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what else is on TV?


Editor’s Note: In the daily observation of life around him, the author occasionally feels the need to point out ridiculously inane behavior and general thoughtlessness. These are called “Rants” and this is one of those times.

Here’s the thing, I do voices for television commercials and narrations for TV documentaries but the truth is I really don’t watch much TV. There are no shows that really grab my attention. It’s a personal preference I guess.

Tonight though, with some in-laws in town, I fired up the laptop and wireless and watched (sort of) TV. Tonight’s choice was a bunch of CSI’s on Spike TV (I like some of these shows…they’re well written, especially later episodes where they don’t seem as blatant in their exposition of the “what & why” of a forensic tool they’re using).

But the epiphany wasn’t so much in watching CSI as it was in the promos and ads on Spike between Acts. Violent, bloody horror films, TV shows and CSI: NY promos (Spike prompting that show as the “ballsier and bloodies CSI) were on for at least two minutes of every break. Movie titles like Black Christmas, Vacancy, Disturbia, and Shooter (uh, sorry, no links to this crap, folks). Or the heartwarming TV story of Ultimate Fighter 3 -5. What crap!

Next time you come across a guy or teenage boy (Spike’s target demo) who has “issues” or seems a bit screwed up, ask them what TV shows and movies they watch (let alone what video games they play). The answers wouldn’t surprise me, I don’t think.

Oh, and lets not blame the networks or studios (entirely, anyway)….if they thought they could make money broadcasting 24 hour crocheting, they’d show it. But somebody is buying and watching all this violent crap. Some parents aren’t monitoring what their sons are watching, when they should be turning off the television and introducing their kids to a book.

So turn off the violence, look at something more peaceful. http://www.technorati.com/profile/audioconnell

It’s a personal preference I guess.

a news voice should not be a commercial voice


Editor’s Note: In the daily observation of life around him, the author occasionally feels the need to point out ridiculously inane behavior and general thoughtlessness. These are called “Rants” and this is one of those times.

Well, this will likely put me in dutch with some of my broadcast news friends but I can’t sit quietly about this any longer cause it BUGS me…radio news reporters and anchors should NOT be doing commercials…period.

Now before you cry discrimination, the TV news people shouldn’t either but I’ve not seen that happen. I have heard it far too often for my liking on the radio. It’s wrong.

While there was a time in radio and television’s history where news people often read live commercials, that practice dissolved as broadcast outlets’ news divisions evolved and the integrity of the news department became sacrosanct. Today, radio news departments have to scrape and claw for the money they need to do proper field reporting with decent technology while being first and accurate with the story in an amazingly short production window. In such an environment, salaries wane and integrity teeters.

At such a critical time when broadcast corporations often seemingly replace “public trust” with “shareholder’s investment” the news divisions and their leaders should not muddy the waters regarding their market’s perception of their talent by allowing those newscasters to read a murder report one moment only to have that same reporter’s voice heard on a pre-recorded car commercial the next. Not on their station or any other in their market.

What about out of market spots or corporate narrations for videos or even audio books? I have no problem with any of that. But in a local market, if you’re a news voice you cannot be a commercial voice. News integrity means never having to say “24 months interest free financing on approved credit.”

corporate podcasts done right

Richmond Times-Dispatch staff writer Jeffrey Kelley recently wrote a good synopsis of how some companies in and around Virginia are successfully including podcasts as a part of their marketing mix. 

Kelley noted that companies that use podcasting as a way to inform and entertain their audience, without producing a glorified commercial, have the best chance of engaging the listeners in their target markets.

Here’s a quick excerpt: 

“It’s kind of a marketing thing because we’re showing our perspective on technologies we help clients implement,” said Will Loving, the Henrico County firm’s chief operating officer. “If someone listens to it, they can actually learn something from it and use it in their day-to-day work.”

That’s precisely how podcasts should be done, experts say. If made correctly, a corporate podcast can become a marketing and public-relations tool, but it shouldn’t look or sound that way.

Steven Hearn, a former Richmonder and president of podcastGO.com, said the programs should be considered “infotainment” — in other words, listeners should learn something, yet stay amused.

You can read the entire article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch web site here.

from the voice-over mailbag

“Paul, if these weren’t actually letters from actual viewers, would I be able to do this (flap, flap, flap)” – D. Letterman

“Peter, I’m a voice talent (and) I’m considering becoming a premium member of voice123 (as I see you already are). But, I’m wondering about recovering the 195.00 fee.

Does voice123 really turn into work? I’m capable of my own production work, and would put the time into doing many auditions per week. But, does it really pay? Do you get often stiffed by clients? Do you end up doing endless auditions with few results, or is it really all they say it is? I appreciate your time in answering.

Thanks in advance

Hi Doug:

Voice over job sites are like any investment.

Are you ready to lose $195?

That’s the question you have to ask yourself when you invest in a site like Voices 123 or Voices.com or those like them.

Here’s another question: how much is an hour of your time worth? You’re going to do a lot of custom auditions and hear nothing back. Likely 90% of the time you won’t get the job. When you dollarize your time, that’s a lot of money wasted. Are you ok with that?

Want another question?

Are you ready to bid on often significantly low balled voice projects created by people who often care less about your voice and more about your price?

Are you willing to join a process where an announcer who sounds like crap will get the job because he’ll do a five page narration for $50 and “the experience”?

Whittling it all down to the naked truth as I see it, past the marketing hyperbole, I believe these questions are the questions YOU have to answer for yourself.

The answer for me was ok, I can swim here. If the water’s too cold (a project with a lousy fee, too many bidders, even poorly written) then I don’t swim there on that day.

I’ve made enough money to cover my expenses on these sites and then some. I also have enough other business from other sources (thank you God!) that I don’t have to rely on these sites. And because of that busier schedule, I may look at not joining back up because I don’t have the time to do custom auditions for these voice-over Wal-Marts.

Does that sound a bit jaded? Maybe I’m guilty as charged but everybody who’s ever worked in broadcasting has a dash of that sprinkled on them.

I recently had the good fortune to meet the owners of Voices.com and they are sincere people trying to run a challenging business in an honest manner. So then in fairness I will refer to them as the Target of voice overs (a retailer I visit far too frequently in my accountant’s opinion).

A shorter, even more curt way to answer this might have been “you’ll have to answer that for yourself.” Or as my Mom said on occasion “you won’t know unless you try.”

Good luck.

– Peter

MEDIA RELEASE – Junior Chamber International selects audio’connell Voice-Over Talent’s Peter K. O’Connell as announcer for International Congress in Seoul, Korea

audio'connell Media Release

BUFFALO, New York, March 5, 2007 – – Peter O’Connell, professional voice over talent and president of audio’connell Voice-Over Talent was selected to serve as the announcer for Junior Chamber International’s 2006 JCI Congress in Seoul, Korea. Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a worldwide federation of young professionals and entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 40. National Organizations federated to Junior Chamber International are active in more than 5,000 communities located in more than 100 nations and territories.

O’Connell’s pre-recorded voice over narration was featured as a part of the JCI World Congress’ formal awards ceremony honoring The Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP). Recipients are chosen from around the world for their exceptional leadership, accomplishment, innovation and/or contributions to children, world peace or human rights.

Honorees included from the Republic of the Philippines, Illac Angelo Ancellotti Diaz; from Finland, Dr. Akseli Eetu Hemminki; from Ireland, Maria Kidney; from the Republic of Singapore, Dr. Fatimah Binte Abdul Lateef; from Finland, Jyrki Pekka Emil Linnankivi; from Denmark, Ren’ Nielsen; from the Republic of the Philippines, Juan Sajid De Leon Imao; from India, Jayanto Kumar Tapadar; from China, Chung C. To and from New Zealand, Hayley Dee Westenra.

audio’connell Voice-Over Talent is a worldwide voice over talent service featuring professional male and female voice talents specializing in commercials, corporate narrations, voice imaging, podcasts and messaging on-hold (MOH) created for advertising agencies, media and broadcast production companies as well as both large and small businesses around the world.

The company also operates Voice Over Workshop to provide professional voice over training to novice and experienced voice talent around the world.
– 30-


Company Media Releases ON LINE:

Company Name Pronunciation:
au·dio·o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-oh-kah-nel) or au·di-o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)

Company Name Spelling:
Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voice Over Talent

Company Web:

Company Blog:

O’Connell Voice-Over Resume:
See resume here





pod presence – peter o’connell’s podcasting presentation at podcamp toronto 2007

pod presence presentation by peter o’connell copyright 2007


Gluttons for punishment.

Sadistic wackos.

If you’re one of the folks who requested a link to my Podcamp Toronto 2007 presentation “Pod Presence – aka awesome sounding podcasts”, you have to choose from one of the above descriptors.

If you decide to watch it, you’ll also have to pick one.

In either case, you’ll quickly understand why I remain firmly planted behind a microphone and NOT in front of a camera.

Watch the presentation here. (@ 35 minutes via Quick Time)