Jeepers! The fact that there are even 629 of these Frost Advisories (every week for over a dozen years) might suggest that there is a lot to this programming stuff. I reckon’ that’s so, and I love discussing higher concepts with smart people, but I also know there are some simple truths.
A simple truth is that there are only two distinct elements to programming a radio station.
Music and words
These are the only tools we have to impact lives, achieve ratings, to make revenue goals, or to hang gold records in the lobby to show visitors that we are really, really a neat station.
Here’s a little story for you…
When I was Corporate Talent Coach for Paxson Radio, part of my job was to listen to airchecks that were sent in. We had 47 stations, and wanted real Talent in every position.
One guy followed up his aircheck with a phone call, and asked my opinion. I told him that most of what I had heard had been stock ‘bits’ – Trivia contests, ‘News of the Weird’ type of stuff, some forced-sounding laughter. Sensing that he was a little shaken, I added, “Look, here’s the thing. After hearing this, I don’t know who you are. You’re hiding behind ‘bits’ so much that I don’t have a sense of what your outlook on life is, what your values are, what your opinions are – things that we might connect on if I did.”
So…ask yourself if you’re still trying to invent new things, or just settling for the same ol’ same ol’. Is your show consistent (which is fine), or has it crossed the line into being predictable (which is death)? Do you offer insights, give opinions? Did I learn anything about you today? Or did you just “perform” some more?
In the end, the ‘bits’ are rarely what’s remembered. It’s WHO YOU ARE that sinks in. As I’ve said a million times, at some point you’re going to have to crack your chest open and show us what’s in there.
– – – – – – –
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2022 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.
It is said that Michelangelo is the greatest influence on western art in the last 500 years. As a devoutly religious man, most of his sculptures, paintings, architecture works, and poetry were in service to the church. His most famous painting depicts the book of Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Centuries later lines of tourists still form to see his work because of its excellence.
His most famous sculpture is of David as a young warrior. When asked how he was able to create his masterpiece, he responded simply,
“I just took away everything that didn’t look like David.”
Get this: it’s not about what you say. It’s about what it makes me feel. I, the listener, will make up my mind pretty quickly about this. Information is fine, but unless I feel something about it, it’s just not relevant.
You have a choice when you open the mic. You can scatter words all over the place, but unless it fires up a pilot light inside the listener, it’s just ‘blah – blah – blah.’ Continue reading
Back to school time is everywhere. In the stores with sales. On our neighborhood streets with school buses. There are even tax-free days for Back to School. It’s not an official holiday like Christmas, Ground Hog Day, or Millard Fillmore’s birthday, but it is just as evident.
Back to school affects everyone’s schedule, even those that don’t go to school. That’s Common Ground. (Can’t say that about ole’ Millard’s birthday.)
“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”Tom Bodett
So, let’s go back to school and discuss what really matters in transforming your station’s programming.