A One-Man Labor-of-Love

By Home Business Magazine

Craig Bailey produced his first episode of “Floydian Slip” 25 years ago for 106-VIC, a student-operated radio station at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. He now syndicates the program — producing, marketing, and distributing the show from his home studio in Shelburne, Vt. — to a network of approximately 50 stations. 

Bailey syndicated the show, devoted to British rock band Pink Floyd, after 13 years as an employee of a local rock station that eventually changed formats and dropped his show. “I could have found another station to hire me, or go out on my own,” he explains. “Becoming independent was the most work, but also offered the greatest opportunity for reward. Advances in computer technology and home broadband are really what’ve allowed me to do this. Not long ago, shows like mine were marketed through the mail and distributed on CD. There’s a cost to that. Marketing primarily through email and distributing via the Web are virtually free.”

Aside from the week-to-week production of the program, which he also hosts, “Floydian Slip” pushes Bailey’s sales skills. “I’m a radio guy and a website developer, both of which come in handy considering how much I do with floydianslip.com. But I don’t consider myself a salesperson,” he says. “The challenge is two-fold: Convince stations to carry the show, and sponsors to buy advertising on it. No stations and you won’t get advertisers. No advertisers and you don’t make money.”

Bailey makes “Floydian Slip” available to stations cash-free with the agreement he can include network advertising in each show. “Each station gets some ‘free’ quality programming, and I get six minutes of each station’s airtime,” explains Bailey.

With four Vermont stations carrying the show, Bailey’s landed a Vermont-based sponsor he limits to airing on Vermont affiliates. But a national sponsor has eluded him. That might change in the coming months. The show was recently picked up in the Chicago market — the third largest in the nation. His network of stations has grown 20 percent in the last few months alone. “My hope is to grow the network enough so I can attract national sponsors on my own, or partner with a syndication company that would sell my inventory for a commission,” says Bailey. “If I can do that, I’ll know it’s a success.” HBM