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A radio personality (American English) or radio presenter (British English) is a person who has an on-air position in radio broadcasting. A radio personality that hosts a radio show is also known as a radio host, and in India and Pakistan as a radio jockey. Radio personalities who introduced and played individual selections of recorded music were originally known as disc jockeys before the term evolved to describe a person who mixes a continuous flow of recorded music in real time. Broadcast radio personalities may include Talk radio hosts, AM/FM radio show hosts, and Satellite radio program hosts. Notable radio personalities include pop music radio hosts Martin Block, Alan Freed, Dick Clark, Wolfman Jack, and Casey Kasem, shock jock’s such as Howard Stern, as well as sports talk hosts such as Mike Francesa and political talk hosts such as Rush Limbaugh.
A radio personality can be someone who introduces and discusses genres of music; hosts a talk radio show that may take calls from listeners; interviews celebrities or guests; or gives news, weather, sports, or traffic information. The radio personality may broadcast live or use voice-tracking techniques.
Increasingly, radio personalities are expected to supplement their on-air work by posting information online, such as on a blog. This may be either to generate additional revenue or connect with listeners.
With the exception of small or rural radio stations, much of music radio broadcasting is now accomplished by broadcast automation, a computer-controlled playlist airing MP3 audio files which contain the entire program consisting of music, commercials, and a radio announcer’s pre-recorded comments.
In the past, the term “disc jockey” was exclusively used to describe on-air radio personalities who played recorded music and hosted radio shows that featured popular music. Unlike the modern club DJ who uses beatmatching to mix transitions between songs to create continuous play, radio DJs played individual songs or music tracks while voicing announcements, introductions, comments, jokes, and commercials in between each song or short series of songs.During the 1950s, 60s and 70s, radio DJs exerted considerable influence on popular music, especially during the Top 40 radio era, because of their ability to introduce new music to the radio audience and promote or control which songs would be given airplay.