Frost Advisory #190 – All I Ever Learned About Programming a Radio Station, I Learned in Kindergarten

Just play the songs your listeners love. Don’t play the songs they don’t love. And play those songs over and over and over again.

Talk to your listeners the way their friends talk to friends, not like strangers.

Act like you enjoy being with your listeners. Maybe they’ll enjoy being with you.

Don’t make your listeners eat all their vegetables every time. Every now and then give them some candy.

Give your listeners presents and throw a party for them and invite all their friends. They’ll feel special. Make fun noises that you wouldn’t do any other time.

Turn the music your listeners love into a game so its fun to play and they can share with their friends.

If you have to tell your listeners bad news, hold their hand, tell them how sorry you are, and let them cry if they need to.

Give your listeners a gift for no particular reason. They’ll be surprised and maybe tell a friend.

Don’t talk about things that your listeners don’t know about. You’ll make them feel like a stranger. Include them. We all want to belong.

Remember, the ordinary and predictable toys are not the ones they’ll rush to play with. Always look for the unusual, intriguing, and fascinating ones.

Your listeners will be more interested in the pictures you take if they are in them.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give your listeners special treats.

If you should take your listeners somewhere they’ve never been, surround them with familiar things to make them feel safe. And don’t leave them alone.

If you want your listeners to remember something, put it to song. It’s how we learned our A-B-Cs.

You still remember the kids in kindergarten that you loved and you remember the ones that you hated. The ones you were indifferent about have vanished from your mind. Don’t let your station be indifferent to your listeners.

Leave things on your station where your listeners can find them.

You expected your teachers to teach arithmetic, supervise recess, and teach you how to spell. The ones that are now special to you did something extra. (I once had a teacher invite us to her home during school to watch the World Series). Your listeners expect you to play great music, and keep them updated on news, traffic and weather. What is that something extra that you can do that will delight your listeners?

Don’t waste your listener’s time with things they don’t enjoy. Get to the point, make your interruptions brief, and return quickly to the main reason they listen to you.

Flush. Be vigilant in getting the bad stuff off your station and replacing it with good.

Just talk to your listeners about things they are interested in. Don’t talk about stuff the stuff they are not interested in.

Take a nap every afternoon. Try to wake up with a fresh perspective of your station, more like your listener’s.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. It takes teamwork to make a radio station successful.

Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and pray and work some every day. Your listener’s life isn’t just about radio, and yours shouldn’t be, either.

I can’t think of anyone who loved my mother that I don’t love. Love what is important to your listeners.

John Frost

About John Frost

John has been a successful major market DJ and PD for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky and publishes the Frost Advisory.

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