Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I’m a radio guy. I’ve always loved radio. Working on and around radio is all I’ve ever wanted to do. Blame it on WKRP in Cincinnati or the fact my Dad always had the radio on, maybe it was because I listened a lot when I was a kid. Thinking about how much and why I love radio got me thinking I should make a list of “what makes radio great.” So, here goes. They are in no particular order:

CONNECTION-If done right radio and the personalities can connect on one with the listener better than any other medium. I love being able to listen to the radio and not being able to imagine anyone else listening. The DJ is talking ONLY to me. It’s truly a one on one medium.

COMPANIONSHIP-When a listener is alone and they turn on the radio, it’s an instant companion. Sit in a quiet room all alone, then turn on the radio and listen to the difference. The radio can change everything about a quiet room.

IMMEDIACY-Unlike other mediums, radio can be instant. Whether it’s a topical sweeper, promotion or a brand new song you can’t wait to share with the listener, we can make that change and effect people instantly.

NEW MUSIC-Studies show that radio is still the biggest place for people to discover new music. New music has and always should be an important part of radio.

COMMUNITY INVOLVMENT/HELPING OTHERS-How many times is radio behind a massive benefit helping the less fortunate in your area? I bet a lot. Radio gives back to the community more than any other medium. We can move faster and do more than TV, newspaper or the internet.

PROMOTION-This is one of my favorite parts of the business. It’s a totally clean slate on anything you want to do. For those that are really creative, this is the area that will separate your station from the rest. I love the feeling after doing a promotion that has gotten everyone in the market talking.

IMAGING-Like promotions, the more creative you are, the more you will stand out from the rest. I love having an imaging idea in the morning and hearing it on the air later that day. I can’t think of any other business that can take something that’s playing in my head and in a few hours be able to share it with thousands.

HALLWAY VIBE-I know this doesn’t exist at every radio station, but it should. I have friends that are lawyers and CPA’s and I can guarantee you that their office environment is nothing like radio. We’re in the entrainment business and the hallways should reflect that.

There are many other things that make radio great (like free food samples from a new client) but these are the big ones. Make sure your radio station focuses on these and you’re station will be great.

1 comment:

  1. John,
    Remember Kathy? (KOKOMO!!!!) Whenever I would find myself being particularly irritated at another one of her seemingly endless phone calls, I would pause, then realize that for her, and a lot of people, we (the voice coming out of her radio) might be the only friend she has. That carries a level of responsibility that us radio people need to remember, as well as be accountable for.

    There's been many a time in a late-night, cross country drive, where that voice coming out of my radio (whether it was a jock on a music station, a sportscaster or a talk show host) made the drive that much more enjoyable.

    That connectivity between air talent and listeners is important. The more we remember that, the more loyal and appreciative our listeners will be.