Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Your “All News Hour” Is a Liability

In Uncategorized on 09/13/2017 at 12:15 pm

I often hear news-talk stations broadcast “all news” during particular hours during the day, usually the morning daypart, noon and 5:00 pm hours. The problem is listeners seeking to hear talk shows leave during those hours. You can have the best of both formats, though. Instead of breaking format, continue with your regular news-talk programming and instruct your news team to anchor local news three or four times per hour.

This programming tweak accomplishes two things. First, it takes pressure off the anchor as they struggle to fill the hour and therefore resort to odious short-form clutter to bail them out. Second, you retain your talk listeners, as they are always wanting to hear the talk-meisters react to current events.

Even during syndicated talk shows, there is ample time for four local newscasts, sports, and public service announcements. Hannity offers over nineteen minutes hourly; Rush offers seventeen minutes in the second and third hour; Lars Larson and Glenn Beck offer seventeen minutes per hour as well.

Bottom line: Unless your news hour has Jon Stewart anchoring the news with Warner Wolf on sports and Al Roker giving the weather, you need to scrap it.


Morning Show Review: WIND 560

In Uncategorized on 02/20/2017 at 8:37 am

I had a chance to listen to WIND 560’s morning show today. The subject matter was excellent, topical, and relevant but the hosts need a lot of work on their mechanics. First, they were impersonal. The hosts never identified themselves or revealed a thing about themselves in the hour that I listened. I didn’t even get their names. I guess they’ve never been told that listeners relate to people and not announcers. While knowledgeable and articulate, the hosts were devoid of personality. Everybody has personality, but you’ve got to let it out on the air. Second, the hosts agreed on the subject matter. If there
are two hosts and you both agree, then one of you is irrelevant. Take a different position. In radio this is called “positioning characters”, and this is a basic radio technique.

My advice to the lead host: lighten up a bit. Smile. Laugh. Take an improv class to learn comedic techniques. Morning radio is about drawing audience with personality, not about giving lectures.

My advice to the supporting host: challenge the lead host with verve. Push his buttons. Knock him off his pedestal and out of his comfort zone. This is not a dry, uptight television show.

Why isn’t Salem coaching up this morning team? They have talent. Phil Boyce is a terrific PD. Is Phil asleep?

Cover Your Sports Games Remote Style.

In Uncategorized on 02/04/2017 at 9:35 am

A High School ball game is roughly two hours. Send your air talent and remote tech (in the station vehicle) to the venue.  Hang the banner and give away miniature footballs. The talent calls the studio hotline three times per hour with 90 second game reports that are sponsored. The beauty of this idea is you’ve covered the event without breaking format. Remember, listeners tune into a station because they like the format. You’ll retain your original listeners and gain local sports fans. If you broadcast a game long form, (the way you’ve always done) most of your original listeners bolt. Now you CAN please everybody.

Leave Your Listeners Alone

In Uncategorized on 12/30/2016 at 9:58 am


I recently read this statement from a media expert on a talk radio industry site.


“Talk radio is no longer just a three-hour, on-air production. Our shows must continue ’24/7′ via Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, iTunes, Youtube and other digital platforms”.


Several other industry experts advocate this as well, but I disagree. How is being too available a good thing? I thought familiarity bred contempt. The arguments for having a robust electronic presence are compelling, but do fans want to hear from me constantly? Put yourself in the shoes of the listener. Don’t assume their life is empty without you– but if it is, that’s a good thing, because it will make your legend grow.


Focus on presenting a pleasant and unpredictable talk show, and then disappear for a while. You’ll become mythical, mysterious, and intriguing. Absence will make their hearts grow fonder. There’s some wisdom in some of the old adages. It’s okay to be a regular person when you’re off the air. If you try to be the center of attention 24/7, I think you’ll annoy some people. Your fans need downtime from you. Part of what made Greta Garbo, Sandy Koufax and Larry Lujack so legendary was their aloofness. Listeners want to hear your reaction to the news of the day, but in good time. You need to digest the news and then provide your reaction with depth and perspective. You do not have to be first, front and center every time a story breaks.

Dan Lynch Newscast 2 Minutes

In Uncategorized on 04/21/2016 at 8:18 pm

Ted McCarron Blast

In Uncategorized on 03/24/2016 at 2:23 pm

Les Nessman Sucks

In Uncategorized on 02/05/2016 at 11:20 am


You’d think the stodgy radio industry would learn from the success of John Stewart. Is John credible? Who cares! He’s thought provoking and funny. In all likelihood, your delivery is too formal. After you write your newscast, sports report, weather forecast, etc., read it with verve. Read it with a big, fat, cheesy smile; read it with conviction and genuine attitude. Sadly, most radio managers want their news people to deliver fast, listless newscasts devoid of flavor. That doesn’t make you credible, it makes you boring. Listen to Warner Wolf or Chet Coppock deliver a sportscast. They’re showmen. Seriously, don’t be serious.

Highway Automation Robbery

In Uncategorized on 01/24/2016 at 9:24 am


The owner of three radio stations approved a $30,000 purchase to “upgrade” their existing automation system. It seemed like a good move, as the more than ten-year-old version they had didn’t grab audio files from FTP sites, forcing employees to toil each day downloading and uploading short and long form programs by hand. The trade-off in the post-Telecommunications Act world is that radio employees have more responsibilities; however, 21st century automation systems will automate tasks. After the “upgrade”, the support dude was asked about FTP file transfers. He replies, “Oh, that’s part of the import package, and you guys didn’t purchase that feature.” Evidently when you purchase an automation system in 2016 it’s akin to buying a new vehicle. Canada-based OMT purposely withholds essential features so they can upsell you later. The moral of this blog is: make sure the person placing the automation buy for your company knows the ins and outs of radio automation so you don’t end up paying 30K for a glorified cart machine.

Your AM Station

In Uncategorized on 11/24/2015 at 12:38 pm


Enough with the right-wing, neocon talk format! It’s overkill. Position your talk station as useful to the listener by airing shows relevant to their life, such as Handel on the Law, Dave Ramsey, Clark Howard, or Joy Browne, or develop your own Dear Abby-type show. These shows draw because they discuss the listener’s life. While your competitor is airing angry, bitter political talk that scares off advertisers, you’ll be drawing millennials, women, liberals, and NPR listeners. Here’s another thing: people will listen to music on AM. Compressed music proves fidelity is not as crucial as you think. Are you considering classic hits for your AM? Do it. It will draw solid ratings.

I Hear Dead People

In Uncategorized on 05/23/2015 at 2:09 pm

Recently I worked for a rock station that had two spots airing with the voices of deceased ex-staffers. This had gone on for two years, and the fault was half mine.  What was the source of my cold-blooded indifference? I need voice separation and the spots worked. I don’t believe a listener would notice but I could be dead wrong.

Years ago during my Indiana days, the OM and I were blathering in the hallway when I noticed we were airing a PSA voiced by Christopher Reeve.

“Is Christopher Reeve dead?”

OM: “I think he died.”

“I should delete that.”

In similar situations, I’ve had clueless GMs ask me to delete and re-cut spots voiced by recently dispatched announcers, as if listeners pay that close attention.  Re-cutting effective spots voiced by former (living) announcers is unnecessary. But to air commercials voiced by the honored dead is either a tribute or uncouth. Which is it?

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