Magazine article Management Today

Net Heads

Magazine article Management Today

Net Heads

Article excerpt

NAME TOM LAIDLAW

POSITION HEAD OF PROGRAMMING AND PRODUCTION, CAPITAL INTERACTIVE

WEB SITE WWW.CAPITALRADIO.CO.UK

PC users have long been able to listen to their favourite radio stations online as well as by more conventional means. But what's on offer has been the same either way -- until now. According to Tom Laidlaw, former AOL producer and now head of programming for Capital Radio's online arm, the future of radio (for music, at least) lies in unicasting -- a technology that uses intelligent software to learn your listening habits and play only the tunes that it knows you like to hear.

When did you become interested in the internet?

When I founded my own web-hosting company in the mid-90s. That led to my getting the call to join AOL as an entertainment producer. I'd never be offered that job today, but five and a half years ago there weren't many people with internet knowledge.

How much time do you spend surfing each day?

I have my web browser open all day -- it's my job. When I'm not e-mailing or looking at our own sites, I'm looking at competitors' sites. Basically, I don't do anything else.

Which sites do you use each week?

I'm a huge fan of launch.com, the best web radio site in the world. I use all the news and search functions on Excite and Yahoo! and I buy a lot of music from Amazon. Amazon is a great example of a one-click site -- everything you want is only a click away. But I like to have a rest from the net at weekends. …

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