Monday, August 30, 2010


I don’t hear enough recycling of great bits on the radio. When I talk to talent, many are afraid to recycle. They think the listener will think “they aren’t creative or funny enough and keep doing the same thing over and over” or the talent thinks they can hit home runs 100% of the time in every break. Neither are true.

Don’t be afraid of recycling. If you have a great bit, phone call or an idea, why just do it once on the air? If you put a lot of energy and effort into the bit/break, why not do it two or three more times and expose it to a different set of ears. Of course, be strategic in your recycling so you can hit the most different listeners.

Look at all the major brands that are built on recycling and extremely successful doing it. Watch CNN Headline News. It’s the same stories over and over repeating every 15-20 minutes (probably about the same time as your TSL). 1010 WINS in New York is consistently one of the most listened to radio stations in the country and they have built their success on “give us twenty minutes and we’ll give you the world.” They recycle news, traffic, and weather every twenty minutes. If you have HBO you know how much HBO recycles movies and TV shows. It’s helped make them one of the biggest premium channels in the world with over 40 million households.

I could go on with more successful examples of other media outlets that are successful with recycling their programming, but you get the idea. Recycling isn’t bad. Go for quality, not quantity.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


What if record labels could no longer do promotions at radio for adds or conversations? Not even a box of CD’s. How different would the chart look?

What if PD’s and MD’s had more time to listen to music and more freedom to add or convert what they wanted, not what a VP/Programming dictated to them? How different would the chart look?

What if a song only got added or converted based on nothing more than the merit of the song, the relationship the PD has with the label rep and how good of a salesman the rep is? There was no tit for tat. How different would the chart look?

What if radio stations were not allowed to play a song every hour overnight to get the song more “spins.” How different would the chart look?

Think about it. Probably the top 10 or 15 would look pretty close to what it looks like now. But, positions 20-40 would look drastically different. The chart would probably move faster, mediocre songs wouldn’t stand a chance, let alone get into the top 30. Not even the ones from superstars. I bet country radio would be healthier because radio stations would be playing more “hits” and less of the mediocre songs. The label’s balance sheets would probably be better off since they are not spending millions of dollars a year in promotions at radio stations for songs that ultimately don’t make their way to recurrent and then a power gold.

I would love to see what that chart would look like.

Monday, August 16, 2010


People use radio as an appliance. They don’t think about it much. They certainly don’t listen like we think they do. They turn it on and most likely it plays in the background as they go about their day. We need to constantly re-engage and remind them of who they are listening to.

For years Classic Rock stations have done weekly music themes. Mainly so they don’t sound like they are playing the same 400 songs over and over again. But they also do it to re-engage the listener. Do something different that the listener doesn’t expect to hear and they will do a double take and be reminded of who they are listening to.

There’s no rule that says only Classic Rock and Oldies stations can package up their music differently on the weekends. I think nearly any format can get away with it. Legendary AAA station KINK in Portland, OR does some really cool theme weekend’s and theme months. They do them to re-engage and remind the listener about KINK.

We need to always be looking for ways to re-engage the listener. I see no reason why a Country station can’t do theme weekends. People use the radio different on the weekends. They are in a different mindset. I’ve personally had HUGE success doing “Retro Weekends”, “Two-Steppin’ Weekends “(two back to back from the same artist), “Summer Song Weekends”, “Christmas in July”, “Songs that went to #2”, etc. I tried to do anything I could to get attention and separate myself from my competitors. In a competitive situation, you need to cut through the clutter of all the radio stations in the market. Especially, if you are playing a lot of the same music.

Getting listeners to sit up and take notice of your station should be a priority. There’s a lot of noise on the radio, do what you can to cut through and garner attention.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Imagine how boring a TV newscast would be without video to accompany the story. Audio on the radio is the same things as video on a TV newscast. Your show should be packed full of outside audio. Phone calls from listeners, artists talking about their music, even topical drops from TV shows, movies and local news will make your show sound even bigger.

Today, there are a million ways to get audio. It’s much more entertaining to hear the actual artist talking about their new single, then to have the jock re-hash in their own words what the artist said.

I hear a tremendous lack of show prep when I listen to different radio stations all over the country. Many jocks that are live and local sound lazy. Not a lot of preparation or thought is going into their breaks. They crack the mic, say the title and artist and move on. Having audio takes preparation and time but the reward is great. Adding audio will not only enhance your show, it will give you more entertainment value.

Remember, we’re in the audio business.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Why do radio personalities feel the need to talk different than real people when they are on the air? Is there something in the studio not seen by the human eye that makes people use phrase like “good lookin’ Monday”, or “comin’ straight atcha?” I’m being facetious, but trying to make a point. There are many phrases that shouldn’t be uttered on the radio and while many of today’s top talents don’t use them, they are running rampant in radio all over the country. Here’s a few phrases that never need to be said again:

Saying the day of the week. The listener knows.

“…straight ahead”

“…with you”

"Hope you are having a great day.” It always comes across as insincere.

Trying to tie the song title into what you are going to talk about.
Ex. “Keep on Loving You from Steel Magnolia, and I’m going to keep on loving you as long as you keep listening.” I actually heard that on the air. I call it “playing with the song title.” It may have been cool 40 years ago, but not today.

Using “we” and “us” on the air when it’s just YOU and ONE listener. Use “I” and “you.” Think singular, not plural.

“…Hey” or “did you hear about…” or any other transition to get you into a bit/break. You don't need them. Just start the bit and move on.

“Outside” or “out there.” You are with the listener no matter where they are. Don't blow the theatre of the mind by separating your location from the listener's location.

Giving the time any other way but digitally. Just say “10:45”, not “fifteen minutes away from 11.” Also, no need for double time checks.

Saying “folks” or “ladies and gentleman.” You only have one listener, not a bunch. Again, think singular, not plural.

This list could go on and on, but these are the big ten. Stop saying these today and you’ll sound more natural and real tomorrow.