Frost Advisory #481 – Daylight Saving Time: A Programming Lesson

So, what did you do with your extra hour?

Although most of us were in beddie-bye, we all experienced the 2 AM hour on Sunday TWICE as we rolled back our clocks an hour from Daylight Saving Time.

Was the second 2 AM hour just like the first?

Was Tuesday’s show just like Monday’s show?

Was today’s show just like last year’s show?

I’m blessed to work with several team shows that have been together a long time, several more than 10 years, and even at multiple stations. Kevin and Taylor at The Fish Atlanta. Steve and Amy at Spirit 105-9 in Austin. Ellis and Tyler at Z88.3 in Orlando. Frank, Starlene, and Hudson at 94.9 KLTY in Dallas-Ft. Worth. Scott and Sam at The Fish LA. Tommy and Brook at Joy 99 in Grand Rapids.

I suggest to them…

Their greatest strength is their greatest weakness.

It’s great that they’ve had success together. They know each other’s tendencies, they are well versed in the ensemble rhythm, and they have a clear idea (hopefully) of the brand values of the show.

But it’s also too easy to do yesterday’s show, last year’s show, and recycle features that basically allow the show to do itself. In other words, they can do it in their sleep.

“A great radio station isn’t simply the one with the fewest tune-outs, it’s the one with the turn-ons listeners want to experience again and again – the moments that remind you to come back and listen again for more moments just like them.”

Mark Ramsey

In the wonderful movie “Ground Hog Day,” Bill Murray’s character experienced the same day over and over again. On the first Ground Hog Day the clock alarm awakes with Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.” When it happened again it was puzzling, then it was irritating, and then he smashed the radio. Note, predictability resulted in a stronger emotion than preference.

Are your listeners experiencing the same thing over and over again, or is every day a fresh, updated version of your brand? (This is not a criticism of benchmarks designed to create listening opportunities, but a caution in being realistic about an individual tactic being meaningful enough to actually alter a listener’s daily routine).

There is a difference between CONSISTENCY and PREDICTABILITY.

Consistency is good. It says you are meeting your listeners’ expectations, that you are paying off on the very reason they tune in.

Predictability is bad. It says there is no SURPRISE and DELIGHT! No Wow! No reason to have the station playing throughout the office. They’ve heard it all before.

If the people in your hallways don’t fear missing out…

…don’t expect your listeners to either.

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?”

Bill Murray, Groundhog Day

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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