Sunday, March 28, 2010


I came across this top ten list while cleaning out some files on my computer. I don’t remember where it came from, or who wrote it but I thought it was worth sharing. They are not in any particular order.

1. Do whatever it takes to get the job done.
2. Look out for each other.
3. Don’t suck up, don’t slap down.
4. Clean up after yourself.
5. Recognize accomplishments. Congratulate victories.
6. Smile.
7. Challenge the norm. Be creative and different.
8. Play to win.
9. Don’t fear failure.
10. Think like an owner. Owners focus on results, regardless of who is watching.

Monday, March 22, 2010


PPM is showing us something we’ve always thought and now we have it confirmed. Teasing is very important. Not generic teasing, but good, specific, hook with a benefit teasing. Gone are the days were you could say “win Taylor Swift tickets all day today.” Now you need to tell me exactly when I can win, and if possible how I’ll win. The art of teasing is to be as specific as possible. Here are some tips:

Always be specific. The more specific the better. Say “you’ll win Taylor Swift tickets at 3:50.” Or “in the next fifteen minutes, I’ve got your Taylor Swift tickets.”

TV has always done a better job of teasing than radio has. You never see ABC saying “Watch Desperate Housewives on Sunday.” They tell you to watch them at “9/8 central.” Radio needs to do a better job of specifically teasing something.

When teasing new music from a brand new artist, it’s pointless to say “Love and Theft coming up.” Nobody knows who they are. It takes a few years and some hits before listeners know who these new acts are. Hook them with something about the band. Say “I’ve got a brand new band that got their name from a Bob Dylan record…Love and Theft is next.”

Laundry lists of songs coming up are a waste of words. I still hear people rattling off three to four different artists that are coming up. It does no good. Pick one. The biggest song or artist, maybe a new act but have something cool to hook people to wait for them. People are too busy to keep track of your list of artists coming up.

Don’t make people wait too long. They are too busy to care. Have the benefit pay off soon (within sixty minutes. Then once paid off, start to tease to the next event).

Don’t say “next hour” when teasing something. “Next hour” is very radioish. Real people don’t talk like that. Instead say “coming up between 4-5.” You’ll sound less like a “DJ” and more like a real person.

Make the tease worth it. If the payoff isn’t worth it, the tease won’t matter to the listener. Your teases should have meaning and a benefit.

Whether you are in a PPM market, or a diary market, it’s all about occasions of listening. Your goal needs to be to get more occasions. Hook listeners to come back throughout the day and tell when exactly when to do it.

Monday, March 15, 2010


One of the best lines I’ve ever heard about radio was “radio is a marathon without any finish lines.” How true. Whether you’re on air, in programming, promotions, or sales, the race is never over. There’s always room to improve, grow ratings, grow revenue, do a better promotion, and be better on the air. Here’s a few things that will help make you a better personality. They are in no particular order. Some of these may be a review, others may be new.

Avoid clichés. Saying things like the day of the week, “hump day”, “just around the corner”, “hey”, “let’s go to the phones”, giving the time any other way than digitally, are all examples of clichés. Thinking you need to talk like a DJ because your on the air is bad radio. The best shows sound like real people.

Cut the extra words. Speak in telegrams, not complete sentences. Don’t say “the time now is 3:15 with lots of blue sky, sunshine and 85 degrees.” You can say the same thing in half the time and have more momentum and energy. “3:15, sunny and 85.” Just say the meat of the sentence.

Write out your breaks. Not verbatim, but bullet points. Know where you want to go with the break and how to get in and out. Practice it before you crack the mic.

Be yourself and open up to the audience. Talk about yourself, but don’t be self serving. Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself. Being self deprecating is not only relatable, but endearing. Look how popular it helped make Howard Stern.

Know your audience, not who you think they are, or want them to be, but who they really are. Study them and only talk about things they care about. Most listeners don’t mind talk if they can relate with it.

Very seldom do you need to have a transition between thoughts. Things like “hey”, “let me tell you about this”, or “did you hear about this”, are hardly ever needed. A simple pause and change in inflection will separate thoughts. It may feel a little weird, but it will sound so much smoother.

Prep. Not just going through papers, internet and show prep services. Keep a note pad with you all the time. Write things down you see while driving, at the store, things your kids say, etc. Take it a step further and keep a mini disc with you all the time. In radio all we have is audio and the more you have the better.

Talk TO the audience, not AT them.

Tape every call and include the listener. Listener interaction is key. Don’t just run phoners to run them. Run only the good ones. Make the listener the star.

Don’t listen to your aircheck right after you get off the air. Wait 2-3 days. You’ll forget things you talked about and it will sound fresh. You’ll have a better chance of truly critiquing yourself if you wait a few days.

Finally, have a life outside of radio. While working in radio is the greatest and once it’s in your blood it’s hard to get out, it’s important to have a life. Have friends that don’t care you are on the radio. Do things that your audience does and talk about that on the air. Learn to walk away from it every once in a while. It will keep you from getting burned out and help you relate better with your target audience.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Finding A Great Radio Job Still Possible; Here's Four Who Did‏


After totally bumming everybody out with the first two installments in our series on the tough radio job market, we’re taking a break from the sad stories today to bring you four broadcasters who bucked the prevailing trend and were able to find great new radio gigs fairly quickly after being laid off from their last ones.

After exiting KAJA San Antonio, George King was only on the beach for two and a half months before landing a gig as station/operation manager for Citadel’s country WCTO and AC WLEV Allentown, Pa.

Asked why he was able to find a job so quickly, King says his keys to success were “keeping a positive attitude and perseverance. Keep your name out there, make sure you are accessible and keep an open mind to any and all opportunities. I would also suggest to anyone ‘on the beach,’ try to enjoy the time off and take advantage of it, if at all possible.”

John Paul was between jobs for four months after leaving the PD post at KUPL Portland, Ore., when it was sold, eventually landing a great gig with Dial Global, where he is now senior director of country programming.

In that four months, he says, “I took about three weeks to unwind. (The 18-24 months before I was let go were really tough with all the downsizing, cutbacks, layoffs and knowing we were for sale. The job got to be not very fun and extremely stressful.) I got lucky and Jaye Albright at Albright & O’Malley hired me to work part time and help them with special projects. I was able to stay connected to the business and people I love while looking for a full time job. Had I known how great the four months I was out of work were going to be, I wouldn’t have worried once about losing my job. I got to work for Jaye and be a stay at home dad. I didn’t expect it to be such a relief to be out of the rat race.”

Paul credits networking as the primary factor that helped him land a new job. “I treated looking for work like a full time job and talked to everyone,” he says. “Also, because of the part time consulting work I was doing for Jaye Albright, I was able to keep a level head and not panic. I actually was able to really enjoy my time off and make smart decisions.”

Former WMZQ Washington, D.C., APD/MD/air personality Jeffrey T. Mason spent four and a half months job searching after leaving that station, eventually landing dual gigs in January as afternoon driver at country KMLE Phoenix and midday jock at sister oldies station KOOL.

Asked about his strategy, Mason says, “It’s the age old saying: Never burn bridges. I’ve been lucky to stay in touch with many of my former PDs and co-workers. One of those was Kris Abrams, PD here at KOOL. We’ve always respected each other’s work and philosophies on radio. When things started to open up at KMLE/KOOL, he reached out to gauge my interest. After talking about it for a couple months, we decided it would be a good fit for everyone, so here I am.”

But Mason is well aware that his relatively short job search puts him in the lucky column. “Believe me, I KNOW this is a rarity, and I am grateful!”

Mike O’Brian ultimately decided not to pursue a new gig at all after leaving the PD post at Clear Channel’s KUSS San Diego. Instead, he went into business for himself using skills he’d honed during his time working inside stations.

“I have never wanted to leave San Diego,” he says, “so when I was let go back in April I built a studio in my house and started doing voiceovers full-time. I now have agents in LA, Chicago, N.Y. and London and my business has really taken off. Some of my clients over the past six months include Cadillac, Animal Planet and Microsoft, and I just did a session for the Discovery Network. The only way I would even contemplate getting back into radio would be if I could just do a morning show and then have the rest of the day to do voiceovers. Never say never, but I can’t imagine ever programming again and, honestly, I don’t miss it.

“Life is good. No complaints,” O’Brian adds. “I feel incredibly blessed to be able to do something I love from the comfort of my own home. I’m doing things I never would’ve had the chance to do had I not been let go.”

Monday, March 1, 2010


**This is a press release from the CRB**

New CRB Officers, Board Members Announced

(Nashville, TN – March 1, 2010) Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.® has announced the attendance figures for CRS 2010, reflecting a 3.5 percent increase over 2009 Country Radio Seminar attendance numbers.

This year’s CRS 2010 total attendance was 2,181, with 1,576 full registrants (attendees, exhibitors, panelists and sponsors) and 605 participant registrants. Participant registrants represent attendees that register for individual events or single day passes, but not the full three-day seminar. Last year’s CRS 2009 total attendance was 2,106.

"We are extremely pleased that CRS 2010 not only met our expectations, but exceeded them this year in many ways,” says CRB interim Executive Director Bill Mayne. “The attendance, sponsorship, participation, and enthusiasm were especially heartening. The level of artist talent was stellar, and the radio agenda panels were thought provoking and relevant. We were encouraged to see the Country Radio industry really get behind this year’s seminar, and our attendance figures show that. Every participant had the opportunity to walk away with valuable resources, relationships and ideas, and we look forward to continuing to improve the CRS experience as we move forward with this event for many more years to come.”

Several changes to the CRS agenda committee and CRB board of directors have been announced, including the creation of an additional CRS Co-Vice Chair position.

The newly elected CRB board officers and CRS agenda committee members are as follows:

CRB President: Mike Culotta (WQYK, Tampa, Fla.)
CRB Vice President: R.J. Curtis (Arista Nashville, Nashville, Tenn.)
CRB Secretary: Carole Bowen (WKIS, Miami, Fla.)
CRB Treasurer: Jeff Walker (The AristoMedia Group, Nashville, Tenn.)
CRS 2011 Agenda Chair: John Paul (Dial Global, Denver, Colo.)
CRS 2011 Co-Vice Chair: Clint Marsh (Talking Stick Communications, Warsaw, Ind.)
CRB 2011 Co-Vice Chair: Annie Sandor (Curb Records, Nashville, Tenn.)

“We feel it’s important to emphasize the sales side of Country radio at CRS 2011, so we have added another Vice Chair position to our agenda committee,” says Agenda Chair John Paul. “With the addition of Clint Marsh, we now have a Vice Chair who comes from the General Manager side of things, while the other Vice Chair, Annie Sandor, comes from the label/promotion side. With my experience in programming, we have nearly every angle of our business covered as we begin planning CRS 2011.”

The newly elected CRB board members are Jim Asker (All Access, Nashville, Tenn.) and Charlie Morgan (Emmis Communications, Indianapolis, Ind.). Both will serve three-year terms on the CRB board, along with re-elected members Becky Brenner, Joel Burke, Mike Dungan, Renee Leymon, Mike McVay, Joel Raab and John Zarling.

Continuing their terms on the CRB board are: Tom Baldrica, Carole Bowen, Natalie Conner, John Crenshaw, Mike Culotta, R.J. Curtis, David Haley, Clay Hunnicutt, Keith Kaufman, Scott Lindy, Bill Macky, Michael Osterhout, Royce Risser, Denise Roberts, Tim Roberts, John Shomby, Jeff Walker and Rusty Walker.

Newly elected CRB President Mike Culotta summed up CRS 2010 this way. “Wow! What a vivacious, energetic Country Radio Seminar we had this year! I think it proves that when we work together as an industry, even during these challenging times, there's nothing this event can't accomplish. I've always been a huge believer in CRS, and we all need to believe in it now more than ever. Let’s continue to grow through learning and innovation, because that’s what distinguishes leaders from followers.”

CRS 2011 will be held March 2-4, 2011, at the Nashville Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. Visit for more information about Country Radio Seminar and the Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.

About CRS:
The Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas in the country music industry. Country Radio Seminar is a registered trademark of Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. CRS 2011 will be held March 2-4, 2011, in downtown Nashville, Tenn.

About CRB:
The Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. ® is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization founded in 1969 to bring radio broadcasters from around the world together with the Country Music Industry to ensure vitality and promote growth in the Country Radio format. More information may be obtained at: or at the CRB office at 615-327-4487.