This is probably a little outside the norm, but maybe someone here will happen to have the specific info that i'm looking for...

I am aware that there are online services to pretty much handle things hands free - just pay the bill - which includes per minute costs for people sitting on hold. Yet obviously it's a solution as soon as something no longer has a budget of zero, or can get a little ad revenue or whatever. I'm just curious how I might set up things to work in the interim.

I would like to be able to set up a multi line call in talk show (using both phone numbers, and internet based chat - so if someone from australia or iceland or africa wants to Skype in because it's cheaper than international long distance they are welcome) for realtime broadcast, even though it will just broadcast back to the internet. I am curious how VOIP hardware and providers (even gutter providers if you get an extra line for ultra low cost) might help me do that on the cheap. Perhaps there's already software as well that will do this for free (Asterisk?) with the right configuration.

The obvious issues include getting a call on air in the first place, and backfeeding the right signal to callers (as they wont get the full feed, might be sounds to indicate when you are on, etc), switching to or from the call screeners, on-hold queues tracking who is next, and similar. Maybe even certain hardware can be hacked or repurposed (like how a magic jack is basically an audio card with a phone jack that plugs into USB, even if the service is not used) - I dont know whether it would have 2 hold lines or 12 hold lines but it's not something that hundreds of dollars could be spent on. Being totally nonprofessional (this isnt FM radio) lower quality or delays is not a big issue, just getting on the air for cheap is the key.

Remote management ability would be a plus - meaning if someone could assist doing call screening without being physically present with me. The only help I have is internet friends handed the remote control call stuff.