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Talk radio is a radio format containing discussion about topical issues and consisting entirely or almost entirely of original spoken word content rather than outside music. They may feature monologues, dialogues between the hosts, interviews with guests, and/or listener participation which may be live conversations between the host and listeners who "call in" (usually via telephone) or via voice mail. Listener contributions are usually screened by a show's producers to maximize audience interest and, in the case of commercial talk radio, to attract advertisers.
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Talks shows in commercial stations are organized into segments, each separated by a pause for advertisements; however, in public or non-commercial radio, music is sometimes played in place of commercials to separate the program segments.
Variations of talk radio include conservative talk, hot talk, liberal talk (increasingly known as progressive talk), and sports talk.
While talk radio has historically been associated with broadcast radio, starting around 2005 the technology for Internet-based talk-radio shows became cost-effective in the form of live internet website streaming and podcasts. Now, an individual can use a variety of services to host an Internet-based talk-radio show without carriage by a traditional radio station. Also, TV programming from talk and news outlets such as BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, and Fox is now often available expanding the world of talk radio further. Talk radio listening is enjoyed not only on radios but a wide variety of other devices and services including PCs using iTunes, station directories such as TuneIn, show directory smartphones with apps such as Stitcher, and time-shifting services like DAR.fm.