One of the main arguments against radio today is that “people would rather watch TV.” Or stare at a computer, tablet, or cell phone screen. For our purposes, let’s just use TV as an example.
I watch an NBA game, and BETWEEN TWO FREE THROWS (!) they run a commercial. (The game itself, of course, is shrunk down so that my 70-inch screen might just as well be the 24-inch screen I had in 1988.) This is SO invasive. Announcers in every sport talk right up to the moment a pass or pitch is thrown. And baseball has been so ruined by TV directors that you see a pitcher, then – in the middle of his windup – they change cameras to show the batter, then another switch is flipped and you see a player field the ball. They could all be from separate games, and you wouldn’t even know it. And NFL games? Don’t even start. TV directors are so intent on “filling the screen” that you can see the pores of a quarterback’s face. I want to see more of the field (or court) so I can see where each player IS, and what they’re doing.
Here’s where radio is still magic: we’re not bound by what the Director decides to show. We can create “word pictures” that those screaming, big-voiced announcers don’t seem able to do, and we don’t have to listen to some broken-down ex-player describe things in such minute detail and in terminology that we don’t understand. We can do whatever we want to make something visceral and emotional.
But only IF:
*You’re not just some idiot reading crap off a computer screen with no emotional investment in what you’re saying.
*Or you’re not just endlessly intro’ing artists and song titles. (BORING.)
*Or what you’re talking about is timely, and connects with the listener’s life.
You have everything you need to succeed and be a true Personality, someone who seems like a good friend…someone I (as a listener) want to hear give your “take” on a subject.
I get asked a lot about what one thing I’d say to someone who hasn’t “gotten it” yet, and the answer is always the same: WAKE UP and say something worth hearing. Don’t let TV and Facebook be more valuable than radio, because there’s no way they can be as entertaining and as personal as you.
– – – – – – –
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2020 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.
A couple of weeks ago I began a conversation I entitled “It’s Better Than Just Being Good.”
Over the years I’ve learned that there are basically three different levels of discussions about programming.
There are conversations about being competent, and conversations about incremental improvements.
But those two topics are not necessarily transformative.
I recently eavesdropped on some focus groups for a radio station that is viewed as elite in our format. You would know of them. The listeners didn’t talk about the station the way we do – the nuts and bolts, the songs and deejays, liners and promotions. No, they talked about how the station fits into their life.
“It’s like being in the same room with my friends.”
“I can talk to my kids about this.”
“I’m in a better mood when I get home.”
In other words, the value of listening to a station is viewed on how it relates and transforms their lives. Better mood. An escape from the negative. How it connects with the conversations I have with those I love.
If you’ve worked with me or read any significant amount of my stuff, you know that a lot of what I coach comes from the acting world. Although he only lived to be 50 years old, Roy London has been a heavy influence on me.
A fine actor himself, over the last fifteen years of his life, Mr. London became one of the premier acting teachers in Hollywood, a profound influence on the likes of Sharon Stone, Jeff Goldblum, Hank Azaria, Geena Davis, and Garry Shandling, just to name a few.
One of London’s main tenets is “It’s all about Love. Every choice comes from trying to connect with Love.”
Man, that is spot-on. While some radio talents have had success being negative and snarky, the ones that most people hold dear are the ones who are consciously trying to connect on a human level. And Love is the highest of human values. Continue reading
It’s football season!
With Americans dealing with the pandemic these last six months, the initial lock down and the recent openings, you’d think that the opening of the NFL season would be a time of celebration.
Instead, the talk is about players kneeling (or not), teams refusing to come out of their locker room for the National Anthem, fans booing a players’ gesture of solidarity, and decline in viewership of 13% year to year. Social media posts are just as likely to be about the protests as they are about the game itself.
Let’s be blunt. The NFL has lost control of its brand, either inadvertently, or due to factors outside their control, or lack of leadership.
This Frost Advisory is not about freedom of speech, the merits of the protesters, or taking sides. It is about what our radio stations can learn from the NFL’s loss of its brand values.
My brilliant friend and associate John Frost recently heard a station that used the slogan “We Actually Care.”
These people are obviously… well, stupid. As a coach, this concerns me because the air talent that has to live UP to what the station says about itself is virtually crippled by it.
First of all, the only possible inference of that phrase is that they’re better than the stations that DON’T “actually” care. (But I’m not familiar with any station that has “We Actually Don’t Care” as their slogan.) Continue reading