Monday, December 31, 2012


I recently saw a post on Facebook from a radio personality that was upset he wasn't going to get his show prep service over the holiday.  I certainly hope nobody is using a prep service for 100% of their show.  If you are, then you probably have nothing on our show that a listener couldn't get someplace else.

Don't get me wrong, having multiple sources of prep is great.  The more the merrier.  There's a lot of great show prep sites out there that are well worth the barter.  Most have great stuff, but the one thing they don't have is what ONLY YOU can bring to your show.  Your own stories, experiences and thoughts.  You can't find that stuff in any show prep service.

When I was on the air everyday, I always had a note pad in my car and by my bed.  I wrote down everything that I thought would work on my show.  Only about 25%-30% of what I wrote down actually made it on the air, but that 25%-30% of my show was stuff that no competitor had.  I used life as my show prep and supplemented it with a great national show prep service.

You should always have a wide variety in your prep.  Pack your show with different things like pop culture stories, celebrity news, tons of audio (all things you can get from show prep services), listener calls and a lot of local stuff.  Remember, you also need to bring relatable things that happened to you.  Those won't come from any show prep service.  They can only come from you.

Ask yourself this, what kind of show would you have if the internet went away tomorrow?

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Have you seen this video?  Watch it then come back and read on (if the link below doesn't work, go to You Tube and search "Why Lego Is The Best Company In The World.")

What a great move from Lego and they probably didn't even know the family would record the little boys reaction and then have it go viral.

How's your customer service?  Probably not that good.

I've always had a problem with radio people calling frequent winner's "Prize Pigs" behind the winner's back.  After reading that little boys letter, it's clear that Lego didn't refer to one of their most loyal customers in a negative way.

I'm not sure if the call back/response rate is bad in every industry, but it's brutal in radio.  And I'm just not talking about responding to listeners, I'm talking about responding to job seekers, product vendors and clients.

Why do radio people hardly ever call back or respond to listeners?  I know we are all busy with a lot of stuff on our plates, but EVERYONE deserves a call back or response. 

I was really touched watching this video.  It made me feel really good about the story and their product (even though Legos are really expensive, I now feel better about buying them for my kids and will continue to do so).  I want to spread the word of how they treated a loyal customer.

Word of mouth is great advertising.  Make sure your listeners and clients are saying great things about you, and that starts with great customer service and great customer service starts with a call back or a response to an e-mail.

I think this video is a lesson for all of us.

Thursday, November 22, 2012



Today is Thanksgiving and I thought it would be good to reflect on some things we should be thankful for working in radio.

Now before you roll your eyes, I know times are tough, not just in our industry, but nearly every industry (glad I don't work for Hostess right now).  Radio is still a great gig and sometimes we need to be reminded of a few things to be thankful for.

• We work in radio. We play music and connect with people for a living. Pretty cool.

• We get to go to concerts for free and many times meet the artists backstage.

• We don't have to get up at 5am in the cold pouring rain to collect people’s trash or roof a house when it's 95 degrees in the blazing sun.

• We get to talk to thousands of people each day that think of us as a friend. We have thousands of friends!

• We get to create magic (or at least you should be creating magic).

• We get to listen to music and get paid for it.

• Many of the biggest stars in country music know us by name.

• Our office environment is unlike any other place on the planet. Try working for a lawyer or CPA. Their offices are boring and stale. I've never worked in a radio station where someone didn't have a guitar in their office and played it often.

• Most of us are doing what we've wanted to do since we were kids. I bet most of your non radio friends can't say that.

•  Nearly 95% of all Americans listen to radio each week. That's an impressive number. Very few media outlets connect with that many people each week.

• Each day we get to make people laugh, cry and think.

• Every day is different. Perfect for radio people that have ADD...which is most of us.

• We get free tickets to nearly everything.

• Competition makes us all better and radio has a lot of it.

Stay positive and take this weekend to think about all the great things that come with working in radio. There are many.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Here in Denver, AC-KOSI 101 went all Christmas this week.  In the next two weeks All Christmas Stations are going to pop up in markets all over the country at a rapid pace.

I thought it was a good time to re-post a blog I did last year. 

Let’s face it, if you’re a country station, you’re probably going to get killed in the ratings in December. The AC station playing all Christmas music will probably clean your clock. Don’t worry, the women you lose will be back on the 26th. December has become a really hard month to win in the ratings if you’re not wall to wall Christmas music. Even then, it’s can be tough. It’s not about playing all Christmas music. It’s about playing the right Christmas songs and having that “feeling” at Christmas time. Let me explain.

Just playing Christmas music isn’t good enough. It’s all about playing the songs that remind the listener of being a kid. That’s a secret. I’m sorry, the brand new Christmas song from a brand new group isn’t nearly as effective as Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis and even Mariah Carey’s 1994 modern day classic “All I Want For Christmas is You.” Those are the type of songs you should be playing more of, regardless of your format. Those are the songs that make people think of that best Christmas’s ever…when they were a kid.

Same goes for your imaging. Find drops from classic Christmas TV shows and movies. Go to a school and ask five or six year olds what they think of Christmas. Use that in your imaging. Again, it’s all about getting that “feeling” and putting it on the air.

Promotionally, have something big in January to welcome back the listener that went away. Traditionally, January hasn’t been a big month for radio promotions, but I think that should change. Start your contest right after New Year’s Day, but start promoting the day after Christmas.

If you want to keep your listener listening for a few more minutes before turning you off and going to the all Christmas station, then jog their memory. Make them think of Christmas when they were seven years old.

It’s all about nostalgia.

Now it's time to go shopping.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Marconi The Night Ninja
I'm on the road traveling this week for work, so I asked "Marconi, The Night Ninja" to write me a BLOG.

You can hear Marconi all over the country live at night on "Rock 2.0", a Dial Global Radio Network 24/7 format.

Find  Marconi here:



There's no need to say what time a jock is off the air. The start time is all you need. (Example: "Kevin and Bean Weekday Mornings Starting at 5.")

No television promo ever says Breaking Bad tonight at 9 to 9:30. They might say followed by an ALL NEW Walking Dead, but they never tell you when something is over. The obsession with telling people when something is over on radio seems silly. How does that encourage people to listen more? It doesn't. It always sounds to me like lazy writing or a lazy D.J. who can't wait to get off the air.

Saying "PM" or "AM" seems to be something extra that isn't needed in most cases either. I know your morning show is on in the AM and your promotion for Thursday Night starts in the PM.

Same goes for promoting jocks. No need to say the afternoon guy is on at 2 "PM" or that he ends at 7 "PM" (see above).

As for websites, I believe it's okay to retire words like "LOG ON" and " WWW DOT" from our internet vernacular . Those terms sound dated. Just as "TUNE IN" and "MARK YOUR CALENDAR" are dated on the air.

Just a few tips to help clean up language clutter on your station.


Sunday, October 21, 2012


Clear Channel Entertainment CEO Bob Pittman recently said he's looking to make radio cool again.

I'm all for it.  But it's not easy.

Now, I don't think radio is totally uncool.  94% of all Americans still listen to the radio each week.  That's a huge reach.  But if you want to really make it cool it will take money, patience, time and a big set of balls.

This isn't directed specifically at Clear Channel, but any one and any company that wants to make radio cool.

Here's how you start:

Be prepared to spend money to attract talented people who can move the needle and get people talking.  This includes not just personalities, but programmers, producers, promotions and social media experts.
Don't be afraid of big personalities.
Don't be afraid of creativity and out of the box ideas.
Take chances.  Big ones.  The ones that make you uncomfortable.
Be a leader, not a follower.
Think WAY beyond just the music you play (they can get that anywhere). 
Give lots of focus to imaging and the overall brand of your station.
Treat employees better.  Let them breath, relax, experiment and not worry about getting downsized.
Market and promote your station.  Constantly spread the word.
Of course, these are just the tip of the ice burg.  Everyone will have their own ideas and thoughts about how to make radio cool.  These are just a few of mine.

Bottom line from me, give people a reason to listen and talk about you that goes beyond the music...the imaging, the promotions, the marketing and most importantly, the personalities.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Researcher Richard Harker's recent blog that was featured at All rings so true.  Stations are spending way too much time on TSL and not enough on cume.  Want to win in PPM?  Focus more on cume.

What's the best way to build cume?  IMHO, here's a few of my thoughts:

1) MARKET YOUR STATION.  I know that's nearly impossible for many radio stations, but doing consistent and focused marketing campaigns is the easiest way to build audience.

If you are lucky enough to have marketing money, make sure your station is dead on and tuned up before you do anything.  That will help with TSL.

But, most likely you don't have the budget to consistently market your station.  There are still ways to building cume.  Read on.

2) BE COMPELLING.  Have compelling, relatable and entertaining content all the time, not just in the morning show.  This goes beyond the music you play (they can get that anywhere).  Your station and personalities should always be compelling and entertaining.  Make the listener talk about you and the word will spread.

3) HIT THE STREETS.  Be everywhere.  When you are at an event, look great.  Hang tons of banners.  Have the van in the most visible area.  Get your logo on everything.  No event or appearance is too small.  You never know who may have a meter or a diary.

4) USE SOCIAL MEDIA.  Use social media to get new listeners to check you out.  Travis Moon at KAJA in San Antonio is really mastering Facebook and how to get shares, fans and likes with the station's posts.  KAJA's ratings have been huge in PPM. Their cume is up to 658,000, which has gone up every month since April.  Same with their share.  They are #1 6+ with a 9.5.  I was with Travis a few week's ago and watched him work Facebook all day.  He defiantly has a strategy and it looks to be working.

4) INVITE LISTENERS.  Sounds basic, but it works.  Think about politicians asking for votes.  When you meet people face to face, ask them to listen.  Give them your business card.  Spread the word in a grass roots sort of way.

5) CONSISTENCY.  Your station and show needs to be consistent.  People go back to Starbucks because they always know what they are going to get every time.  Same thing should be true for your station.  Give the listener what they expect from you 100% of the time.

6) HAVE BIG PROMOTIONS.  Design your big promotions and contesting to get people talking.  Use your listener to spread the word to build cume.  Promote and sell your promotions relentlessly on the air.

Richard Harker sums it up best in his blog, "do you want to gain share?  Do you want to beat your competitor?  The only way to do it is to grow your audience.  Focus on cume."

You can read Richard's full blog here.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Chad Rufer is the program director at Now 100.5 in Sacramento.  Earlier this week he posted the following on his Facebook page.  With his permission, here's his post. 

He couldn't be more right.
Chad Rufer
I am truly sorry that some of you have lost your passion for the radio industry. This industry, just like many others, has evolved. We’ve had to learn how to do more with less, adapt to new technology, learn new ways to do things and market our product. 
We’ve learned through PPM that the audience doesn’t like four minute breaks about a survey you read in a show prep service with a “stupid kicker line at the end."  Now, you as a talent are challenged to come up with a relatable way to deliver that information to your audience in a way that they care about, or you might just want to scrap the break and find something better. 
Programmers now can’t just add records to help friends.  There are no more 5 day, 40 hour work weeks. Oh, and that thing called “Facebook” that you have been asked to spend some time learning so you can better market to your audience, it will require some of your time; yes even at night and on the weekends. 
Sorry. I’m over the bitching about how the industry is a mess, and it’s a dinosaur and how it will never come back. I’m still as in love with it today as I was 20 years ago when I started. I’ve taken on the same situations that people said “couldn’t be won” and put the right team in place to WIN! Guess what? The industry still makes a profit, good companies take care of good people, your audience has passion for your product (when you do it right), and it’s going to be around for another day to keep fighting. 
If you are not happy with your job in the industry, or you’re disgruntled about the added responsibilities you’ve had to take on, I’m sure no one will complain if you depart. 
There are lots of people who still have the passion and drive and will pick up your slack, run with it, and WIN!


Sunday, September 23, 2012


A few months ago I did BLOG on "talking like today and not using cliches."  I asked readers for some of their favorite "cliches" and "DJ speak" that I may have missed.  Here's a few of what I got:

I recently heard a woman in her 30s say "tomorrow will be a carbon-copy, weather-wise, of today." Carbon copy?

Furthermore, anything ending in "wise" is completely uncool sounding. "Weather-wise, traffic-wise."

All those jocks who say, "so stick around for that, it's coming up sometime in the next hour," are clueless about modern life. You want a whole friggin' hour of my time to pay off your measly tease? Have you noticed how busy we all are? No wonder your TSL sucks.

Finally, not dated as much as just my personal unhip pet peeve is jocks who post on the station's Facebook page starting with, "Hey Facebook friends!!" Yeah, right, when I see your post, I suddenly picture myself in a group of 5,000 strangers. Have a nice day

"24 hours a day.....7 days a week."  I believe we are all familiar with the passing of time.

It's seven-five, 75 degrees outside.".......that KILLS ME!  You don't need to tell me "degrees and it's outside."

"And currently we're looking at Double Nickels in downtown Wickieup, with an oldie but a goodie from the late, great Ray Price."

"7:15, 15 past 7."  Double time checks are brutal.

"Here's a little..." (title and artist of the song).  Are you going to play a little bit of the song, or the whole thing?


There are a endless stream of these out there is "Radioland."  :)  Feel free to post more below.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This past Sunday I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and they did a great story on the power of storytelling and how popular it is right now. If you missed it, here are the cliff notes.  Read along and see how it pertains to what you do on the air.

The human mind is hard wired to respond to stories. Storytelling is the world's oldest art form.  Stories work no matter whether it's on TV, the big screen, at bed time, campfires, or yes, even on the radio.

Stories are so powerful and people love to hear them so much, there are story festivals happening all over the country.  One of the most popular gatherings is "The Moth."  These are real people, telling real stories.  Some are long, most are short.  All are true.  They are slice of life stories that people can relate with.  They are just like the stories you should do on the radio (The Moth actually has a radio show too.  Check out their site at

The Moth started in NYC 15 years ago and people loved the personal, spontaneous, true stories so much they are now happening in coffee shops, rock halls and in cities all over the country.  They have a massive appeal with Generation X (most likely part of Gen X is in your target demo, regardless of your format). 
Even NPR is doing a weekly storytelling show (and NPR is the master of story telling on the radio). They know the value telling a great story.

Want to be the most popular jock in your market? Learn, practice and refine your story telling skills and tell them on the radio. Open up. Be you.  Be relatable.  

The segment on Sunday morning ended with the following line, "there's nothing better than listening to a great story, well told."

So true.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


With the political season in full swing, I thought it would be good to re-visit a post I did a few years ago about what I've learned about political spots.

I'm sure by now you are as sick of political spots on the radio as I am. You can't escape it. According to a story in All Access, an increasing numbers of complaints about political advertising on radio and TV are plaguing station owners.

At times there is so much mud slinging, hype and over exaggeration, I can't tell the spots apart or who the candidates are.

It got me thinking, if I was running for political office, what I would do in my spots and my positioning to stand out?  How would I be different? How would I cut through the clutter?

The simple answer is to be real, genuine, open and honest. Much like a winning radio station's air talent and imaging should be.

1) Be real. Don't hype.

2) Be genuine. Don't be flashy.

3) Be open.

4) Be honest. Never lie to the listener.

Instead of "calling out the competition", hyping myself and talents, exaggerating or lying about what I've done, or what my competitor hasn't done, I would be organic, real and genuine.

If you are doing those with your imaging and air talent today, think how much of a relief it is for listeners to hear your station after a break full of political ads.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Here's my 10 Questions in All from a few weeks ago.  We've been making some really nice adjustments to the show and each week it gets better and keeps growing with more affiliates.


John Paul, VP/Programming
Company: Dial Global Networks
Market: National
Born: 11/18/73
Raised: Longview, WA

1987-1995 KLOG/KUKN, Longview, WA (APD/Afternoons)
1993-1994 KUPL, Portland, OR (Weekends/Fill)
1994-1995 Q105, Portland, OR (Weekends/Fill)
1995-1998 WKKG/WINN, Columbus, Indiana (Program Director/Afternoons)
1998-2005 WYRK/WBUF, Buffalo, NY (Program Director)
2005-2009 KUPL/Portland, OR (Program Director/Afternoons)
2009-Present VP/Programming, Dial Global Radio Networks

1) How excited are you about the new show "Country Gold with Randy Owen?"
I'm super excited. To be able to partner with a legend like Randy to host a show is huge. Randy has lived it and has the stories to back it up.

2) How did you get Randy's interest for the show?
We wanted to get a high profile marquee artist to host the show. Randy was our first choice. He's never done anything like this before and is just as excited to host the show as we are to have him.

3) Tell us about how and why the show was decided on in the first place.
There's a ton of songs from the 80's and early 90's that Country radio doesn't play anymore. They are huge hits. But as country radio has evolved, they aren't playing those big songs and stars as much, if at all. Shows like "Country Gold" can fill that void. The show is packed full of huge hits from the late 60's through the mid 90's. The median year for the music is 1981.

4) Do you think that it fills a void?
I know it does. With Country Radio not playing a lot of songs from the early 90's and earlier, we can fill that void with this show. Plus, having a guy like Randy tell the stories and connect with the music...he's the icing on the cake.

5) Why did you decide to go with a Country legend to host the show this time, instead of a veteran radio guy, like, say, me?
We really wanted to cut through and get the attention of programmers and listeners by having Randy host the show. He's a house hold name with an unmistakably familiar voice and style. It's what you do between the records that makes the difference and having Randy host the show really sets us apart from other "Classic Country" and "Gold" shows out there.

6) Seriously, what has it been like working with Randy so far?
He's been great. As you would expect, a total pro. While I'm overseeing the programming and direction of the show, George Achaves in our Nashville office is the producer and records the show with Randy at Randy's farm in Fort Payne. Randy hit the ground running and has had a ton of great ideas for the show and awesome stories to go with all the songs and artists we play.

7) Are the stations excited about the show on the local level-what kind of reaction have you received so far?
The reaction has been great. There's a really nice buzz. I've gotten a ton of calls from small, medium and large market radio stations all over the country interested in running Country Gold. Having Randy's name on the show has really gotten the attention of some great programmers and radio stations.

8) It seems like the show is pretty 'music intensive,' with 13-14 songs per hour. Sounds like the listeners will get a ton of music.
Yes, we play 13-14 songs per hour and still have plenty of time for Randy's stories and other content. While the music is extremely important, so is Randy. We've been able to come up with a really nice mix of music quantity and Randy. It's a win-win for both PPM and Diary markets.

9) Is Randy doing interviews on the show?
He's done a few. Dale Carter at KFKF in Kansas City had Randy on the other day talking about the show.

10) How can we find out more about the show?
Call (212) 419-2926 or e-mail You can also e-mail me and I'll answer any questions and point you in the right direction.

Bonus Questions:

1) What's Johnny Paul's favorite Alabama song?
Dixieland Delight.

2) When was the first time you saw them play and where?
Puyallup Fair just outside of Seattle in 1990. Since then, I've seen Alabama about 10 times.

3) Since anyone and everyone can cut an album today and post it online, will there ever be a group as big as Alabama again?
I can't imagine there would be. They are legends and one of a kind.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


We work in a pretty cool business, just ask any of my friends that are lawyers or CPA's whose offices are quiet, boring and stale.

After working in a few different radio stations, the one thing I've noticed are the ones that look and feel like radio stations tend to have better moral, hallway vibe and ratings.

We work in radio.  Hearing music up and down the hallway is key.  If you're lucky enough to get radio tours from new artists, invite the whole building not just the programming staff (non programming staff AND artists both love it). 

Get up and walk around.  Interact with co-workers in different departments.  Don't rely on just e-mail to communicate.

One of my favorite memories was when I was in Buffalo.  We had gotten an autographed Metallica guitar to give away.  So my APD/MD stood outside my office, plugged it in and began to play and sing Air Supply songs on this black, skull and crossbones Metallica guitar.  It was awesome and chances are that would never happen in any other office that wasn't a radio station.

One radio station where I worked had a five hole mini golf course throughout the building (the GM was a big golfer).  It was encouraged to play five holes if you were stuck on a problem and needed to clear your mind and come up with a solution.

Have fun in the halls.  Encourage creativity.  Hire people that may be slightly off their rockers.  This is radio, not brain surgery. 

While radio is a business, we need to make sure that radio is still entertainment.  That starts in the halls.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Kenny Jay who is the Program Director at Bob 106.9 in  Savannah, Georgia read my blog on cliches and sent me this video.  It's awesome and so true.               

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


After nearly a week of soaking everything in, I thought I'd write about the shooting in Aurora and how I thought radio handled it.

Friday was a surreal day.  I live about 15 minutes from the theatre in Aurora.  While I work and live in Denver, Dial Global has nothing to do with Denver radio, we are only based there.  So I have the advantage of working in radio, but not being involved in Denver radio.  I get a really clear 30,000 foot view of the stations and the market.  I get to "listen" to the radio, not "monitor" it as I would if I worked in Denver radio.

In Denver, it was wall to wall coverage on TV and radio.  I first heard about the shooting from my clock radio as I always wake up to 850 KOA.  I listened to their coverage as the facts were just starting to roll in (it was about 5:30am, only a few hours after the shooting).  I then turned on the TV and flipped back and forth between local and national TV.  On my way into work I flipped around and listened to KEZW, KNUS, The Wolf, The Fox, KYGO, KBPI, and KOA. 

After comparing the radio coverage to the TV coverage, radio by far had the advantage over TV.  Here's why:
  • Radio was able to truly capture the emotion of the day with the listeners and personalities.  TV was all hard news with not much emotion (as the days went on, TV became more emotional with tributes to the victims.  Radio reacted a lot faster).

  • Typically, radio personalities are better at ad-libbing and knowing what to say and how to say it.  A lot of TV anchors and reporters have a tough time being natural and ad-libbing.  There was far more real, raw emotion (from both callers and personalities) on the radio. 

  • Radio was able to have far more "real people" on the air.  Not only giving reports, but telling their stories, sending out condolences and sharing.  Radio was truly a voice for Denver.

  • TV was too polished.  At times too slick.  Radio was more organic, genuine and real.  TV became "Hollywood" pretty quick.  Big graphics and sound effects.  Some TV stations/networks felt a little too produced to me.

  • I listen to a lot of talk radio, but the music stations were able to help the healing process with music and lyrics.  TV couldn't touch that.

  • TV news (both locally and nationally) were competing with each other to have the most updated information.  In doing that, they were too fast and there were mistakes.  ABC News had a couple of big ones.   Radio was more about reaction, sharing feelings and being the place to go to talk about what happened.
While at work, I continued to listen to local radio, watch a little TV and do my best to keep up to date.  I honestly feel the Denver radio stations were right on top of it (unfortunately, many had been through this before with Columbine and knew how to react).

Denver radio really played a part in the healing process that needed to start as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


KATZ recently did a study of more than 600 radio listeners to examine the relationship between radio listeners and personalities. The findings are no big surprise to me and I was happy to see the outcome. Stations may want to think twice before saving a few bucks to be just a jukebox.

Here are the highlights from Inside Radio:

  • The survey sample consisted of 70% women and 30% men, with 66% of participants reporting their age as between 18-34 and 90% between 18-49 years of age. Survey sample respondents were 45% Hispanic, 8% Asian, 4% percent African American and 43% “other.”

  • The study found three out of four respondents reported that they turn on the radio because they know their favorite personality is on the air.

  • Nearly as many (72%) talk to their friends about their favorite personality or what they heard on the program and 70% of participants said they follow their favorite radio personalities and/or radio stations via social media channels.

  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents said they considered or purchased products recommended by their favorite radio personalities and more than half (51%) considered or purchased a product advertised during their favorite personality’s show.
I think this quote sums it up from the USC-Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism professor Paula Patnoe Woodley..."Our findings underscore the depth of the relationship, loyalty, and trust between listeners and radio personalities.”

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I was in a neighborhood coffee shop the other day and noticed they had a local Denver radio station on. I thought cool, here's a trendy, hip coffee joint that isn't listening to Sirius/XM, Pandora or an IPOD.

Then I got a look at the radio. It was an old beat up, early 90's boom box that looked like it was on its last leg. Part of it was duct taped together, some knobs were missing and it had a wire hanger for the antenna.

This got me thinking. What happens when that radio dies? What will they do? With all the options available now, I had a hard time believing that they will run to Target or Best Buy and buy a new radio. Would they give up on listening to local radio and then go with an internet radio station?

I wonder how many other 1980's and 90's radios are out there and on their last leg. What happens then?

That scared me...a lot.

Radio needs to be more than just a music jukebox if we want to build enough listener loyalty that they go out and buy a new radio when the old one dies. The listener needs to love us that much and simply paying music won't do it. We need to build loyalty with personalities, one on one connection and community involvement.

We need to be more than just a music machine.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I just got back from a road trip with the family.  We ended up spending a few nights in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where I listened to a lot of radio.  One station stood out (which will remain nameless).

Listening to this station I heard them tout how they are "live and local."  One of their liners actually said "we have the only live and local midday show in The Black Hills."  This peak my curiosity, so I listened close and I didn't hear one thing that was local.  It was all just "that was...this is...coming name is" and "rip and read" show prep that anyone, anywhere could do.  No mention of time, things happening in the area or current temps (they did do a local weather once per hour buried at the end of the long stop set).  Nothing local, just a dumb liner that said "live and local."

Why do I think the liner "live and local" is dumb?  Let me tell you.

For one, I would argue that the average listener really doesn't care that you are "live."  What does that mean to the listener?  To us radio people we think of a live jock playing music in the studio, taking calls, doing contests.  I've never been sold that the average listener thinks of "live radio" the same way we radio people do.  Being live isn't a big advantage.  Being a relatable, genuine and real COMPANION is the advantage.  You don't have to be live to be those.

Second, while I think it's important to be "local", you just can't say it and not prove it.  Just announcing songs with generic, non topical show prep that you got from the internet isn't being local.  As researcher Mark Ramsey says, "being local isn't where you are, it's what you do."  Prove to me your local.  Don't just say it.  Back it up with actually being local and talking about things that affect your audience in the area you serve.  You can tie nearly every national story into something local.

I listened to this station for most of the "live and local midday show" and heard nothing that was local.  It was just another radio station with false claims and no proof.   It was all hype.  Nothing real or genuine.  They weren't even topical.  If you can't be local, then be topical.  Talk about what your listener is talking about.  Being real and topical is just as important as being local.  Look at Howard Stern or any nationally syndicated talk show host.

If you're going to make a claim on the air, you better prove it.  Listeners are smarter than that. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Ok, I normally try to come up with orginal posts and not "cut and paste" something someone else did.  But this is too good not to share.  Someone posted it on Facebook.  It's pretty self explanitory and is totally true.


Thursday, June 14, 2012


This is a show that I've been working on for several months and helped create. I'm really excited for it's national debut July 7/8th.  E-mail me if you want to learn more.

-John Paul
For Immediate Release:


                 Hosted by Randy Owen, front man from the legendary group Alabama

NEW YORK, NY, June 12, 2012 -  Whatever happened to songs by Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and Alabama?  They have millions of fans.  But you hardly hear their music on the radio anymore.

That’s about to change!  Dial Global (NASDAQ: DIAL) announces the debut of Country Gold with Randy Owen, a four-hour, music-intensive show hosted by the front man and lead vocalist for the iconic band ALABAMA.  In addition to its extensive playlist, Country Gold will also feature anecdotes from a guy who ruled the country music charts during its golden age….and Randy’s got the stories to prove it.   

Country Gold is packed with at least 13 songs per hour and spotlights classics from the 1970s through the mid-90s.  Core artists include Garth Brooks, George Strait, Johnny Cash, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Randy Travis, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Clint Black, Merle Haggard, Travis Tritt, Dolly Parton and, of course, Alabama.

Randy Owen is a country music legend, with 43 number #1 singles, more than 75 million albums sold, 150 industry awards--including eight ACM and CMA "Entertainer of the Year" honors--two Grammys and 23 American Music Awards.  He is also a proud member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.  

“I’m looking forward to visiting with the fans and playing some of my favorite songs and the greatest songs ever recorded,” says Owens.  “Hosting Country Gold is going to be fun and exciting for me.  I hope listeners request songs they want to hear and feel a personal connection with my show.”

 John Paul, Dial Global’s VP Programming, comments “Country Gold is designed for Mainstream and Classic Country stations.   It’s the only place to hear those ‘lost’ country music stars from 1980-1995 that rarely get played on country radio.  Yet listeners still love that music.  So this is a specialty show, a destination for fans to hear those classics.”

Country Gold with Randy Owen debuts the weekend of July 7-8, 2012 and is available from Dial Global on a market-exclusive basis.

Country Gold with Randy Owen replaces the current Country Gold and Rick Jackson’s Hall of Fame programs.  The new show features a finely tuned music mix, contemporary imaging and, now, a superstar host. 
For more information, Call 212-419-2926 or Email

About Dial Global
Dial Global produces over 200 news, sports, talk, music and entertainment programs, services and digital applications, jingles and imaging.  As America’s leading provider and distributor of audio content to more than 8,500 radio stations nationwide, Dial Global defines great moments in sports, news and entertainment through our radio networks which are heard by over 225 million listeners a week.   For more information, visit

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I constantly hear personalities using words and phrases that are yesterday.  Some are old, overused cliches, others aren't.

Here are five things that I still hear on the radio that makes the jock sound dated and out of touch. 

1)  "Don't touch that dial."  Whose radio still has a dial?

2)  Saying "WWW" before a website address.  Anyone who is online knows that you don't need to put in "WWW." 

3)  "Dial me up on the phone."  Using the word "dial" when telling listeners to call you. Who owns a phone today with a dial? I'm sure it's not your listener.

4)  Using any and all cliches.  Let's start with stopping the use of "Hump Day." 

5)  Asking your listeners to fax you anything.  If you are still telling your listeners to "fax your entry" or "fax us your PSA", you sound dated and out of touch.  It's no longer 1995.

These are just five simple things you can stop saying today and you'll sound more relevant tomorrow.

If you can think of more, I'd love to hear them.  Comment below and tell me the out dated words and phrases that you still hear on the radio.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I'm on the road traveling this week for work, so I asked "Marconi, The Night Ninja" to write me a BLOG. 

You can hear Marconi all over the country live at night on "Rock 2.0", a Dial Global Radio Network 24/7 format.

Find our more on Marconi here 

Today when it comes to marketing and branding in broadcasting, it is smart when naming anything to check to see if the URL, Twitter and Facebook names are available first. 

I have seen so many radio stations name something and have to have some long URL or weird hard to remember twitter name.  It seems silly when you can give your product or station a name that's easy to remember without having an underscore or add a frequency or a dot FM/US, or worse DOT NET!!

I have several URLS that I use for branding. My main sites are,,  All of them have matching twitter and Facebook accounts. I also own

Even when I am just playing around with an idea for naming something, I check for availability of ALL social media names.

Having a last name like mine isn't easy and for spelling most people butcher it.  Most people I know aren't even sure how to spell Bologna either.  Since I use my real last name and most things Marconi are already taken, I have done my best to adapt at least with a online brand name that is catchy and "clever" enough to be remembered.

I also find that companies always want to create apps that will cost them tons of money when almost everything they are paying for can be found for free online. 

I use all things FREE!  My tumblr page looks better and functions easier than most radio station websites. Best of all I can post to it from my phone and connect it to many social networking sites.

For my streaming I use and a laptop I bought at a pawn store. My music playlists are made on Spotify which with my premium account covers RIAA and other royalty fees. Plus I spend no time uploading music into an automation system and can update my playlists on my phone.

For my podcast I use It was created by an Italian inventor (not related to this one). It includes a DJ console where I can upload imaging, news clips, songs or anything else I might need for my podcast. I can login from any computer with a microphone and do my podcast LIVE. When I'm done it automatically uploads to which posts to my twitter, facebook and itunes feeds. Best part, wait for it...I can broadcast LIVE from my phone! The audio quality sounds like a marti unit.

For free I can go for 30 minutes or for $20 I can go up to three hours live.  I also use to post podcasts with bigger guests because the embed display looks really cool on my blog.

Finally, STOP using YOUR OWN VIDEO PLAYERS! YouTube is the best and yours is NOT better.
So unless you can make things that look and function better than these free apps, you really have no reason to spend $$ on expensive apps that function like a product from the 80's.


Thursday, May 24, 2012


Picture this.  It's Friday afternoon.  You're on your way home for a long awaited weekend after a really tough day at work.  You probably hate your job and don't want to think about it until Monday.  While you're stuck in traffic, thinking about firing up the grill, having a few beers and being able to sleep in tomorrow, the jock comes on the radio and starts talking about the weather.  He adds "and for your back to work Monday forecast...."  (I actually heard this last week on the radio). 

WHAT!  It's Friday afternoon.  I don't want to think about Monday going into my weekend.

BTW, on a semi-related note, no weather forecast on the radio should be more than 36 hours out. 

While I'm on the topic of Friday programming.  Don't run a morning show promo on Friday afternoon.  For the same reasons as stated above.  It's Friday.  My weekend.  I don't want to think about Monday before my weekend has even started.  Start your weekend morning show promo on Saturday. 

Think about your listener.  What are they doing?  What are they thinking? 

Put yourself in the mind and place of the everything you do on the air.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I recently got a call from a major market personality who was moving to a new daypart.  The PD told him that he wanted the jock to "put your own stamp on the show."  So the jock called me and wanted to know what kind of benchmarks he should do.

Without hesitation, I told him to never do benchmarks or features just to do them. 

In the last few years I've totally changed my tune on benchmarks.  In the past, I would have come up with a list of things for this jock to do. 

But today, I think most benchmarks are played out with no real thought or strategy behind them.  A lot of jocks like to have something "to hang their hat on" and they mistakenly do that with pretty weak and ineffective benchmarks that do nothing to move the ratings needle.

Instead, I told this personality, "I'd rather hear you talk about something topical, that your audience is talking about, then a weak benchmark.  Make the show your own by being you and doing things ONLY YOU can do.  Talk about your kids and your life experiences.  Be relatable and real.  Be a storyteller.  Do something that can only come from you."  These are all more important than a benchmark. 

Rethink any benchmarks you are doing.  Ask yourself "why" and "what's the benefit for the listener?"

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I've written about this a lot because it's one of the single most important things you can do when you are on the air.  It's what I base nearly my entire programming and personality philosophy around.  I'm relentless with my jocks on this one issue.

Early in my career, the late Jay Trachman (author of "Handbook for Radio Personalities") taught me one of the most valuable things ever.  The best radio is one on one.  Just YOU and ONE listener.  It's simple.  It's key.  And it's hardly ever done.

I listen to a ton of radio, both locally in Denver and online across the country and around the world.  I work with air talent all over country (and a couple on the other side of the world).  95% of the jocks I hear talk to "everyone" and not that ONE person listening. 

We are an intimate medium (or at least we should be).  We are not talking to "all of you out there."  We are talking to ONE person.  Just YOU and that ONE listener.

As a personality, the more one on one you can be on the air, the more intimate the experience is for the listener.  Your goal should be to have the listener think of you as a friend, not "that person on the radio."

Think ONE person.  Not a bunch.  Use the pronouns "you" and "I", not "everyone", "you people", or "listeners."

Talk to only ONE person.

Friday, May 4, 2012


If you are lucky enough to work in the country format, you know how great the music is right now. It's as strong as it's been in many years.

I think one of the things that is keeping country music AND our ratings strong is how much variety there is in the music. Our music and our stars don't sound alike.

If stations are good at scheduling music, you can really run the gamut in any quarter hour and have nearly every type of country music.


On the flip side, if you are not careful, you can also sound like a Hot AC station or a Country station from the 90's. Songs can clump together really easy and create a quarter hour without much variety.

So, be careful. Maybe it's time to look at your sound codes again. Look and adjust and work to get the most variety possible in any fifteen minute period.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


With the recent story of the "Prize Pig" in Canada who won over 500 prizes on the radio (yes, his story is an extreme case), I thought it would be good to re-visit one of my earlier blogs on this topic.

I’ve never liked the term “prize pig.” Yeah, they like to win prizes and can really be an annoyance to the airstaff and promotions department, but a majority of these people are Super P1’s and would most likely take part in an Arbitron survey if asked. So why do we take our most loyal (and I’ll admit sometimes the most annoying listeners) and refer to them as “pigs?”

There’s a hardware store in my neighborhood I love and I’m very loyal to. I spend a lot of money and time with them. If I ever found out the owner referred to me as a “pig” behind my back, hello Big Box Store.

I’ve also never been a fan of the “you can only win once every 30 day” rule. I have no idea where it came from, but it never made any sense to me. If you have a winner win a prize and you say “you can only win once every 30 days,” guess what? They are gone for the next 30 days. They are going to your competition to listen and try to win from them. It’s our job to keep them listening to us as much as possible. So why would we tell our most loyal listeners “go somewhere else for 30 days?” Why not let your most loyal listeners win as much as they want?

Now, if you are giving away a huge prize like cash or trips, then yes, one winner every 30 days, but smaller prizes, who cares? Not one listener would ever call and say “man, John Doe sure does win a lot.” Listeners don’t listen that close and if they ever did call and question your contest philosophy, you could reply with “you too are eligible to win as much as you’d like. Unlike other stations in town, we don’t limit your winnings to once every 30 days.” I bet they’d understand and be excited to keep listening and trying to win.

Another contest pet peeve of mine is when a personality is airing the winning call and asks “have you won anything in the last 30 days?” Why air that? It’s a bunch of extra words you don’t need, people don’t care and it’s a negative. Even if that’s your policy, personalities should edit that out and tell the winner that off the air.

I know this is a polarizing topic and I’ve had many heated debates about this with nearly every promotions department I’ve ever worked with. But logically, it makes total sense to “thank” our P1’s and reward them for listening as much as we can. I challenge you to convince your promotion department, GM or company to look at the “30 day rule” and saying the phrase “prize pig” and stop doing them both.

They do more harm than good.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


First, let me start by saying I know how busy everyone in radio is and sometimes it's hard to respond to people. But it's not impossible.

I have a rule that I will call or e-mail everyone back within 24 business hours (unless I'm traveling, then I put a message on my voice mail). Is it tough? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I consider it part of my job and I always budget time into my daily to do list to get this task done.

Nothing is more frustrating than someone who doesn't call me back or is non responsive to an e-mail. Remember the Golden Rule..."One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself."

Make calling everyone back part of your daily duties. And if you are in the same office, get up and talk to them face to face.

It's just good business.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Nearly 40% of radio listeners will only listen on the weekends.

That's a pretty big number of people that only hear your station on Saturday and Sunday.

Consistency is key.

Look at any big successful brand. They are consistent in their message, their product and their delivery. No matter where you buy a can of coke, it always tastes and looks the same. Every Starbucks has the same overall look and feel to it, no matter which one you visit.

Don't throw away your weekends with weaker jocks or play just music with sweepers and imaging (if that's not what you do on weekdays).

Have something BIG on Monday morning (grand prize, feature, benchmark, etc). Run promos all weekend to push those people to Monday morning. If you're in a PPM market, imagine what a difference one meter (that may only listen on the weekend) makes if they tune in Monday morning. Every minute and occasion count.

Syndicated shows can really help build you cume. If you run them, schedule music imaging promos within that show to let the listener know what you are all about the rest of the week. Sell your station's benefits.

If your full-time staff doesn't do a live weekend show, have them voice track. Get your morning show to track a "best of" on Saturday mornings recycling the best bits from the previous week. I firmly believe that a TRACKED show with a solid full time jock is far better than a LIVE show with a mediocre jock.

Make weekends as big a priority as Monday through Friday.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


When I watch TV newscasters, I can always tell the ones that have never worked in radio.

They are terrible ad-libbers and if there is not a teleprompter in front of them, they are lost.

Most radio personalities are far better at ad-libbing and thinking on their feet. It's what we do most of the time when we're on the air (especially morning shows).

If you aren't strong at ad-libbing and want to be better on your feet, take an improv class. They are well worth the investment.

I took one a few years ago, and not only was it really fun, I learned a lot about ad-libbing and thinking on my feet. There are some rules of doing improv that totally work on the radio (I wish more TV newscasters took these classes).

Google to see if there is an improv class in your area. If there is, sign up. You'll love it and be better on the air.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


For those of you that are on air, here's a different way to aircheck your show.

Listen to it while doing something else.

It's amazing what you will hear when you aren't staring at the speaker and listening intently. Real listeners don't listen to your show that way. Every once in awhile you should try it.

If you track your show, listen to it in real time while working around the house, in the garage or driving in the car. Have it on in the background. This is exactly how everyone else is listening to you.

You'll be able to hear flow, momentum, inflection and energy the way the listener hears you. Plus, if you're a Programmer, you'll be able to hear the music mix (tempo, balance, era, etc) and how well your imaging sounds and if it's cutting through.

Sometimes we have to take a step back to really hear things the way the listener does.


Nearly 40% of radio listeners will only listen on the weekends.

That's a pretty big number of people that only hear your station on Saturday and Sunday.

Consistency is key.

Look at any big successful brand. They are consistent in their message, their product and their delivery. No matter where you buy a can of coke, it always tastes and looks the same. Every Starbucks has the same overall look and feel to it, no matter which one you visit.

Don't throw away your weekends with weaker jocks or play just music with sweepers and imaging (if that's not what you do on weekdays).

Have something BIG on Monday morning (grand prize, feature, benchmark, etc). Run promos all weekend to push those people to Monday morning. If you're in a PPM market, imagine what a difference one meter (that may only listen on the weekend) makes if they tune in Monday morning. Every minute and occasion count.

Syndicated shows can really help build you cume. If you run them, schedule music imaging promos within that show to let the listener know what you are all about the rest of the week. Sell your station's benefits.

If your full-time staff doesn't do a live weekend show, have them voice track. Get your morning show to track a "best of" on Saturday mornings recycling the best bits from the previous week. I firmly believe that a TRACKED show with a solid full time jock is far better than a LIVE show with a mediocre jock.

Make weekends as big a priority as Monday through Friday.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


If you're an on air talent and only doing the bare minimum, (Title, Artist, Time and Temp or TATT) then you are missing a huge opportunity to grow your audience and the occasions that a listener will tune in.

Do more.

Open yourself up to the listener. Connect. Relate. Share. Give them a reason to listen beyond just the music you play.

Your goal should be for the listener to think of you as a friend, not "that person on the radio."

You can't do that by reading liner cards.

In the words of consultant Jaye Albright, "people listen to people. Not radio stations."

So true.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Recently, I was having a discussion with someone about how country radio's biggest asset is how real and genuine we are (or should be).

I know what genuine means, but I looked it up anyway. Genuine is defined as "not fake or counterfeit, not pretended; sincerely felt or expressed."

Right on!

The problem is, when I listen to country radio all over the United States, I don't hear a lot of genuine radio stations. I hear a lot of stations that play country music, but not a lot of genuine country music stations.

We need to make sure we look at everything on our radio station and be as genuine, real and authentic as we can be.

None of the air talent on your station should sound like “a DJ.” They need to be conversational, talking to the listener, not at them. They need to open themselves up and be real. Look at the success of reality shows on TV. People like watching and getting to know real people. With great personalities and all of our story songs, country radio has a BIG opportunity to be genuine, real and authentic.

When writing and producing your imaging, use real listeners talking about your station and the area you live. No hype. Use language real people use, not “radiosisms.” Look at how many TV commercials you see where real people are “talking about” and endorsing the product. Ford, Apple, Microsoft are all using this strategy and its working.

Whether you are the PD or the air talent, your goal at the end of the day is to make the listener think of you as a friend, not “that person on the radio."

Connect with the listener. Be more than a “DJ." Be a friend and companion.

Who wants to be friends with someone who is fake and contrived?

Sunday, February 12, 2012


For air talent in all formats, there's a million different types of show prep. Some good, some bad. Most of it is essential for a topical show and I fully recommend having access to as much show prep as possible.

But you should try an experiment.

If all the show prep you have available to you (including the Internet) were to go away, would you still be able to do an entertaining show? Do you have enough of a life outside of radio to be relatable and entertaining with your own experiences? Or as talent coach Tommy Kramer calls it, "your own camera angle?"

Show prep sites and services are really important, but don't let that be the only thing on your show. We all have access to the same Celebrity Birthday's and Hollywood Gossip. Bring your own personal stories, experiences and relatables to your show.

Talk about things that only YOU have, not what everyone else is talking about.




It's time for some Leadership and Motivational Quotes. Feel free to share.

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
Harold R. McAlindon

"The real leader has no need to lead, he is content to point the way."
Henry Miller

"Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow."
Chinese Proverb

"A leader is a dealer in hope."
Napoleon Bonaparte

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
George Patton

"Where there is no vision, the people perish."
Proverbs 29:18

"Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise."
Woodrow Wilson

"What you cannot enforce / Do not command."

"Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door."
Kyle Chandler

"Quality is not an act, it is a habit."

"One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency."
Arnold Glasow

"Men can be stimulated to show off their good qualities to the leader who seems to think they have good qualities."
John Richelsen

"Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream."
Malcolm Muggeridge

"Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I may remember. Involve me, I will understand."
Chinese Proverb

"A man who wishes to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd."
Jack Lee

"They may forget what you said, they may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
Carl W. Buecher

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head -- that's assault, not leadership."
Dwight D. Eisenhower