The Christmas season brings out the best in our format. More people tune in than at any other time of the year, some stations topping a million listeners per week, once unthinkable in our format.
I know stations that do their best work in connecting on big tent values (those that resonate with new listeners as much as with regular fans) with stories of hope, forgiveness, and fresh starts. Over the last several weeks we’ve heard some amazing stories and songs.
I heard how Pamela and her daughter were helped to move out of the homeless shelter and start a new life!
I heard Craig’s story of being able to hear for the first time because of a caring surgeon.
I heard the story of the man who decorated his house with Christmas lights knowing that his son wouldn’t live to see Christmas. When his neighbors found out they joined in and decorated their houses months early.
Stories and songs. Continue reading
The other day, I heard a guy who’s quite good RUSHING through every break. Talking to him later, I found that he’d gone through a series of really stressful things, leading to his getting back home at 4 AM, then having to go in and substitute for someone on the air just a very few hours later.
In trying to overcome sleep deprivation, he went the “energy” route. But it didn’t really work, because the listener can almost always tell when we’re overcompensating, or just not quite “in the pocket.”
This is what I told him:
A 12-ounce glass won’t hold 14 ounces of Dr. Pepper. Pouring it faster won’t help.
Keep that in mind the next time you’re not physically at your best. Stay ear-friendly. Fit the glass.
Is there a connection between Christmas and your station’s strategy? No, I didn’t say Christmas MUSIC. I said Christmas.
They say there are more “religious” radio stations in the United States than any other format category. They also say that those religious stations have fewer listeners than any other. Ouch!
Many Christian radio stations could best be described as “A bunch of stuff all on one station,” consisting of a little of this and a little of that with little connection to the WHY.
A station I’ve worked with for years now faces a huge challenge. Their longtime morning man and PD is leaving the station after many years of exemplary service and success. At the same time, they’re being pressured by a relatively new GM to get ratings and revenue up, and part of that is to reduce expenses by going to fewer air talents being employed (doubling up on a jock by putting him or her on two different stations in the cluster) and going to more voice-tracked shows on the weekends.
So I want to speak into that as a bonus for any PD or GM reading this, while at the same time focusing on what will help any talent under the gun from his boss to do better.
First, if you live by math (ratings statistics and projections) as your starting place to the extent that you think more voice-tracked shifts are an answer, that’s not gonna fly. In radio today, both in the short and the long run, Talent doesn’t DELIVER the product, talent IS the product.
On last week’s show I shared the experience of driving with my friend Mike when he declared, “My GPS is broken! It only tells me where I’ve been, not where I’m going.”
Making programming decisions based solely upon ratings is like driving with a GPS that shows only where you’ve been.