Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #538: Not Being Predictable

A PD in a large market contacted me recently, asking if I’d like to work with their morning team. Since I hadn’t heard it, he was nice enough to send me some audio of the show. He also told me that the lead guy had enjoyed a great deal of success before he came to this station.

But it was pretty typical. Several things all tossed into the air at once. Phone calls about an innocuous subject that didn’t really surprise me. A spate of multiple punch lines to a bit given by two people at breakneck speed (so it couldn’t possibly sound spontaneous). It wasn’t bad, but there just wasn’t anything special about it.

Look, I’ve worked with hundreds of stations in every English-speaking format, coaching many hundreds of air talents, and not being predictable has been a key for all of them. (Consistent = good. Predictable = bad.)

Here’s a first step: Listen to your show yourself, and be honest about whether it would make you come back and listen to it again tomorrow.

Then, weed out anything that sounds typical. Hold your feet to the fire about WHY each thing is done. “This’ll be funny” isn’t nearly as powerful as “This will be something the listener can identify with.” I can hear “topics and phone calls” anywhere nowadays. Get out of the Control Room and meet me in my car. What matters to me (as a listener) supersedes what matters to you.

Oh, and about that team show, I doubt if the PD liked much of what I had to say about it. But I can fix them – if they’ll listen.

Frost Advisory #685 – Correlation vs. Causation

Our minds crave simplicity.

The doctor says to take a pill. We eagerly agree because it’s simple. Until he tells us that the pill will cause us to lose our hair. Ouch! Now it becomes more complicated and not such a great idea.

“People are drawn to black and white opinions because they are simple, not because they are true. Truth demands serious effort and thought.”

Donald Miller
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Frost Advisory #684 – Reaching Into The Toolbox Of Art And Science

Making decisions based strictly on data rarely works out.

Let’s take ratings, as an example. Making programming decisions based solely upon ratings is like driving with a GPS that shows only where you’ve been. It’s like driving your car while looking in the rear view mirror.

(Ratings can’t illuminate the three most important factors to making good programming decisions. See Frost Advisory #664)

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #536: The End of the Table

This is primarily a team show tip, based on an aircheck a friend sent me of him and his new female partner.

He’s very conversational. She’s LOUD. And this is something I hear a lot. People (regardless of gender) on the radio seem to get LOUD when they’re talking to each other.

I don’t understand that. You’re supposed to be friends. Why are you shouting at each other? And why are both of you shouting at me?

You want to talk loud enough to be heard at the dinner table, not to be heard at the end of the continent.

Frost Advisory #683 – Does Your Station Have An ACTUAL Program Director?

Titles are funny. For some reason we assume if someone has a title that means that they know how to do the job.

I’ve known organizations that would be transformed if only one simple thing happened – that the one person with a particular expertise was the one person who made the decision in that particular area.

I’ve known far too many programmers that didn’t know how to program, managers that didn’t know how to manage, and engineers that didn’t know how to… whatever it is they do.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #535: It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

In honor of Jimmy Buffett’s passing, I’m using his song “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” (sung with Alan Jackson) as the starting point for this tip.

Some questions for you:

When you get off work, is what you want to here “somewhere” radio? You know… generic playlist, generic Content. Or would you rather hear songs that you love, and songs we think you’ll grow to love, and Content that relates to your life, today?

On a great radio station, it’s 5 o’clock HERE. NOW.

God bless you, Jimmy Buffett. And everyone else, wear sunscreen.

Frost Advisory #682 – A Programming Lesson From Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett wasn’t a one hit wonder, but almost.

Did you know that he never had a #1 hit on Billboard, and had only one song, “Margaritaville,” that even reached the top 10.

And yet the idea of “Margaritaville” inspired restaurants and resorts, a Broadway musical and retirement communities turning Buffett’s alleged desire for the simplicity of island life into a multimillion brand. He’s on the list of Forbes’ America’s Richest Celebrities with a net worth of one billion dollars.

What’s my point?

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