freelance writing and blogging...as long as this is more fun than work, that attitude will come across in our content and make listening and interacting with our shows more enjoyable for listeners.