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.