Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #439: The Real Traffic Jam is Doing Traffic

The last two tips have questioned why music stations choose to do formal newscasts or formal weather forecasts (ski resorts and cities near volcanoes exempted). Now let’s deal with doing Traffic updates on the air…

Start by remembering that we’re living in the twenty-FIRST century.  “Here’s how we’ve always done it…” is a waste of time to even discuss.  Here’s why you don’t need to do what now passes for traffic updates:

  1. You can’t compete with the Navigation System in my car (or in my phone, for that matter).
  2. 99% of the time, Traffic reports are about traffic that I’m not in, and you can’t cover everyplace because the Update takes too long.

Here’s a different thought: Have a traffic update on the air be one listener reporting on one specific problem.  (“I’m Greg Blunderbuss, and here at the Fairfield ramp to I-20, there must be 30 cars backed up.”)  Maybe two people per update, different areas each time.  Whatever.  Just not a droning sea of information about someplace else.

And yes, these can still be sponsored. $

Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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