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The Stuph File Program – Episode #0543

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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 #0543.





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.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0542

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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 #0542.



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.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0541

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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 #0541.



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.

Radio Personalities & Overnight Success

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We are all impatient. We want what we want when we want it. It’s part of contemporary life. And when we have an idea, it goes on the air right away. And naturally, we expect immediate results. We want to catch lightning in bottle. Overnight success is attractive.

Broadcasters make this miscalculation all the time. A new morning show is hired, and the next ratings period is down. They want to know why, and immediately start questioning the strategy.

The next book shows little improvement. Or maybe it’s lower again. Now management questions if this was a mistake, and think about looking for the next overnight success.

Personalities feel the anxiety. They sense when confidence fades.

Personality radio takes time.

The Overnight Success Myth

Whether you’re Elvis Duran, Ryan Seacrest, Howard Stern or Bobby Bones, winning radio shows rarely produce overnight success stories.

Personalities become successful by forming relationships with listeners. It takes time to find a position, develop a “voice” and attract an audience.

Relationships take time, and winning broadcasters understand the process. Audiences fall in love with radio shows in stages. I call the process the Personality Success Path. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Randy Lane shared a research project by Jeffrey Hall, a researcher in communications at Kansas University. Hall conducted a study to measure how long it takes for a friendship to develop from first meeting to besties.

His findings show that:

It takes 94 hours to go from acquaintance to casual friends.

Best friend status takes place at around 219 hours.Serious friendship happens at about 164 hours.

Think about that. Then consider how much time listeners spend with a radio show each day.

They listen for very short periods, usually around 7 minutes per occasion. The average P1 contributes about 6 quarter hours of listening per week to a radio show.

At that rate, it takes 62 weeks for a P1 to become a casual friend. That’s more than a year.

To become a fan (Best Friend), would take 146 weeks. That’s nearly three years.

You Can’t Hurry Love

It’s possible to accelerate the process, but as the song goes, You Can’t Hurry Love.

When starting the Personality Success Path, I encourage talent to focus only on moving from the current stage to the next. The faster one can advance from Stage 1 (Introduction) to Stage 2 (Familiarity), the better. Growing into Stage 3 (Growth) is when real progress begins.

The sad thing is many personalities are stuck in Stage 1 or 2 for years or even decades.

That’s why it’s important to establish specific reasons to listen. The audience is first attracted to things you do. That’s why features are such a powerful tool for building a personality brand.

But they become fans because of who you are. Surrounding features with content that displays character traits through perspective, point of view and personal observations helps listeners connect with you.

Time Is Just One Factor

Yet performing a show and waiting isn’t a recipe for success. Just because a show has been on for years doesn’t mean they’ll advance through the 5 Stages of Growth.

There are many shows that have been on for years and are stuck in Stage 2. Listeners have heard of them, but don’t know anything about them or really care. They haven’t made an impact.

Great management teams are able to identify shows that need time to nurture an audience relationship and those that are doomed to Stage 1 or 2.

Patience with the right show is a virtue. If a show has potential, management’s role is to provide an environment that produces confidence. Help them stay the course through good times and bad (ratings period). Avoid over-reactions in both directions and stay off the emotional roller coaster.

Never Coast

But a frequent result of management exercising patience is ignoring problem areas. While it takes time for talent to develop, just waiting won’t cure problems.

Every show has growing pains and will fail to some degree.

Smart managers identify weaknesses quickly and are proactive to strengthen areas that need it.

Make adjustments, critique the results and study the most effective ideas. Evaluate the impact of tweaks, and build on positive adjustments while taking the next step forward.

This will accelerate the process as the building blocks of the show are forming a solid foundation.

Need help critiquing your show to find a strategy for growth? We can help with our air check coaching services.

Conclusion

Everyone wants overnight success. But it rarely happens.

Many stations start the process of building an amazing personality brand and make it through the first two stages of growth. Some are on the verge of their big breakthrough. Then, at the edge of great success, management loses patience. They pull the plug or change the show at just the wrong time. And the process starts over.

Building a successful personality brand takes courage, persistence and commitment.

If you’re a manager looking for help in knowing whether show has potential and how to get them to the top, let me know. I’d love to help.

If you’re an air talent looking for a breakthrough to find your voice and get on a Personality Success Path, check out my Audience Magnet Course. It has everything you need to succeed.

Just be prepared. Winning radio shows don’t happen as quickly as we would like or think they should. It won’t be an overnight success.

RELATED:

Lucky? No Such Thing. 5 Ways To Make Your Own Luck

Tracy Johnson’s Audience Magnet Video Course

Personality Success Path

The #1 Trait For Successful Talent: Work Ethic

Air Check Coaching Services

Personality Traits Every Radio Performer Needs to Develop

You Won’t Believe How Little Listeners Listen

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0540: The Meshach & Malik Christmas Special

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program. A very special Christmas event. A Christmas show unlike any you’ve heard before!

For a program list of the songs included 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 #0540.

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

Featured in this episode:

  • The Meschach & Malik Christmas Special. Probably the most irreverent children’s show you’ve ever heard! It features the kind of holiday tunes that make kids laugh, and probably some adults cringe, and it’s hosted by a nine year old and a five year old! Destined to become a holiday perennial. Feel free to download it and play it over and over for years to come!


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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.

That’s the Stuph – the way I see it.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0539

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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 #0539.



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.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0538

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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 #0538.



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.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0537

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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 #0537.



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.

New Way For Radio Talent to Be Discovered

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One of the biggest issues for radio stations or broadcast companies today finding great talent. Everywhere I go, I hear the same thing:

There’s nobody out there. Where are all the personalities?

Yet, there’s more great talent than ever. Many are on the beach looking for an opportunity.

I talk to them every day. They can’t find the next gig.

That’s why we created a new service for radio: The Media Talent Pool.

It’s perfect for air talent, producers and program directors looking for that next gig.

Maybe you’re just graduating from school and looking for a big break or maybe you’re stuck in a station or market and you know you’re ready to move up but you can’t find the right thing. Or maybe you’ve been downsized and become discouraged with the options.

You need to be discovered. Since launching this fall, four radio pros have found their next gig. Every day, broadcasters are finding new prospects they can’t get through blind box ads and job postings.

The Talent Pool Is Free

The talent pool is a free service for the radio industry. It costs nothing to post a listing or be discovered by stations who have openings.

It’s easy to use. Just go to www.MediaTalentPool.com. There’s a link to be listed, and another link for companies looking to find talent.

There’s also a collection of resources to help make a better impression when chasing down a gig, including a terrific Get That Gig webinar on demand. All are free. Click here for the free tools.

Some have asked whether a current employer might see their posting. Of course, there is that risk. The Talent Pool is open to all. However, if you wish to reduce that exposure, just let me know when you send materials and only clients of Tracy Johnson Media Group will see your listing. I can’t guarantee you will remain anonymous, but it will help.

Broadcasters Using the Pool

This collection of radio pros is a service to the radio industry to offer a way for talent to be discovered and for broadcasters to identify and recruit quality personalities, producers and programmers.

It’s easy to sort, scan and find qualified talent in one location.

Here’s a short video that explains how it works.

Let me know how you like the Talent Pool and how it can be better for your purposes.

 

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0536

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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 #0536.



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.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0535

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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 #0535.



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.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0534

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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 #0534.



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.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0533

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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 #0533.



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.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0532

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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 #0532.



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.

Talk On The Radio: How Much Is Too Much?

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Finding the right combination of talk content on a music station is a non-scientific task. Break length and music count are issues nearly every programmer wrestles with from time to time.

Yet, it’s one of the most important decisions to be made.

One of the first questions from virtually every client is:

How much music should the morning show play?

This is almost always followed by:

How long should breaks be?

There’s no standard answer to these questions. That’s like asking how long a song should be, or the ideal length of a movie. Or how many pages should be in the book?

The real answer: It depends! And there are many factors to consider. But I’ll provide a guideline after discussing the variables.

Break Length Variables

When working with talent, knowing when to tighten or loosen the leash to allow them to run free is difficult.

It is true, however, that air talent on music stations must earn the right to more talk. This privilege is not a bonus granted by the PD or GM. It’s an invitation from the audience, and is earned over time. When content becomes more of an attraction that music, increase the talk and reduce the music. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Here are 6 factors to help you figure out the right mix for your station.

Don’t Obsess About Talk Break Length

First, understand that the length of the break isn’t nearly as important as the pace of the break. Forward momentum is key to listener retention.

In sports, Major League Baseball has obsessed over shortening games. Baseball officials are applying pressure on teams, umpires and players to “speed up” the games.

The emphasis is on the wrong syllable.

Taking all of the “downtime” out of baseball shortens the average game time by 7-8 minutes. In a three hour game, does 7-8 minutes matter?

This isn’t really about length. It’s about the pace, momentum and energy of the game.

Making the game more exciting should be the goal. In radio, we often do the same thing. We’re worried about length, when our emphasis should be on the listener experience. When content is engaging and moving forward, longer breaks are more tolerable. But as soon as it slows, we enter the danger zone. In this regard, length is irrelevant.

Tight And Short Are Not The Same Thing

There’s a big difference between executing a tight performance and length of talk in a break.

Being tight is eliminating needless words and streamlining focus. Don’t tighten a break in order to shorten it. Tighten it to improve the pace of the break, provide focus and make it easier to understand.

Shorter is simply, well, shorter. And shorter isn’t always better.

In other words:

Tight and short are not the same.

For programmers coaching talent, this is important. Choose words very carefully. A comment like, “I love this because it was short” is deflating, with misplaced emphasis on an aspect that carries limited impact. It’s stifling to creative personalities.

Compare that to a comment like,

I love that break because it was tight. It was focused. It moved forward.

Audience’s aren’t screaming for shorter talk segments. They are excited for content that inspires them.

But every programmer wants guidelines. The right answer for you depends on the strength of your show.

Here’s a starting point.

6 Tips on Break Length

The most important consideration for how much talk is the right amount of talk is the stage your brand is in with your audience in the Personality Success Path.

Stage 1: Introduction

New show,  or shows in a new market, on a new station, or on a station that’s just changed format, play more music! Use the popularity of the songs as an introduction to personality.

Try for 10-12 songs per hour. If that’s not possible because of commercial load or information features, think about editing songs to increase the music count.

On the air, focus mostly on the basics. Sell the position, the station and introduce a few key features.

Inject personality into every element by ize-ing each talk opportunity. That’s adding relatable content that helps you localize, energize, supersize and personalize material. The more a personality is able to connect with the basics, the faster she will gain traction through this stage.

Get more details on how to do it in my seminar on demand My Solo Show Can Beat Your Team Show.

Stage 2: Familiarity

As a show becomes more familiar, increase talk break length incrementally.

If the station is establishing a music image, or is in a tight, direct format battle with a strong competitor, don’t let a competitor gain an advantage because of too much talk. Still, as familiarity increases, likability will follow. And audience tolerance increases.

Usually 8 songs an hour is required to gain a meaningful music advantage.

This may vary depending on the station’s history and presence in the market, but if quantity of music is a meaningful position, make sure the show is competitive.

Stage 3: Growth

As personalities grow into Stage 3, they become part of listener habits. Take advantage of this growing strength. In this stage, talent is gaining momentum and could experience rapid growth if managed properly.

If ratings are equal to the station’s overall share, it may be an opportunity to take a leadership position by relaxing restrictions more, particularly if research indicates positive perceptual momentum.

Gradually remove songs over time, increasing personality content. This is the best time to increase the number of breaks in the clock, but keep the talk break length fairly consistent. Drop one song at a time, gradually reducing music count.

Be sure to monitor ratings response and research the audience for perceptual changes in the show/station.

Stage 4: Like

As the show outperforms the station, it’s clear that the audience really likes the personalities. Now is the time to evolve toward less music/more personality aggressively.

Be careful to avoid doing it suddenly, but move quickly. By giving listeners more of what they tune in for, the ratings snowball will likely continue.

Relaxing the music count to as few as 4 songs could be appropriate here. That’s one tune per quarter-hour, which is enough to maintain a music presence.

Stage 5: Love

As the audience truly falls in love with the personalities, go all the way. You have potential for media domination. There’s no point in playing fewer than four songs an hour. Drop them all.

If preference and ratings are significantly above the station (20-25%), drop the music entirely.

It doesn’t make sense to play less than four songs an hour. That’s not enough to hold a music listener and it gets in the way of those coming for personalities.

This is the time to transition and become a personality-driven talk show.

Get Details on the 5 Stages of Growth With My Personality Success Path Here

Adjusting Break Length

When making any programming change, do so gradually. Small changes are less shocking as a large change. Removing one song at a time insures a smoother transition for talent and the audience.

I mentioned editing songs a couple of times. This is an effective method of increasing personality while maintaining song count. If you can remove 45 seconds from each song, you save 7.5 minutes every 10 songs! That’s huge. Add personality and still play the same number of songs? Yes, please. If the songs are edited properly, it won’t be noticed. For details on how to do it right, go here.

Regardless of song count, maintain a high personality presence and use each opportunity in the format clock. Use song intros to relate to listeners. Talk into and out of stop sets. A frequent presence on the show adds more time for listeners to get to know the talent. And familiarity always comes before falling in love.

That’s part of Romancing The Listener.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the perfect break length depends on many variables. But this rule of thumb should guide all decisions:

Each break should be as long as it needs to be and no longer. And it should be as short as it can be, but no shorter.

Finally, don’t overthink it.

Seth Godin nails it:

“Too long.” You’re going to hear that more and more often. The movie, the book, the meeting, the memo…few people will tell you that they ran short. Shorter, though, doesn’t mean less responsibility, less insight or less power. It means less fluff and less hiding.

When in doubt, leave it out. When a friend sends you a video on YouTube, what’s the first thing you look at? How long is it? Do I have time for this? Is it worth my time? Listeners ask themselves the same question about radio shows.

Is it worth their time? It is if it’s tight. And tighter execution almost always results in shorter breaks.

Do More Music Morning Shows Work?

Tracy Johnson’s Audience Magnet Blueprint eBook (free)

The Science Behind Why Listeners Reject Talk

Radio Personality Success Path: The Five Stages of Growth

Tracy Johnson’s Audience Magnet Course