Frost Advisory #308 – Programming Lessons From Mom

Flowers, candy, and cards.  Family time and reminiscing.  As we celebrate Mother’s Day, perhaps there are programming lessons we can learn from mom as well.

Be a good listener 

There is no shortage of subjective opinions about your station’s programming; from the boss, a listener or donor, the receptionist, the sales manager.  The opinions that are most valuable are the ones uncovered through objective research to understand the listeners’ needs and perspective.  Ask.  But you have to ask it the right way.

Live every moment

The most important programming element is the one that is on RIGHT NOW, not tomorrow, not next week.  “Be good now” is the best programming advice there is.  After all, the “nows” add up.

Be a good friend  

Friends make others feel welcome.  Friends don’t talk down to others.  Friends encourage.

Don’t be selfish 

The moment we think the station is all about us, we lose perspective.  Whether commercial or non-comm, your station ultimately exists to serve and bless others.


Be vigilant about getting the bad stuff off your radio station and replacing it with good stuff.

Remember who you are

My mom used to say, “Remember who you are and what you represent.”  Your station’s brand – what your station stands for – is the primary reason people tune in.  The degree by which you elicit passion through your brand values will determine your success.

Thanks, Mom!


Tommy Kramer Tip #153 – What John Oliver Gets about Social Media that Most People Don’t

If I hear “Join the conversation” one more time, I’m going to scream.  This is trite and uninspired.  First of all, to me (the listener), it’s NOT a “conversation” UNTIL I join it.  It’s just a bunch of people I don’t know jabbering away on Twitter.  It ranks right up there with someone’s picture of kale zucchini on Instagram.  (And any “conversation” about that should include the words “makes me want to hurl.”)

John Oliver, the wonderful host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” really gets how social media should be used.  Instead of the nebulous, pandering, “What do you think?” or the even more beaten-to-death “join the conversation,” Oliver gives people something to DO.

Example:  In April of 2016, Oliver did a piece on the expensive seats in Yankee Stadium in a prime location, known as the “Legends Club” – the first five rows of seats.  Priority seating access, people (servants, actually) bringing your food to you so you don’t have to stand in line with the plebeians who have to wait for their lukewarm 15-dollar beer – you get the picture.  Oliver quoted the Yankees’ COO actually saying — out loud — in a radio interview that “If you buy a ticket in a very premium location, we don’t want you to sell it for a buck and a half” to a fan who “may be someone who has never sat in a premium location… so that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”

Indignant about this “rich people don’t like sitting next to people who aren’t rich” perspective, Oliver BOUGHT two “Legends” seats to each of the Yankees’ first three games – right behind home plate.  And he offered to sell them to you for 25 CENTS, with the provision that you COULDN’T dress nicely!

To get them, you tweeted a photo of what you and a guest would wear to the game, with the hash-tag #IHAVENEVERSATINAPREMIUMLOCATION.

Totally intrigued by this, I saw the two winning fans at the first game, sitting with all the high rollers and multi-gazillionaires, dressed in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumes!  Well done, John Oliver, you strange but brilliant British fellow.  If you get to Hawaii, come to my place, and we’ll sit in shorts, tee-shirts, and flip-flops (my attire EVERY day) and I’ll throw a steak on the grill for you.

The lesson:  Let’s DO something, and get in on the ACTION, not just “join the conversation.”

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2016 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Frost Advisory #307 – Programming Lessons From The Mall

Dozens of decisions come your way every day.  Some are small and some are big, impacting the health and growth of your station.

Maybe there is wisdom to be found at the mall.  (There’s a sentence I thought I’d never say!)


The mall directory has some sections large enough to read the name of the stores: Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales.  These are the anchor stores.

Other areas are much smaller with names readable only if you’re standing on your head.  (And I wasn’t!)

The anchor stores serve as the primary reason people go to the mall.  The smaller stores tend to be boutique in nature and add options to the mall experience.  If Mom is shopping for a new outfit at Nordstrom, Dad can catch up on some computer work as he’s gulping down a Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato, Sugar-Free Syrup, Extra Shot, Light Ice, No Whip at Starbucks.

Your station is like that.

Your station’s “anchors” are its overarching brand values, the unique mix of music, compelling air personalities, and key listener benefits.  (see Frost Advisories #122 and 146).  Your smaller “stores” are everything else.

Here’s the problem!  Under-performing stations tend to focus not on the anchors, but on the everything else.  And that focus changes perspective.

“Where focus goes, energy flows.  And where energy flows, whatever you’re focusing on grows.”
~Tony Robbins

If your radio station is struggling you may want to check your own “mall directory”.  What’s most important?  Why do people come there in the first place?  Perhaps the small stuff has become the big stuff because that’s where your focus has been.

Now, off to the mall for a Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato, Sugar-Free Syrup, Extra Shot, Light Ice, No Whip at Starbucks!