Thursday, June 30, 2011


I got some feedback from my last blog entry on "Developing Yourself Off The Air." Here's one from Sam Alex, Morning Show Producer at WMZQ in Washington, DC.

John - Here my thoughts from your blog.

-Read. Go to the library and check out books on business, life and everything else.

-Meet people. Join groups/organizations where you don’t know anyone. Co-ed soccer, alumni group, etc. Volunteering is another great way.

-Spend money. Take a road trip, go on your dream vacation…now.

-Use your radio skills in another medium. Stadium announcer at local college, host show on cable access TV, read books aloud to kids/senior citizens.

-No tech. Pick a time frame every day where you aren’t allowed to use your computer, cellphone or anything else with an on/off switch.

Sam Alex
WMZQ, Washington, D.C.

You can check out Sam's website at or listen to him live at

Friday, June 24, 2011


I got this e-mail from a reader of my blog.


As a radio personality, what are some of the things I can do to develop myself daily (off air)?

Your thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Here was my response:

Here's my top simple things you can do:

-Have a life outside of radio. Get away from the station. Escape the day to day. Live life and have fun. Surround yourself with friends outside of radio. People who don't care that you are on the radio.

-Take in all things Pop Culture. Be up on everything your audience is up on (TV shows, movies, video games, magazines, etc).

-Stay up on technology. It changes every day. Know what's out there and what's coming. Embrace it, learn it and be open to changing technology.

-Have a hobby. Do it often. Radio is not a hobby.

-Take ALL of your vacation time. It's always amazing to me the people that don't (or won't) use their earned time off. It's part of your salary. Use it. Get away.

-Exercise. Be active. This will lower your stress levels.

Hope that helps.

If you have more, I'd love to hear them. Leave them here, or e-mail me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


This was sent to me a few days ago. It's just too good and too true not to share.

A friend of mine does research for large media companies and discovered what listeners really want.

It’s so obvious, but really put things in perspective.

No, listeners aren’t asking for Two-for-Tuesday, 10-in-a-row or Free Money Friday. It’s not Traffic & Weather together. Not even Lite Favorites from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today.

Listeners want to feel happy when they listen.

Somehow, radio has forgotten that. But it makes perfect sense. Life is hard now. Everywhere you turn, the news is grim.

Slow economy, scarce jobs, natural disasters, foreclosures, wars, gas prices, declining schools etc. People are bummed and looking for relief.

Where can people turn for FUN? It should be US! We are their escape! We play music for a living! So, we should have the monopoly on fun.

I’m not suggesting that you tell jokes or try to be funny. Fun is in your attitude, your enthusiasm, the smile in your voice, a clever comment.

Fun comes when you talk TO listeners and share a common experience.

So, next time that you walk into the studio, remember that Job #1 is to make your listeners happy. They sure won’t get that from an iPod or Pandora.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


When times are tough and uncertainty is everywhere, leaders need to rise up and take the lead.

According to the US Army, here are the Principles of Leadership (U.S. Army. October 1983. Military Leadership (FM 22-100). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office).

1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement - In order to know yourself, you have to understand your be, know, and do, attributes. Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes. This can be accomplished through self-study, formal classes, reflection, and interacting with others.

2. Be technically proficient - As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees' tasks.

3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions - Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, they always do sooner or later -- do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.

4. Make sound and timely decisions - Use good problem solving, decision making, and planning tools.

5. Set the example - Be a good role model for your employees. They must not only hear what they are expected to do, but also see. We must become the change we want to see - Mahatma Gandhi

6. Know your people and look out for their well-being - Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.

7. Keep your workers informed - Know how to communicate with not only them, but also seniors and other key people.

8. Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers - Help to develop good character traits that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.

9. Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished - Communication is the key to this responsibility.

10. Train as a team - Although many so called leaders call their organization, department, section, etc. a team; they are not really teams...they are just a group of people doing their jobs.

11. Use the full capabilities of your organization - By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities.

How many of these are YOU doing today?