Back in the heyday of Top 40 radio, there were a handful of stations that became the icons; the stations we wanted to work at, or at least have our station sound like.
One of the giants was KHJ in Los Angeles, a Drake-Chenault consulted station with the brilliant Ron Jacobs as its Program Director.
Jacobs had three primary rules:
Preparation: Being absolutely sure of what this break was going to be about. Working on your “camera angle,” your vocabulary, and putting things in the right order, so information or a story unfolded in the easiest-sounding way.
Concentration: No distractions, no second thoughts at the last minute, no stumbling around verbally.
Moderation: Staying “in the pocket” and not trying to do too much, or add details that don’t matter, or take too much of the listener’s time.
If this worked for some of the greatest air talents of an entire generation, it certainly can work for you, too. And these principles would be such a breath of fresh air in today’s voice-tracked kind of distanced sound that we hear on way too many stations.
WORK ON YOUR CRAFT. Radio is NOT dead – but bad radio is.