The 10 Websites Every Radio DJ Should Use for Show Prep

World Wide Web

Show prep starts here.

Back in the day, it wasn’t easy to keep up with current events for your radio show. You had to scour the paper, watch the evening news and the late-night talk shows, and subscribe to all the right magazines.

Today, keeping up with pop culture is much easier — if you’ve bookmarked the right websites. Sign up for our email list to see the ten websites that every disc jockey needs to check before the mic up.

  1. Hot Topics: Facebook  The easiest place to find out what everybody is talking about right now is to simply log into Facebook. Click on “Home” in the top bar, and scroll down to the section in the right sidebar labeled “Trending.” You’ll see the hottest topics of the moment. —  Also: Twitter (see the “Trending” section on the left side of your personal homepage).
  2. News: Yahoo! Yahoo’s homepage offers its own broad cross-section of news. Like Facebook, it has a “Trending” section. You can also select news from partiular categories using the bar at the top of the page. —  Also: CNN, USA Today, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Business Insider, Drudge Report, Slate.
  3. Entertainment News & Celebrity Gossip: The Huffington Post –Although the Huffington Post is known primarily as a liberal-leaning news oulet, its Entertainment and Celebrity sections are chock full of on-air fodder. —  Also: Entertainment Weekly, TMZ, Perez Hilton, People.
  4. Movies: Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes will tell you which movies are opening this weekend, which are coming out on DVD, and how much each has made at the box office. I will also connect you to all of the reviews of each movie, assembling them into an average score. —  Also: IMDB.com
  5. Music News: Rolling Stone Although the legendary magazine has become increasingly know for its hard-hitting journalism pieces, it’s still the first stop for music afficionados. —  Also: SPIN, Pitchfork, Stereogum.
  6. Sports: ESPN  Whether you want to talk about the Superbowl (without saying the trademarked name, of course) or the Triple Crown, there are plenty of sports sites to choose from. Find the one that you think offers the best coverage of the teams that matter most to your audience. —  Also: Yahoo! Sports, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, your local teams’ homepages.
  7. Background Information: Wikipedia – When you need to know basic information, like where somebody was born or who they are married to, nothing comes close to matching the power of Wikipedia. —  Also: Google.
  8. Local News: Your Local Newspaper – You always want to stay tuned in to your own market. Despite declining profits, local newspapers still set the daily agenda for all the other news outlets in the market, so keep an eye on their homepage. —  Also: Local TV stations, local blogs.
  9. Concerts: Pollstar – Want to know who’s coming to town? Or maybe you just want to know where in the world an artist is performing tonight. Pollstar allows you to quickly search their concert database by artist, city or venue.
  10. Politics: Politico – Generally speaking, it’s probably wise to steer clear of politics on the air. But every once in a while, politicians like Chris Christie or Anthony Weiner find themselves embroiled in scandals that are worthy of nonpartisan on-air ridicule. Politico does a great job of balancing inside-the-beltway gossip with wonky analysis. —  Also: Huffington Post, Drudge Report, Slate.

Did we miss any websites that you use for show prep? Tell us in the Comments section below.

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Good advice, Seth.

    Even if a radio pro doesn’t subscribe to our full service, for 20+ years InterPrep has been giving away free daily show prep. We’ll even email it to you. You can sign up for our “Quick Hits” email on the site: http://interprep.com

  2. Chris McIntyre says

    I will say Interprep is a good source. A friend of mine uses it and I use the Quick Hits daily email

  3. says

    Thanks for the comment, Chris. I think prep services are a double-edged sword. I have seen some jocks use them well; I have seen others rely on them too much and become lazy. Generally speaking, I prefer to see on-air talent create their own customized prep service using RSS feeds and an RSS reader like Feedly. This allows jocks to tailor their show prep to the local market, rather than relying solely on the national content found in prep services.

  4. Bradley Olson says

    Other useful websites for radio DJs looking for historical info on music:
    AllMusic – http://www.allmusic.com
    Goldmine Magazine (a record collectors magazine, but this has great information on what classic rock artists are up to now) – http://www.goldminemag.com
    MusicVF – http://www.musicvf.com
    Facebook groups that focus on music from the past such as Lost Pop Hits (M.I.A.)
    Steve Hoffman forums – http://forums.stevehoffman.tv
    Another movie info site is http://www.allmovie.com
    Current Country music info: http://www.cmt.com, http://www.gactv.com, http://www.roughstock.com, http://www.tasteofcountry.com, http://www.theboot.com

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