Media Matters

Dudley and Bob go digital with the SideShow, a subscription-based premium podcast

KLBJ-FM's Dudley and Bob go digital with the SideShow premium podcast

KLBJ's Dudley and Bob
The cast of the Dudley and Bob Morning Show. Photo by Virgil Solis

It’s 9:15 a.m., and the conversation has already included a story about a threesome, a reference to an old flame and a suggestion that one of the producers attempt an amateur pornographic film. That’s just another morning in the lives of those behind the Dudley and Bob Morning Show, the long-running drive-time tent pole of Austin’s 93.7 KLBJ-FM.  

Beginning in April 2013, the show (helmed by hosts Dale Dudley and Bob Fonseca, joined by Matt Bearden and producers Daniel Gallo and Carissa McAtee) took a step toward the future, trimming the four-hour program to three, offering the fourth as a premium podcast geared towards die-hard fans.  

Called the SideShow, the fourth hour offers listeners an uncensored and no-holds-barred glimpse into the minds of the men (and woman) behind the mics. And the guys hope that through exposing their seedy underbelly, they’ll be able to build an even greater audience.

 "It seems that through the SideShow we have given hardcore fans and listeners with more than just a passing interest a way to have a more intimate relationship with us," says Bob Fonseca, co-host. 

“It seems that through the SideShow we have given hardcore fans and listeners with more than just a passing interest a way to have a more intimate relationship with us. Now they can carry us with them during their workday and evening commute. We are on the job site. Couples listen together on the way out to eat. We are in their earholes when they want it. It is a more personal thing,” says Fonseca.

Because the podcast is for paid subscribers, the rules of radio don’t necessarily apply, making all content essentially “on the table.” But don’t come looking just for illicit pictures and sex talk.

“I think it's more relaxed, we were mostly filthy and we still are, but less and less. It's more the way a conversation happens at dinner or a bar with really close friends who have known each other a long time. We don't have to worry about hard breaks or the FCC,” Dudley says.

Fans have reacted in a big way. Most jumped on the bandwagon immediately, opting not only to subscribe to the podcast, but to pre-pay for a year right off the bat. “Fan reaction has been great, we've changed some people's minds about the way they look at politics and the world,” Dudley says. And those not initially on board? Well they’ve come around, too.

“Many of the doubters who signed up say they are hooked because they didn't realize what this could be. It's like throwing away the radio mold, which has been broken for a very long time. Most adult humans are not worrying about being offended and want to hear normal conversations without the hype.”

The model is still evolving, as the radio business looks for different digital avenues with which to adapt to the changing media landscape. But with archived content, guest podcasters, live shows and much more in the works, the SideShow is strapped in and ready for the ride. As Fonseca notes, “It still feels like we are kids in a candy store so we still go off the show road map pretty quickly on most days.”

Subscribe to the SideShow here, and you can enjoy free and unlimited access to the premium content for 30 days. And if this crew has anything to do with it, you’ll be coming back for more.