New ebook serves as Talk Radio 101

September 5, 2011

Two San Luis Obispo radio talk show hosts have co-authored a new ebook about radio and what it takes to be an effective guest.

Deborah Bayles and Dave Congalton, both of whom host shows locally for KVEC 920 AM, wrote “The Talk Radio Guest Book: How to be the Perfect Radio Guest” to help people who want to be interviewed on the radio understand the process.

“Talk radio is more popular than ever,” said Bayles, who hosts a weekend show focusing on senior issues. “It’s certainly a great way to get your message out. We try to help you figure out the best way to be invited on a show and how to be a good guest—so good that you’ll be invited back.”

The new ebook, available only by download for $2.99, provides an overview of current talk radio demographics, but focuses on helping potential guests learn the talk show game, including such tidbits as which days of week are likely to have more listeners.

Bayles and Congalton also discuss the protocol for contacting potential radio shows—big market and small market alike—and provide basic tips for being interviewed. There is also a chapter comparing the pros and cons of hiring a publicist.

“This is not rocket science,” said Congalton, who also serves as Contributing Editor for CalCoastNews. “We’re targeting authors, people who work with nonprofits, business folks wanting to raise their profile, or people who might enjoy being pundits on the issues of the day. The information is basic, but it can also determine whether or not you get booked.”

Example, please? Congalton, who marks his 20th anniversary at KVEC next January doesn’t hesitate. “I wish I had a dollar for every email that starts off by saying “My mother/friend/neighbor thinks I would be a great guest on your show.’ That tells me the person has never listened. That email is going to be deleted. Do your homework. Never contact any radio show without listening to it first.”

This is the first ebook for the authors, who have each been published multiple times. “It is a little strange to not go the traditional publishing route,” said Bayles. “But this is the future. There are thousands of ebooks being published each year and many of them are selling quite well.”

Bayles will be teaching a special seminar on writing and publishing ebooks at Cuesta College on Friday, Sept. 16, as part of the Central Coast Writers’ Conference.

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Your book makes a nice contribution to the field and I am sure that it will be successful and read.

Talk radio is radio that is surviving a difficult period for most media because it has ‘currency’: by discussing the most current issues from a variety of perspectives people have a chance to learn or test their values. Secondly, it is surviving because people view it relevant. And lastly, for those who want to participate, it is interactive… which by the way, is the secret of the internet.

Dave may not agree with everything even his friends have to say, but he provides a valuable forum for worthwhile discussions. In fact, even I have had my chance in the ‘visitor’s chair’ to discuss controversial topics like old books and recipes… but also mundane political issues. Opportunities to have a voice are not available in other medium, KSBY and the Tribune have a ‘filter’ that doesn’t isn’t all that hard to read through… so I avoid much of it.

Thank you , Dave and good luck!


I always find it distasteful that Mr. Congalton seems to get so personally insulted, and usually throws insults, when he learns that someone who asks a favor of him has not listened to his radio show. He has made this point on his radio show many times, even publicly chastising these “offenders” of his sense of self worth and importance.

Instead Mr. Congalton coud take a more gracious, more positive “cup half full” attitude and take solace in the knowledge that should he be more gracious and diplomatic in his response, he is likely to GAIN a new listener in a positive way, rather than lowering down and resorting to guilt-tripping and shaming people.

I mean seriously, listening to A.M. radio is no longer a very common pastime. There are a fair number of radio sold that don’t even include an A.M. band.

Ålso, Mr. Congalton might want to appreciate that many people instinctively turn away from any radio station that continually, without remorse, broadcast the hate-filled, violence-promoting, bigotry-promoting tirades of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and other assorted propagandists.

True, there are some worthwhile, positive programs on KVEC. But with turds like Limbaugh in the punch bowl, a lot of people aren’t going to dipping their cups in deep to find the good stuff. Sorry Dave, but you can’t help but be colored by the company you keep.

While I am on the “other side of the fence” than Dave on most issues, I do not recall him being personally insulted because someone didn’t listen… any examples?

I think Dave is a dye-in-the-wool liberal, and that is fine (he often tries to hide in “moderateville” but that’s not genuine). What I like about him and his show is, because even though I know where he’s coming from, he still gives equal air-time to all.

I find it hard to believe that he gets upset if someone hasn’t heard of him. I would say there is more there (if you have an actual example in mind).

Either way, you are entitled to your opinions, no matter how off topic and spiteful they are. I detect a pattern. I also get the irony of your name.

Wiseguy – Why don’t you go on Dave’s show and discuss the issues you have with Dave and his show. I am more than certain he would love to have you come on as a guest to air your concerns. How about it?

WiseGuy: Although you and I probably see eye to eye on most issues, I have to agree with Dave on this one; if you are wanting to go on Dave’s show but you don’t know the first thing about him, take the time to find out something, duh. I don’t see this as an “ego” thing on Dave’s part, more of an educational issue on the part of the potential guest. To me it would seem that anyone who can’t be bothered learning about the show they are going to be on, or the host of that show has a little too much of ideal of self importance, you know, that they are “too busy” to bother with putting out any effort to do their homework.

On an unrelated note, I heard Bill Benica today (9/06/11) mention the book, written by “a colleague of his”, Dave Congalton. Bill then said that his only concern about his guests were that they show up on time, and that they bring a six-pack. Perhaps Bill should ask Dave for advice on how to run a show, you know, one that actually has some show prep other than making sure that you have a copy of the Tribune on you desk when you start your show.

I read the Tribune at home and bring it in with me. I also read the LA Times, NY Times, Chicago

Trib, and Christian Science Monitor on the internet, and often interject comments from these

sources. I have been doing jokes at the Tribune’s expense for 35 years as well as interviewing

local folk and others. Thanks for listening

No sample chapter? I guess since it is priced at only $2.99 (for now?) I can give it a shot.

Nifty little 38-page PDF (310KB) for three bucks… Got through chapter one and so far so good!

Congratulations to Deborah and Dave.