Off the Hook (radio program)

From Podpedia
Off the Hook
GenreTalk radio, current affairs
Running time60 min.
Country of originUnited States
Home stationWBAI
Hosted byEmmanuel Goldstein
StarringVarious panelists
Created byEmmanuel Goldstein
Recording studioNew York City, New York
Original release1988 – present
Audio formatStereophonic
Opening theme"Much Worse" (Extended Mix) by Big Audio Dynamite
Podcasthigh-fidelity feed

Off the Hook is a hacker-oriented weekly talk radio program, hosted by Emmanuel Goldstein,[1] which focuses on the societal ramifications of information technology and the laws that regulate how people use them. It airs Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time in New York City on the community radio station WBAI 99.5 FM. It is also simulcast online via streaming MP3, rebroadcast on various other radio stations,[2] and has been made available as a podcast (since long before that term was coined).

History[edit | edit source]

Premiere[edit | edit source]

Off the Hook first aired on Thursday, October 7, 1988. It was originally set to debut Friday, August 12, 1988, but a fire on the radio transmitter floor of the Empire State Building forced a postponement.[3]

Notable events[edit | edit source]

Some notable events in the program's history include:

Possible Conclusion[edit | edit source]

On November 13, 2012, it was announced that "Off the Hook" was possibly facing conclusion due to "2600"'s frustration with WBAI, as well as difficulty accessing the studio and its resources in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.[7] However, new episodes have continued airing over WBAI.[8]

Show format[edit | edit source]

After a quick presentation of the panelist(s) or on-air guest(s), the radio show normally starts with a report and discussion of the previous week's most interesting hacker, technology, and activist related news. Sometimes, it also features an interview with external guests.

Listener contributions[edit | edit source]

Toward the end of the program, Goldstein often reads listener e-mails and/or takes listener phone calls, time providing.

Listener calls vary from people commenting and asking questions about previously discussed topics to reporting their own news. Calls are taken in an unfiltered fashion, with callers being selected at random and immediately put on-air (although there is a seven-second delay). The show does not utilize a producer to screen for 'valid' calls before bringing them on-air. As such, it's not uncommon for callers to speak off topic, or seek help for a computer-related problem, possibly mistaking Off the Hook for the subsequent radio program on WBAI, The Personal Computer Show.[9] It is also not uncommon for calls to be dropped, or for callers to hang up, much to the consternation of the show's hosts.

Since the show has an international audience, due to its streamed web presence and coverage of topics often of international interest, callers come from many countries in addition to the US.

Personalities[edit | edit source]

Many individuals, from across the hacker, activist, computer security, etc. communities, have played active roles in or appeared on the show over the years.

Emmanuel Goldstein has regularly hosted the show since its inception.

The show's current lineup:
  • Bernie S
  • Kyle
  • Rob Vincent, a.k.a. "Rob T Firefly"
  • volt4ire
Past regular panelists:
  • Alexander Urbelis
  • Arseny
  • Gus
  • Izaac Falken
  • Mike Castleman
  • notKevin
  • Redbird
  • Redhackt
  • [dot]Ret
Other occasional returning and notable one-time guests:

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Radio show focuses on hacking". Associated Press. June 14, 1997. Archived from the original on January 1, 2009. 
  2. "2600 Off The Hook". Feb 1, 1997. 
  3. Off the Hook show notes - October 7, 1988
  4. "Barack Obama's website was not hacked". CNET. 2008-04-02. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  5. Graziano, Michael. "WBAI Gone Country". Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Off The Hook April 2009". The 2009 Off The Hook audio archive. 2600. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  7. AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR LISTENERS FROM THE STAFF OF "OFF THE HOOK", Posted 13 Nov 2012 05:07:34 UTC. Retrieved November 2012.
  8. Off the Hook, 2013 October 9
  9. WBAI Program Schedule Overview. Retrieved July 2009.

External links[edit | edit source]