Celebrating Ten Years of FTL!
It all started on WYNF-FM in Sarasota, FL back in 2002. Clear Channel's Sarasota cluster
is where I cut my teeth in the business, primarily at rocker WYNF, a classic set of calls for the Tampa Bay area. In 2001, WYNF flipped to hot talk and was using content from Orlando's successful "Real Radio" WTKS-FM as well as the other "Real Radio", WZZR-FM in West Palm Beach. After a year of this, I approached management, Big Jim Davis and Ron White, and pitched the idea of a local show for the weekend. I said we'd be willing to do it for free - they gave us the green light and Free Talk Live was born, at first on Sunday nights. The response from the audience was so spectacular that it was within the first few weeks that we were asked to take over weeknights. Clear Channel ended up flipping the format of the station back to rock in 2003, but FTL continued online, then on another station in town, then another, until I approached the Genesis Communications Network and asked them if they were looking for new programs. We started in syndication as a weekend show and within a few weeks were offered weeknights. Since then we have continued doing our live Saturday show (our most popular) and added a live Sunday show as well. We've grown to over 110 AM/FM affiliates and are also heard all week on XM. FTL has won several Podcast Awards and we've been honored to be part of TALKERS Magazine's "New Media Seminar" over the past several years.
We've had the pleasure of working with many of the industry's best, brightest, and experienced including Skip Joeckel from Talk Shows USA, who had this to say about Free Talk Live:
"I've been working with Ian and Mark for a number of years and it's been an absolute pleasure. I'm impressed by how they've taken their show and have grown it by leaps and bounds. They work hard -- name one other show that airs live seven days a week! They take care of their affiliates and advertisers. They do what they say they will do, they're men of their word...no BS here.
Program Directors know that Free Talk Live can't be ignored and that it's a force to be reckoned with. It's a program who's time has come and is truly the next generation of issues-oriented talk."