THE MOBY SHOW AND VOICE TRACKING

The reality in the radio industry is the same as many other industries: everybody is being forced to do more with less. To fight ever-rising costs and to remain profitable, stations started utilizing pre-recorded shows throughout their programming schedule. Sometimes done well, sometimes not.

Pre-recorded shows have gotten a bad rap over the years, mainly because they were poorly executed. Broadcaster embraced voice-tracking as a way to save money without considering the impact on their listeners. Moby sees it differently. Done right, voice-tracked shows can sound better than most live shows. It takes less time in front of the mic, allowing more attention to preparation. And nobody preps better than Moby.

For more than 40 years he rose every morning at 3:30 to get ready for a show that started at 5 a.m. He used that time to read the local, state and national news and to get the latest information about Nashville's biggest stars. Now, thanks to the ever-improving technology of voice-tracking, he has more time to prep -- to plan, write and produce -- and his shows are tighter and more focused than ever. With input from this station owners and management, he can fine tune his shows to fit the music and other elements surrounding the track. Knowing how breaks will end allows him to craft effective teases and promos.

When Moby signs a new client, the first step in his process is to  build and maintain open lines of communication with the stations PD. By building that personal connection, and studying the markets he serves, Moby is able to capture the vibe and attitude of the station and its listeners. With instant messaging, Moby is able to stay in touch with his stations and pivot quickly to keep his shows fresh.

Can voice-tracking really boost ratings in your market? Consider the case of Kasey Kasem and the iconic show American Top 40. This weekly look at the top hits began, fittingly, on Independence Day weekend in 1970, on seven radio stations. When Kasey left the program in 1988 it was heard on more than 1,000 stations and was considered one of the most influential radio shows in history. Casey could not have delivered that show live, he voice-tracked it.

Listening to Casey Kasem’s work today on Sirius XM, it becomes clear how talented he was and how truly great he was at counting ’em down. Every break perfect, every phrase precision. Kasem's insistence on perfection, which was only possible through voice-tracking, placed earned the host close to $10 million a year plus, plus. And it's still on the air today ... hosted by Ryan Seacrest ... and voice-tracked.

Here are some of the features that made Moby in the Morning a top-rated show for so many years:

  • Pledge of Allegiance -- Moby has children from all over the country saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Daily Hymn
  • The Wake-up song
  • Moby's Soap Box -- Moby gets on his soapbox and sounds off about whatever subject is dear to his heart and the hearts of his listeners. Don't miss this segment.
  • Occasional conversations with Sherriff Milton Crabapple: The Sherriff of Crabapple, Ga., (who refuses to say "Yeah baby"), keeping the peace with his double barrel shotgun and his deputy Dude (Milton's cousin).  There's Milton's Mule, Midnight, and of course, Maw Crabapple, who's not a Moby fan, by the way.
  • And don't forget, every Friday morning, the weekly airing of The Scotsman Song ... a Moby in the Morning tradition.