In talking to Program Directors and GMs over the years, I’ve heard a lot of discussion about why a show does or doesn’t really get the audience the people in charge think it should.
For example, they’ll go down their bullet-point lists of all the ingredients that a morning show should have – the capsule descriptions of what words describe each Talent, which one is the “starter” and which is the “reactor,” and (hopefully) the reason people will listen to them.
But if you stop there, you’re missing the center of the bulls-eye: Values.
What are the talent’s values? What are the station’s values? What do you STAND for?
Sooner or later, all stations – and all shows – come down to values. Without some core ingredient that the listener can FEEL, you’re just someone spraying out words; hit and miss.
My friend Johnjay Van Es of “The Johnjay & Rich Show” is a great example. He’s got every tool that you’d look for – an interesting voice, great chemistry with the other members of the show, a remarkable awareness of how to use social media to create more avenues for the listener to connect with the show, great sense of humor, etc.
But he also has very value-driven, openly heart-driven things like his “Love Up” campaign, and its offshoot, the “Love Pup” campaign, that has found homes for countless dogs all across the country in the dozens of markets where the show airs.
Without those, they’d be a much shallower entity, doing bits and talking about what famous people they hung out with – like a lot of other shows that may be entertaining in the short run, but in the words of Gertrude Stein describing Oakland, “There’s no ‘there’ there.”
If I listen to you for an hour, I’d better come away with something that shows me what your values are. Otherwise, “click”… the death sentence.
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