Frost Advisory #691 – What’s Our Format’s Biggest Problem? The Answer Is…

I’ve heard Alex Trebek, the most famous host of “Jeopardy,” say that the show’s biggest problem was convincing people that a question could also be the answer.

So… let me ask a question….

What’s our format’s biggest problem?

The answer is…!

We don’t strive for exceptional.

Our nature is to be ordinary.

Ordinary, by my definition, is “nice Christian people talking about nice Christian things to nice Christian people.” While that may be nice, it is not how many would describe exceptional radio.

“Exceptional is ‘forming an exception or rare instance; unusual; extraordinary.'”

The problem with being exceptional is not that we don’t know what it is. The problem with being exceptional is that it goes against our nature.

In nearly 25 years in the format my experience is that our default is… playing those extra songs that our listeners don’t know and don’t love, not the discipline of just playing the ones they love and tune to us for. (Interestingly, inside the station we talk more about the songs our listeners don’t know, i.e. new music, than about the songs they know and love.)

Our default is talking too much, not the precision of “just the right amount.”

Our default is “any time, any city,” not “right here, right now.”

Our default is fluff, not being meaningful.

Our default is formal, not being natural and conversational.

Our default is bland, not surprise and delight.

Here’s the problem…

Great radio is hard work. When we revert to what’s easier… it is never the best thing.

“You get what you accept.

If we accept a high standard, we will be rewarded with results consistent with that standard. If we accept that other people can talk over us, and detract from our message, then we will not be heard. If we only accept a best effort, then we will receive exactly that – no less.”

Chris Oliver

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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