Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #575: How the Jack Benny Format Applies to Radio Today

If you’ve never heard it (or seen his TV show on some classic channel), the Jack Benny Show was groundbreaking in its day. And it still has a basic formula that I assure you WILL work today: he made everyone else the star.

Whether it was his announcer, his wife, a singer, a guest, or any other cast member, Benny was quite willing to take a back seat. He never minded being the butt of a joke, overshadowed by another comedian, or made to look like a fool.

The result? People LOVED HIM. Yes, him. They liked the other cast members, too, but people felt sympathy for – or empathy with – him.

I can’t stress how important this was in my own career, and how many people I’ve coached to use this technique. It always works.

Put your ego aside.

The more you willingly give the spotlight to someone else, the more people will like you.

One caution: In a team show environment, remember that the “side people” can’t completely take over the show. The headliner still has to shine, too.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (mobile)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2024 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Frost Advisory #717 – Opinions Are Like Noses

“Opinions are like noses,” the saying goes. “Everyone has one.”

I like her voice! She sounds nasal! He’s funny. He thinks he’s funny.

Subjective opinions are inevitable in an industry that is a combination of music and art. The question is… how do we keep subjectivity from driving our most important decisions, staying clear of those being driven by the loudest voice or the one in the largest office?

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #573: The Road to Brevity

Brevity is the most useful skill you can develop.

Sadly, instead of brevity, we often get bloviating. So let me help you with what I recently wrote in a coaching session recap…

Thinking “How few words can I use to say this?” is the road to brevity. As you police yourself to get rid of repetition and edit yourself better, your longer breaks will actually stand out more, as a result. (Funny how that works.)

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Frost Advisory #717 – A Memorial Day Thought: How Will Your Station To Be Remembered?

Memorial Day weekend is a time to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Maybe, just maybe, there is a legacy lesson for our stations.

How will your station be remembered?

Will it be remembered as the station that plays 25-minute music sweeps without any talk, OR that it helped your community to be a better place to live and raise a family?

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #572: The Barbecue Test

Here’s a quick way to measure or grade your on-air performance: Is what you’re saying something you’d say at a backyard barbecue to a person you just met?

If it’s not, then why are you saying it?

“Too inside” is a disease. You potentially have a new person tuning in for the first time right now. What are you going to say to welcome that person in? And more importantly, what will you say that compels that person to stick around today, or come back tomorrow?

The simplest, shortest break you do may the one that catches that listener’s attention; that makes him or her think, “This person is like me.”

Frost Advisory #716 – What Does It Mean To Be Rich?

A legendary broadcaster recently asked me, “If you claim that your format can be so transformational, why are the stations so ordinary?”


Ken and Barbie in the morning, who replaced Ken and Barbie before them and few even noticed.* Nice Christian people talking about nice Christian things to nice Christian people.

Nice, indeed. But clearly not transformational to a listener’s life.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #571: In the Mood

Moods matter. Some shows I’ve heard recently have one – but ONLY one.

We’re humans.  We have moods – all sorts of different ones, each day.  So, the challenge for you is to not just plaster on a veneer every day, but to have a definable mood to each show.

Tip: Reflect the mood around you – what you feel at home, or when you stop at a store for coffee, or at the place where you work. Feed off that. Let it guide you to be in step with the Listener.

When I sense that you feel what I’m feeling, we bond. And as I always say, we’re not paid by the word; we’re paid by the connection.