Tommy Kramer Tip #224 – The Personality Challenge

Get a load of this… my friend Jerry Reynolds, who does “The Car Pro Show” in over 40 markets now, told me that he listens to WBAP in Dallas every morning.  When he gets to work, he turns on their app and listens to the show on his phone as he walks into the building. Once in his office, he plugs his phone into his computer (so the battery won’t run down too much), and continues to listen through his speakers until the show is over.

Now all the statistical evidence today would tell you that this is very untypical…

But I’ll bet it’s not.  I’ll bet it never was.  People find their favorite personalities and they become friends; companions in their lives.  With whatever available time they have, they listen.  It’s just that simple.

A brief aside: the guy Jerry was talking about is Hal Jay.  He’s one of the most gifted air talents I’ve ever heard, and he’s been that way for decades.  The station went from Country to NEWS-TALK, and still kept the same morning show – and never missed a beat!  Hats off to you, Hal.

I can’t remember exactly when stations first decided that you didn’t need to keep pumping out personality past 9 AM, because “Everybody’s in the office; it’s wasted energy.”  But it wasn’t long before it became “Let’s go ahead and put it on autopilot at 8 AM, because everybody goes into work earlier now.”

This is the wrong way to think.  Not only does this make for boring, plastic radio; it’s also cheating on your talent, and on your ability to keep getting better by firing a few more ‘Content bullets.’

I came up in the era when the midday guy (or girl) was great – entertaining, having fun, and not just checking their email while three more songs segued, then a blithering, overproduced “Imaging” piece snarled something out over a bunch of Star Wars sound effects.

If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse – because someone who read this is getting better while you sit on your duff.

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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