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Welcome to the all new Airchecker experience. A social networking site for radio. We are powered by the people of radio and those who have a great passion to have conversations about radio. As the voice of the Canadian radio industry since 2009. Airchecker has gained a loyal army of followers who say we are the best source for radio. 1000s of radio lovers power your radio news each week via Airchecker. read more >

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The Stuph File Program – Episode #0517

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0517.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:




If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

How To Get Much-Needed Air Check Coaching

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Radio station management: You’re on notice. It’s time to get help for air talent. The vast majority of radio personalities are not getting the time, attention or coaching they want and need.

Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it.

Management should realize that personalities are their single most important investment. Nothing has a more valuable return for dollars spent.

Pew Research is a trusted research firms. According to Pew, radio personalities are a primary driver of listener satisfaction. They report that 67% (that’s two out of three) respondents say air talent is important to them.

As if that’s not enough, 64% of the survey’s respondents indicate they would follow their favorite personality to another station!

This is dramatic research data. But Pew isn’t alone. There’s more evidence of the value of talent.

High profile personalities top the list of reasons for top of mind awareness (TOMA) and recall. Great talent always rates higher than the station format, contests or music preferences. More listeners will talk about a favorite personality than can identify the style of music a station plays.

But there’s a problem.

The Problem

Maybe you saw the Jacobs Media research that shows how few air personalities are critiqued or coached.

Very few personalities are coached at all. Many report that it’s been over a year since their last air check session. Some even say they have never been air checked by their supervisor.

Once you recover from the initial shock, you probably have a most logical question: “Why?”.

I get it. Air checking talent takes time, which is a precious commodity for programmers and managers today. I recently spoke with the VP of Programming for a group of 12 stations. All 12 stations report directly to him for all things programming. He had just finished preparing 7 (yes, SEVEN) music logs for the following day. This was just before he started his four hour afternoon drive show (performed live) on the rock station. It’s not a small market, either. It’s a Top 50 market.

Who has time? Even if there were enough hours in the day for a meeting, air check sessions aren’t productive without preparation and planning.

If the value of personality to radio brands is higher than ever, and you’re at risk for losing nearly two thirds of the audience if talent leaves, shouldn’t you invest in that resource?

Yet this critically important thing becomes a task that takes a back seat to the urgent.

The Solution

That’s why Tracy Johnson Media Group now offers an  air check talent coaching service. It’s for personalities who aren’t getting feedback, programmers who want a second set of ears and managers that don’t have the time or expertise to coach talent.

We offer direct, one-on-one coaching for personalities through air check critique.

The process is simple:

  • Schedule a session online
  • Upload an air check
  • Get personal feedback in a one-hour session

You can book a session with any of the TJMG consultants and talent coaches, including Andy Meadows, Mike Shepard or me.

Management is welcome (and encouraged) to attend he session.

Conclusion

Developing talent is more than a good idea for when you have time. It’s a critical part of your station’s success and the industry’s future. That’s why we’re here to help.

Try it out. Schedule a coaching session with one of our consultants. Get details here:

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0516

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0516.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0515

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0515.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0514

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0514.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Greg Skomal, shark expert — Shark attacks
  • Dr. John Huber, clinical forensic psychologist — Video game addiction & job burnout
  • Joe Zanetti, filmmaker Killbird

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0513

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0513.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Bram Presser, author, The Book of Dirt
  • Rod Pyle, NASA expert — NASA’s commercial business

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Face of Your Radio Brand

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I’ve been saying it for awhile now, and it’s time to say it again. Air personalities are the future of radio. And it’s high time to make them the face of your brand.

In the past, radio was able to compete for four main positions in the lives of an audience:

  1. Music
  2. Information
  3. Promotion
  4. Personality

That’s all changed, and I think you know it. Radio is fast losing the position of being the “go to” media for music.

Information is transmitted in seconds via mobile devices. By the time you hear it on the radio, you probably already got a notification on your phone or from Twitter.

And promotion is more challenging than ever in a world. How can you out-promote a $1 billion lottery prize?

All of those things still have a place on commercial radio. I’m just making the case that we can no longer win the position for those things.

But there’s one advantage that remains and will sustain into the future: Personality. And that’s where brands should be investing their future.

Radio Personalities As Face Of The Brand

Establishing your talent as the face of the brand is risky, and probably scares you a little.

First, they must be truly strong personalities that command an audience’s attention. Promoting average talent or DJs that don’t move the needle won’t get you anywhere.

By the way, if you are lacking that high profile talent, we should talk. You probably need a talent coach.

So let’s assume you have a great personality or show, but you’re still reluctant to invest the future of your company on air talent. After all, what if they leave at the end of their contract? What would happen if you create a superstar talent only to have them take the audience across the street? And doesn’t it put you at a disadvantage when negotiating that next contract?

Those are considerations, for sure. But don’t let that fear hold you back. It doesn’t stop the Patriots from promoting Tom Brady, the Phillies promoting Bryce Harper, the Lakers promoting LeBron or a movie studio promoting Tom Hanks. They’re stars, and they attract audiences.

Building your brand on talent is much greater opportunity than risk.

5 Ways To Promote Personalities

Here are 4 ways to build a radio station by making personalities the face of the brand.

  1. Start by making personalities the spokesperson(s) for your brand. Use them to position other elements, including programming features, positioning elements and contests.
  2. Promos should be built around unique, non-duplicated content and the stars that create it. Radio stations can’t be the place for Justin Bieber, but can be the place for your morning show.
  3. Develop more high profile features performed by interesting personalities. That’s the fastest way to become familiar and move through the Personality Success Path.
  4. Build a social media presence around the talent, rather than forcing them to fit into the station’s social pages. Wouldn’t you be more likely to follow Game of Thrones on social media than HBO? Listeners are much more apt to be fans of air talent than a “faceless” brand.
  5. Make radio talent more important on your website. It’s amazing how so many stations have more information about artists and songs they have no stake in than in stars they do.

Conclusion

Stations that prioritize, and even promote personalities above the station connect with audiences more deeply than if they were to promote their programming attributes like “More Music Workdays”.

The job of radio personality isn’t nearly as prestigious as it once was, or should be. It has the dubious honor of being the 7th Worst Job In America. And that needs to change.

The bottom line is that we need stars on the radio. Broadcasters should not be afraid of them. We need to find them, nurture them, embrace them and promote them. It’s the one resource that can drive our future.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0512

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0512.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Michael & Kyle Sherwood, morticians, Save My Ink Forever
  • Dr. Frieda Birnbaum, psychoanalyst — dating co-workers & best friends
  • Stuart Nulman, Book Banter

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0511

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0511.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0510

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0510.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0509

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0509.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0508

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0508.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Science of Show Prep

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None of you got into radio or come to this site for a science lesson. But like it or note, radio performers can learn a lot from behavioral scientists especially when it comes to preparing content. The science of show prep can help you find a path to great success on the air.

Think about this:

Why does one painting become worth millions while another seemingly similar work sell for pennies on a garage sale?

What is the difference between a best-selling novel and one the author can’t give away to friends and family?

Why does one pop song rise to #1 while another with a great hook never cuts through?

What causes some online videos to go viral while millions of others are seen by only a few dozen?

When you arrive at answers, and while still thinking outside the box, apply it to radio.

Now ask yourself:

Why do some topics take off on the air, igniting strong response and word of mouth, but others do not? Every personality has had that feeling of disappointment when a can’t miss break ends up flat.

Yet other times, the simplest “so what” segments you never thought would resonate ignite.

In other words, what makes content work…or not? And how can you improve the “hit rate” of what is produced on your show?

The Science Of Show Prep

Behavioral scientists tell us that creating great content is not simply a matter of quality. The idea that the “best” art rises to the top and reaches the most people doesn’t explain it. It’s more than that.


 Jim Davies, a professor at Carleton University and director of the Science of Imagination Laboratory conduct a series of tests, resulting in his Theory of Compellingness.

Read all about it in his book: Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe.

Davies answers questions such as:

  • Why do some things pass under the radar of our attention, but other things capture our interest?
  • Why do some religions catch on and others fade away?
  • What makes a story, a movie, or a book riveting?
  • Why do some people keep watching the news even though it makes them anxious?

For example, in a study about speed dating, people were asked about the type of partners they found attractive. Results showed answers before the exercise had no correlation with what they actually found attractive in person.

Davies explains:

We are beginning to understand just how much the brain makes our decisions for us: we are rewarded with a rush of pleasure when we detect patterns, as the brain thinks we’ve discovered something significant; the mind urges us to linger on the news channel or rubberneck an accident in case it might pick up important survival information; it even pushes us to pick up People magazine in order to find out about changes in the social structure.

That’s a clue into how listeners respond to radio shows.

Finding A Story In Topics

So how can you apply the science of show prep on a radio show each day? Mostly, it’s a matter of applying creative solutions to appeal to listeners on a personal, emotional level.

That’s the art of creating compelling content by finding stories inside topics. This may cause you to move beyond your comfort zone, but that can be a good thing. Many personalities get into a rut. This exercise will help shake you out of a routine that may have become ordinary to the audience.

Behind all of these concepts is a preparation technique I call TESOP: It’s an acronym for Topic, Execution, Story, Observation, Performance. It’s explained in detail here.

Whether the source of content comes from Harvesting Your Life or a show prep service, anything can turn into content if you mine it properly.

Here are some typical ways to convert ordinary into extraordinary.

Contrast

Create contrast to add drama in a storyline by putting a personality in an awkward or unexpected situation. Then exaggerate the story to bring out the suspense.

For example, a cast member with Claustrophobia is locked in a coffin for the entire show. Or someone with fear of heights goes bungee jumping. These stunts makes sense when there’s a story attached.

Resolve a Conflict or Dilemma

Some of the best relationship features work because each episode sets up a conflict that builds tension. Then the tension is resolved.

Set it up with a “what should I/they do” situation, and explore it.

This is the simple formula behind the success of may situation comedies on TV. A storyline is introduced and developed, conflict is raised to an extreme, then is resolved. You can do the same on the radio.

Seek The Extreme

Ordinary phone topics become storylines when the personality is on a quest or mission. Many clients organic these topics with a concept called the Book of Records.

Instead of an ordinary phone topic like “What did you eat when you were depressed?”, turn it into a quest to find “the most anyone listening has ever eaten in a depressed sitting”.

Just turning up the volume on it by going for the extreme (the most, youngest, oldest, farthest, etc.), a new layer of interest emerges.

Top 10 Lists

While using lists on the air is usually an example of lazy, uninspired show prep, there’s nothing wrong with turning unique content into a list. 

It’s a great way to compile a shareable, social media worthy segment. Start with an ordinary phone topic, such as “What excuses did you use to get out of Jury Duty?”. Then dramatize it by coming up with the show’s “Top 10 Excuses To Get You Out of Jury Duty.”

Make It a Game

Games are fun to play on the air, and add TSL by capitalizing on the play along factor. Some segments lend themselves to becoming a game.

At KLOVE, one of Skip & Amy’s most recognized features is a silly game they play on Fridays. Amy plays a musical instrument, and plays it poorly. She plays a familiar song, and listeners have to guess what it is. They call it Name That Toot. Isn’t that more interesting than a recurring segment that references her musical abilities?

 Add A Guest

Sometimes guests are weak on the air. In fact, that’s the case most of the time. But on occasion, the right guest can turn excite a storyline.

With a panel of experts, your show should have a choice of resources that fit various situations and topics. Or, use the feature Ask Me Anything. This is a terrific way to create something interesting out of nothing.

Conclusion

These ideas all apply art to the science of show prep, but understanding that science is a key part of the equation. Keeping both in balance can be an important key to your personal success formula.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0507

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0507.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0506

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0506.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Fernando Ruiz, Chef
  • Adam Sharp, President & CEO, National Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards
  • Stuart Nulman, Book Banter

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.