Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #375 – The “Chopped” Criteria

“Chopped” – the TV show on The Food Network – wasn’t in my sphere of awareness until just a couple of years ago.  My wife is addicted to watching people compete in this cooking competition where contestants are asked to take “basket ingredients” like yak thighs, pine cones, elderberry stems, and the bumper from a 1964 Buick, and make a meal out of them.

It’s fun, and the competition is serious, presented in a “steel cage gladiator death match” format.  But since I’m always looking for ways to help people sound better, what resonates with me is the “Chopped” criteria: Presentation, Taste, and Creativity.

In radio terms, you can always work on Presentation – even when the goal is to avoid sounding “presentational.”

Taste is any easy one.  It’s mirroring the taste of your listener.  You’re “cooking” for her or him.

And Creativity is simply the biggest dividing line in radio.  If you haven’t found your creative “muscle” yet, listen to great stations, read great books, watch great movies.  Soak it up.  Just like you would that redeye gravy that girl from Louisiana just made on Chopped.  Yum.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #374 – Dog Chasing Its Tail

The other day, I heard a morning team launch into a subject that should have taken about ten seconds to set up, but they took 4 times that.  The classic “dog chasing its own tail” scenario.  Lots of activity; no real progress.

Without quoting them, let’s compare it to a movie.  Where the scene description would be “Doorbell rings.  Then cut to the door being opened,” we instead got the meaningless (and uninteresting) details.  The wife heard the doorbell ring, then told her husband, who was chilling out on the couch, to answer it, and even though he didn’t want to, he made himself get up and do it anyway… blah, blah, blah.

Cut to the chase, for crying out loud.  Remember this:

Too many words “getting started” always leads to a letdown at the end – if the listener even makes it TO the end.  The impact will always be reduced, no matter what.

Doorbell rings.  You answer it.  WHAT HAPPENED? THAT’S the important part.

Frost Advisory #520 – It’s About Identity

I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.

The good news? Our format is a lifestyle format. The bad news? Our format is a lifestyle format.

This old pandemic has revealed a perspective on the latter.

When there is…

no more driving to and from work…

no more being at work while having your kids in school…

no more driving to and from church on Sundays…

…key opportunities for listening go away.

Having said that, many Christian music stations are performing quite nicely through the pandemic, at least from a ratings perspective (and donor support, as well).

I have a theory about that.

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