Here's an interesting one. A response to a recent article of mine lamenting the lack of talking radio in the UK, especially from the commercial sector, protested that the costs of training talking presenters was prohibitive. Indeed, a lot of his well thought out rebuttal seemed to consist of what I would suggest is 'wrong thinking' even though it is 'current thinking' when it comes to commercial radio (and indeed, 'community radio').
So often I read about community radio stations, let alone commercial radio stations, not allowing people on the air based solely on their lack of previous experience. Hey, wrong thinking, and the enemy of creativity.
Before you suggest I'm suggesting it: No, I'm not suggesting we let people on who are incompetent or have not the slightest clue. We need talent that 'gets it'.
If we look back at the pioneers, the first ones, the legends - and, even though I could, I'm not alluding to Tony Blackburn or Kenny Everett or any other offshore radio 'pioneers' - but the likes of David Frost, Richard Dimbleby or Robin Day, or many others who were the pioneers or the first to do this or the first to do that in various elements of the field of broadcasting. These people were true communicators. They understood their audience. They spoke directly to them. Nobody pre-trained these people. Sure they had good experience in other associated fields, but when they were being the 'first' to try those new things out, there was nobody grooming and homogenising them. They were people who could visualise the new concept and slide in and do it. In most cases it worked, and what they did changed the way things were then done thereafter. None of them had attended any of the millions of 'Media' training courses to tell them how to be creative broadcasting pioneers.
So, why on earth should we want to pre-train and homogenise any potential talent for a talking radio station to do something that is a new idea and requires a creative eye (and ear) and the vision of how to communicate? Great communication skills cannot be taught any more than can great artistic skills.
In this respect it should not be the purpose of the programme controller to homogenise people. The act of pre-hammering 'talent' into shape seems to me to be the act of somebody desperate not to be overshadowed by the talent working for them. A caged tiger doesn't do too much apart from sit there frustrated and bored. It needs to be allowed to run free.
All the great firsts learnt their skill on the fly. They showed they had an idea and were able to then work it. And in all cases this ability was about successfully communicating with the audience.
Taking this far fresher approach would guarantee a talking radio station that the audiences would actually listen to.
That's assuming that there's not a hidden agenda and that a listened to radio station is what is really wanted in the first place. So many radio licences are held saying one thing by organisations who actually want to do something totally different. Certainly, when you want a talking radio station to fail that's when the talking presenters need to be homogenised.
But if radio is to survive in this country, it needs freely thought new ideas and actual creativity.