Frost Advisory #660 – A Good Idea About Bad Radio on a Good Friday

There’s a financial talk show on a small AM radio station where I live. Yep, I listen from time to time but please don’t tell anybody. It’s terrible radio, but the guys are really smart, they cough a lot, have lots of room noise and give insightful advice.

Besides, they’ve helped me make a gazillion imaginary dollars in the stock market!

The trouble is they don’t understand radio. Much of the show includes inside references (the office necktie policy), dropped phone calls (“is the caller there? Hello? Please turn down your radio!”), reading articles out loud from the Wall Street Journal (BORING! I can do that myself!), or making references to things they said thirty minutes ago (“Do I have to repeat this again? Weren’t you listening thirty minutes ago?”)

Well, Friday – Good Friday – topped it all! Because of the holiday, Friday’s show was a repeat of Thursday’s show. So we were treated to invitations to call (which we couldn’t), the plugging of tomorrow’s repeat show (which was now today, so tomorrow’s wasn’t), and commentary on that day’s stock prices (now obsolete). Nothing is more irrelevant than day-old financial news.

Let’s face it! The show was a rerun simply because they didn’t make the effort to be relevant.

While it’s easy to scoff at their lack of effort on this little AM station, I hear things on big FM stations that aren’t much better. In a world of choice, people choose.

Relevancy drives those choices.

Maybe someday Artificial Intelligence will invent a large traffic sign that will flash a STOP when what is coming out of the speakers isn’t relevant to the listener. Doesn’t add value. Or didn’t even make the effort.

Perhaps that stop sign would alert us to what Dean O’Neal of Z88.3 in Orlando, a seasoned traffic guy himself, has been heard to say:

“There is nothing more irrelevant than a traffic report for traffic you’re NOT in.”

Nothing more irrelevant except listening to yesterday’s financial show.

“Is the caller there? Hello? Please turn down your radio!”

John Frost

John has been a successful major market DJ and Program Director for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky and publishes the Frost Advisory.

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