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Air Personalities: Learn These Improv Skills

Aside from being a genuinely likable person, the most important quality an air personality can master is the ability to respond spontaneously. Being truly in the moment as an active listener will help advance a topic. Two improv skills help in this area: active listening and free association.

Active Listening

Even solo shows can use active listening and free association to generate more interesting content.

Active listening means accepting a new reality and responding at the moment every time something is said.

Each comment changes a “scene” by introducing a new reality. It changes the current dynamic.

An active listener responds to the new reality without prejudice, meaning they work with each new comment.

Many personalities get stuck on where the conversation started, or where it’s been. The result is one (or more) of two negative consequences:

  1. The audience is confused. The conversation doesn’t flow naturally. Instead, it bounces back and forth between storylines inside the topic.
  2. A “great line” comes off as forced and unnatural, often sounding self-absorbed and egotistical. It’s forced into dialogue when it no longer fits.

In both cases, the potential of a great moment is missed.

Give Up Ownership

Applying this concept demands each individual give up ownership of a big moment, sacrificing personal achievement for the show. This selfless approach not only improves performance, but it also makes each personality more likable!

In improv, a performer’s goal is to advance the story by contributing an active element,  setting up other performers. This greatly increases the chances of something good happening.

Freddie Mac (The Fox/Fredricton) calls it Always Saying Yes.

Locking in on the “moment” forces talent to stay out of their head and go with what is offered. Just reading this probably sounds scary. At first, it feels like flying on the trapeze without a net. But there is a net!

Your partners are the net! If everyone on the show focuses on moving a story forward, performance becomes a judgment-free zone. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, funny or dumb. Someone pick it up.

Free Association

Some personalities use this as an excuse. They think they’re off the hook for show prep and planning, and that they can simply wing it.

Not so fast.

Active listening and responding spontaneously doesn’t work if there’s nothing to add to the conversation. An important companion of active listening is free association.

Free association is training the brain to trigger key images for every new reality introduced. These images, words, and concepts become a tool chest for conversation.

For example:

Topic: A bank.
Association: Cash machines. Tellers. Wood. People in suits. Small, private offices. A bank robber.

Topic: Peyton Manning
Association: Football, NFL, Super Bowl, TV commercials, Papa John’s, MVP, Dish Network, Colts, Broncos, Tennessee, Manning family, Eli,

Compile a mental inventory of possibilities to use as reference points if and when the time is right. Most of those references will never be used, but having them available makes you a more spontaneous performer.

Many personalities that become proficient in Free Association become annoyed that once they turn it on, they can’t turn it off. Every reference instantly triggers more and more connections. That’s awesome!

Combined to move a story forward, each break has a chance to find a magic moment.

Making Connections

For many comedians, making connections from things not naturally connected is a source of new material. It’s common to hear fans say things like,

How does he/she come up with that? It’s amazing how they think of things like that.

It seems like a tremendous skill, but everyone can learn it. Bridging the gap finds the humor.

Check out these examples from a website that’s populated by fans. They use the term “Crossovers” to connect otherwise disconnected items. Click Here. Warning, some (most) of these aren’t very good, but they provide a glimpse into how the exercise works.

Improve Active Listening

There’s a fun and easy improv training game to help develop these skills.

It’s the One Word Story game. Start with 4 or more players. There’s no limit to how many can play, but you need at least four. If there aren’t enough participants in the show, recruit others.

Start with a topic. The goal is to tell a complete story with each person adding one word to move the story forward, each responding quickly and in context to the reality of the scene when it comes to them.

Here’s an example of it with an improv team:

The nature of the game means that some will contribute a smaller part than others. When your turn comes up, the proper word may be “the” or “a”.

It may be disappointing, thinking that you’re being cheated out of delivering a great line. That’s one of the points of this game. It demonstrates the value of being a team player.

Try it. The game almost always bogs down because of one of four things:

  1. Someone tries to be brilliant and create something instead of just allowing it to happen naturally.
  2. An actor thinks of a great line as the story is being built, but when it’s their turn, their idea makes no sense. But they try it anyway.
  3. A player isn’t listening, and an unexpected twist in the story takes them by surprise, leaving them with nothing to say.
  4. Someone isn’t practicing free association and has no point of reference for the storyline.

This Is NOT Active Listening

Filmmaker Mark W. Gray has a short-form video starring Bill Jones (you may have seen him as the newsman on Glee) that may hit a little too close to home!

Conclusion

You’ll be amazed at how active listening and free association can transform a show.

When each person is actively listening, trust follows, and storylines move forward. The show becomes funnier, more relatable, and is genuinely more likable.

And what’s the value of being likable? It’s the #1 character trait every personality should strive for. That’s a win-win!

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Are You Punching Listeners In The Face?

When you think about it, many air personalities are rude. In the interest of brevity, we rush into content to get off to a quick start. And when we reach a high point, we suddenly bail on the break. Those are important principles. But not if it comes at the expense of being warm, friendly human beings. There’s an art in knowing how to shake hands on the air. And saying goodbye.

Randy Chase programs K-LOVE and AIR 1. He coaches his talent to find the right balance by teaching this principle:

Did you shake their hand or punch them in the face?

What It Means To Shake Hands On The Air

Imagine you’re a party. You walk up to a group of people engaged in a conversation and interrupt by launching a story:

Guys drive me crazy because they never listen.

Okay. That’s a pretty strong hook. Then you proceed to tell your personal story to develop your topic.

You’ve disturbed their mood by inserting your personality into their circle. They’re overwhelmed, and probably think you’re rude. It’s like walking up to the group and punching them in the face.

You didn’t shake hands to enter the conversation. Now, you’re thinking about the 7-second challenge. It’s true that it’s important to gain attention immediately or risk losing it. But we’re sacrificing human connection by rushing into content.

When launching a break, imagine the audience in an active conversation. They may be singing along with a song you’re playing or interested in the newscast that was on. Or, they could be going over their kid’s homework on the way to school.

When you turn on the microphone, you’re inserting personality into their world.

PPM Is Making Us Rude

Our reaction to the ratings system is part of the problem. PPM programming philosophy is to remove everything that doesn’t have to be there. We make it efficient, but it’s no longer human.

We’re PPMing personality to death. Blurting out content isn’t being tight or focused. Being tight is about not wasting time or boring the listener. It’s not about getting it on and gone as fast as possible. Those short spurts of interruptive talk is rude.

Ending The Story and Walking Away

The other end of the break is also a problem. Talent is so focused on taking the first exit, they often miss great moments. And they leave the audience wondering why they stopped talking and walked away. You still need to shake hands on the air when you say goodbye at the end of the break. It’s polite.

I hear so many breaks that end on a high point, but leave the story unfinished. That’s fine if the content is crafted into a story arc and is teased to the next break. But it’s not about getting out on the first exit. It’s getting out on the best exit.

It’s like telling a story, making them laugh, then turning and leaving the room.

Programmer Matt Cleveland at Bell Media’s cluster in Fredricton, New Brunswick says,

Getting out on the first high point is the new talk up the intro of the song and nail the post. It doesn’t matter. It is celebrated only by the jock on the air.

It’s like Seinfeld’s George Costanza walking out after delivering a good line.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oI-XxnzBxw

Get out at the right time, and use it to build momentum. Make that group of people beg you to stay and tell more stories. If the audience is engaged, take advantage of that peak to build forward momentum on the show.

Conclusion

Being tight, focused and efficient are great disciplines for personalities. But don’t be so focused on short that personal connection is lost. Think about ways you can shake hands on the air.

There are many ways to inject personality and friendly comments into a show. I call it “ize-ing” your personality. Use those to your advantage.

As an air talent, try to avoid punching listeners in the face and walking away without saying goodbye.

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Promos That ROCK

Sun Tzu called the supreme art of war to subdue the enemy without fighting.

The truth is, in radio, you don’t have to worry about anything your competition is doing.

After all, you can’t change what another radio station does to try and steal listeners. They are all doing their best to get your audience with contests and promotions. They change their music or clocks. You can’t control that.

But then, none of it really matters. Every radio station can subdue their enemy without engaging in a direct fight.

Here’s how:

  1. Create great reasons to listen to your station.
  2. Be great in presentation and execution.
  3. Promote it effectively on and off the air.

Today, I’m going to show you how to drive ratings with promos that rock.

The Power Of Promos

If you were to be successful in getting your current cume to spend a few more quarter hours, and convince listeners to return just one more day per week, what will happen to your ratings?

Trick question: Your ratings would explode – in a good way!

Don’t believe me? Check the current ratings.

What is the cume for the station overall? Now look at the cume for each individual time of day. What percentage is listening to individual dayparts? Chances are it looks something like this:

Most time slots attract less than 40% of the station’s total cume.

What if you could increase those percentages?

Here’s the exciting part: You don’t need a huge marketing budget. A contest or promotion. You just need great content, great execution and an exciting promotion strategy.

Promos Are Verbal Combat

Radio stations are at war for the attention of the audience. And we’re at a terrible disadvantage because listeners have a big wall of defense that protects them from messages. Their BS meter is high. They have been well trained to resist hype. They ignore commercials.

Yet promos are one of the most important ways to drive more listening. And yes, they’re commercials.

Treat Them Like Commercials: Think of it this way:  Promos for your show or station are individual elements in a spot schedule on your own station. Advertisers pay a lot of money for messages delivered to your audience. You get to access that audience for free. That’s a tremendous advantage.

Promos Must Make a Statement. No promo  has ever been produced that is capable of convincing listeners of anything. Ever. It’s impossible. That’s not how you win the war. But promos can persuade an audience to take a specific action, which leads to persuasion over time. Each promo should be crafted to support brand values and make a statement about the brand.

Don’t Make Assumptions. All decisions are emotional decisions. We don’t make choices based on logic, facts or information. We may use logic, but actual decision making is governed by emotion.Promos that reason, or try to explain why our station is better won’t appeal to that animal instinct. The emotional part of the human brain drives response.

 

Cause A Reaction. Promos should have a call-to-action. If the promo doesn’t give me something to actually do, how will listeners come around to experience the brand in new ways?

Know What You Want

The key is to know what your brand wants from the audience.  You get what you ask for – if you ask the right way. Then promote to drive trial, not just awareness. Awareness is great, but remember where these commercials are running. On your station/ The only people who hear them already listen to your station. They don’t need to be made aware of your brand. Just persuade them to use it more often.

Promos aren’t marketing. The goal is to add Time Spent Listening (TSL) from existing listeners. More specifically, promos should be designed to gain occasions of listening. Each message should be specific with reasons to tune in.

But, it’s also dangerous to assume listeners know all about the station. Most of the audience probably doesn’t know much about you. And it’s naive to think that 100% of the station’s cume already listens to a show on that station. If just 50% do, you’re performing well above the average.

So promote increased trial. To do that, you have to know what you sell.

What Do You Sell?

Look at this from the most basic level. What does a good babysitter sell, really? It’s not child care exactly, but a relaxed evening out. A furnace salesperson? Cozy rooms for families.

Yet most of the promos we run are telling listeners what we do by making claims:

The Station That Rocks The Valley.

The 15-in-a-row hit music station.

Wake up and laugh with Springfield’s funniest morning show.

We’re great at making an argument based on what we do. But we can’t win the argument.

Put yourself in the audience’s shoes. What do these claims mean to them?

10 songs in a row/45 minutes commercial free: Radio loses all quantity of music claims. It is a losing position when your real competition is audio that is always commercial free. What difference does it make that you out-music a format competitor? When either of you goes into commercials, they still check out the other station.

The best music mix for your workday: For whose workday? The Dentist’s office or the construction site? Those are different uses, aren’t they? Workday is vague. Identify exactly who you’re for, why and what you represent.

Today’s Best Music: According to who? The 17 year old high school girl or her 45 year old mom? And what kind of music? Hip hop? Soft rock? Alternative?

The Rock Alternative: This is better, but alternative to what? Is that a claim about music genre or ????

We may have the funniest morning show in the world.  It may be true that we play the most music. And who’s going to prove that we DON’T rock the valley?  There’s nothing wrong with positioning statements that plant a flag. But they don’t cause action.

So first figure out what you’re selling. And yes, you’re selling something. You’re selling value. And what is the cost of what you’re selling? Time. You’re asking listeners to pay with their time and attention.

The key question is whether your product is worth the investment.

Emotional Promos With a CTA

Promos should connect with listeners emotionally.

Here’s an example of a promo that connects to emotions. This is for a morning show feature, the Phone Scam with Jeff and Jenn on Star 94.1 in Atlanta.

This is a terrific promo that shows off the #1 emotion listeners crave in a morning show (laughter) by demonstrating Jeff and Jenn as being funny. The laughter is contagious and shows off how listeners will use the show.

And it sets an appointment for a trial.

Create Great Promos

All promos should do at least one of 3 things:

1. Move a Storyline Forward. Repetitive promos or sweepers that regurgitate the same message over and over don’t connect because they don’t move the story forward. Listeners respond more to stories with momentum than to relentless pounding with information. That’s why each promo needs to deliver a Specific Message…even if that message doesn’t tell the whole story. We do this all the time with promos for contests. They’re either really long, with a list of facts and information or the promo is so FAST nobody can understand it.

2. Call to Action. Each promo must give your audience something to DO. Branding is important, but it can happen with action.What action do you want the listener to take? What action can they take?

3. Add to Brand Values. Promos shouldn’t be designed to sell, but to offer suggestions that impact your audience to come to their own conclusion. If your words pack a punch, you don’t need to exaggerate the adjectives.

Conclusion

Promos are a powerful tool to influence an audience. Use them as a strategic weapon to drive activity and cause listeners to become more habitual listeners and over time, become loyal fans.

I’d love to hear your best promos. Send them to me by email Tracy@Tjohnsonmediagroup.com

 

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New Year’s Resolutions Every Radio Personality Should Keep!

For most of you, New Year resolutions feel like a forced, trite way to make a change. In fact, you may have already given up on the whole process. After all, if you really wanted to change, why wait around for January 1?

Sometimes we need a benchmark as a trigger point to get us to take action. It’s way too easy to push aside those adjustments and goals that are important, but not really time-sensitive.

To seriously make lasting changes, it’s important to create specific goals with a timeline. Doing it at the beginning of a new year is a natural time to refresh, adapt and make those changes that will lead to greater success in your future.

If you’re looking to set resolutions for next year, but are struggling for achievable ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

[tweet_box design=”box_09″]11 New Year’s Resolutions every air talent should keep[/tweet_box]

Here are resolutions that are worth considering:

New Year Resolutions: Preparation

Plan Your Show 2-3 Days In Advance

You know the current routine. The show is over, and we start prepping for tomorrow. That’s fine, but it’s short-sighted. Make it a priority to constantly prepare the show at least two days in advance, adjusting as needed in your daily planning sessions. This is detailed in the webinar on demand Turn Daily Life Into Daily Content.

Getting into this habit allows you to develop story arcs that carry over from day to day and provides a structure that helps you see the bigger picture, rather than getting caught in the weeds each day. It makes the prep process more productive and more fun.

It also helps you with our next resolution suggestion:

New Year Resolutions: Promote

Promote Tomorrow’s Show

If most of tomorrow’s show is already laid out in a schedule, you can easily promote the best content today!  One of the most effective methods of teasing upcoming segments is promoting “tomorrow at this time“.

Why? Most of the audience tuned in at any given time is available to listen the next day at the same time. That’s an opportunity you should use with specific promos and teases to capitalize on the existing audience!

Knowing what’s happening tomorrow can also provide content for forward momentum at the end of your show, with quick hooks that build anticipation for the next day. And, it makes far better copy for your recorded morning show promo than the tired “If you missed today’s show, here’s what you missed” promo.

Fine-tune those teasing skills with the webinar on demand 30 Teasing Tips in 30 Minutes. Or, brush up on all of your teasing skills here.

Identify Your Best Feature-And Get More Out Of It

The New Year is a great time to look back at your best-performing quarter hours. Dig into the ratings software and track performance over the entire year. Why do those quarter hours perform well? Which quarter hours drag you down? Why? If you have research available, use it to seek further insight!

The goal is to identify the content that causes the greatest listener response and become famous for it. Perhaps it’s one of your benchmarked features. Or an appointment tune-in moment for a contest or game. Or maybe you don’t have anything that stands out. This is the time to find your One Thing that can make you #1.

Then, figure out how you can squeeze more juice from it.Can you create a greater online presence for it? Should it be a podcast? Should there be bonus content available by download? Can you air the feature more often? How can you add a new twist to reinvent and freshen the concept?

Next, apply your findings on the air. Drop the features that don’t perform well and repeat your most popular one more often.

It’s also a good time to identify features that are “second tier” — the ones that are decently successful, but could be even more so if you optimized them. And, if you can’t find a way to improve them, it may be time to dump them entirely.

Improve Yourself

Want to become a better performer? You must stay fresh, motivated and just a little bit anxious. If you become bored your audience will soon be bored as well. And being boring is one of the 7 Deadly Sins of Radio Personalities. That means challenging yourself to constantly innovate. This will keep you from falling into ruts.

It doesn’t have to be anything major, but change things up each day. Introduce a segment with a different tactic. Change the production elements for a long-time feature. Get into a segment with a different technique for hooking your audience. Or just work on the techniques of executing content additives consistently.

Network

You’ve probably heard that you have to win in the halls before you win on the air, and it’s true. Your co-workers can help make your show or hold it back. And it’s up to you to turn them into an asset that takes you higher.

The promotions director should be one of your closest allies. Make yourself available to help them do their job more effectively by volunteering to host events and appearances even if you’re not being paid. In the process, you’ll be amazed at how many paid opportunities come your way.

Make it your mission to meet more station advertisers and get to know them personally. The account executives will love you for it, because it makes their job easier, and you’ll probably increase your endorsement fees and live commercial opportunities.

This is the year to make a greater effort to be more immersed into the fabric of the station outside of your studio doors.

Start a Podcast

Podcasting is a growing mini-industry, but think about what it really is: Specific audio packaged for listening on demand. That’s it.

It’s easy to start a podcast, but difficult to promote it. You have the power to promote on the air! So start a podcast.

But please, a podcast is more than just a recording of your entire show from this morning. That’s not a service to the listener. It’s an ordeal. Identify specific topics that interest you and build a community around it. Or create a podcast around one of your most popular features.

As your podcast builds an audience, you’ll find ways to recycle your online audience into appointment tune-in moments on the air.

Update Your Website Daily

The number of static radio websites is sad. Make a commitment that this is the year you’ll make your site come alive with living, breathing content.

Replace that tired bio of each personality with highlights from this morning’s show (make it shareable), previews for tomorrow and content that takes the audience into a deeper, interactive relationship with your brand.

There are many ways to do it. For a great example, check out The Bert Show site.

And use video! It’s easy and inexpensive to set up a high quality video studio. Videos are a great way for listeners to get to know you in new ways and extend your personality in new ways.

Updating your site is like working out: You’ve got to do it consistently to see great results. You can’t just update it once a month and expect to rack up the results.

For more ideas on how to master your digital exposure, check out the webinar on demand 10 Digital Concepts to Build a Fanbase.

Get Smarter

The most successful people never stop learning. One of the best ways to keep up with trends in personality radio is to learn from those who are great at it. This can get the creative juices flowing, and help you become a more inspired personality.

Find shows you admire or have heard about and start a relationship. Listen to them regularly, borrowing (or stealing) the ideas and techniques that apply to your show.

The tough thing is, there’s so much content out there, you have to be discerning to find the really good stuff. We make it easy to find great new air checks, updated almost weekly-and with analysis here.

Not sure where to start? Become an Insider, with subscriptions starting at just $5 per month. We keep our community up to date with the best ideas and training for career growth.

Research Content

How many times have you launched a bit, expecting the phones to light up and….crickets? Many times, a slight tweak or a different angle makes all the difference in the world. Now you can pre-test your content, for free!

With Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to run small tests — throw a topic out with a question or hook, and engage your audience to see how they respond. Then, introduce the same topic a couple of hours later with a different angle, a different hook.

You can also try your hooks on friends, family and co-workers. Pay attention to how they respond. Do they ignore you or engage in the conversation? Use that information when crafting your on-air content.

See how that performs. If it strikes an emotional chord on social media, it’s likely to resonate on the air too. By A/B testing content, you can launch that break with confidence, know which direction to steer it and have insight in how to promote it.

Measure Progress

In marketing, advertisers track their ROI. How are their commercials growing their business? In radio, it’s a little trickier. Ratings may not be the best measure of progress.

On-air growth is one of the most notoriously difficult things to measure, but also the key to unlocking career growth. So why not make it your New Year’s resolution?

Set up a system to save a show every week. Don’t pick just the best show, or the worst. Make it random. Archive it, save it as an Mp3 and label it clearly. Then, at least once a quarter, listen to how you sounded three months ago. Or six months ago. Or a year ago. or two years ago. How have you grown? Are you reaching your goals? Have you progressed? What were you doing well then that isn’t as sharp now?

Archiving and reviewing content regularly is a great way to chronicle your history and help you see the forest for the trees. I’m constantly amazed at how far shows I work with grow when reaching into the past to compare. And that’s reason to celebrate!

Conclusion

Growth should be continuous, but the beginning of a new year is a great excuse to make new plans and establish goals. What are your New Year Resolutions?

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10 Things To Put You In a League of Your Own

You probably saw the movie A League of Their Own…the movie about the women’s baseball league with Tom Hanks, MaDonna and Geena Davis, who played Dottie Hinson. But there’s one scene that has a direct parallel to on-air performance. The wisdom can inspire you to be in a league of your own.

In the movie, Dottie tries to quit the team by telling the manager Jimmy Dugan (played by Hanks) that “it just got too hard.”

Dugan says:

It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.

 

And that’s true for the business you’re in, especially now. Like baseball, radio is fun. It’s exciting. It’s not like real work. But being a great air personality is hard work. Don’t let anyone tell you that isn’t hard. It is.

Building an audience is hard. It is.

Don’t let anyone tell you that creating 3 or four hours of fresh content each day isn’t hard. It is.

But on the other side of it? The other side of that all that struggle? That’s where the rewards are. The hard work produces satisfaction and happiness of seeing your listeners respond.

You get the pride of making an impact in someone’s day, and maybe change their life.

Of course the financial rewards are nice too.

Those rewards are earned. And it is hard. And it is worth it. Many go through their entire life without really taking control of it. They become a victim of circumstances. It could be so much richer by committing to the hard work to become great.

It’s that effort that puts your in a league of your own.

How To Be In A League Of Your Own

Every creative air personality has a secret weapon. You just need to know how to use it. How to unleash it on the world.

That weapon is YOU. Your character.

Nothing can replace the human experience on the air. It’s a personal connection that draws and holds the audience.

According to a Katz survey, 75% of all listeners agree with this statement:

I turn on the radio because my favorite personality is on the air.

And, 72% agree that

I talk to friends about something I heard on my favorite station.

Nobody is talking to their friends about the 50 minutes of non-stop music every hour. And how many discussions do you overhear that you’re the station for traffic and weather together. Or even that you’re the perfect station to get through the workday.

Are you one of those favorite personalities? Do you have the talent and determination to be great?

And are you willing to put in the hard work to be in a league of your own?

How To Get There

I can’t turn you into a great personality. Nobody can. But I can show you the tools you need to find it for yourself.

In my webinar 10 Things To Take You To #1, I’ll show you the recipe that has delivered tremendous results for air personalities all over the world. To sign up for this free webinar, click here. (webinar is September 5 at 1pm).

The 10 things that can take you to #1 are:

10: Start Fast: You can’t afford to waste the listener’s time.

9:  Momentum to the Pay Off: Just because you’ve gained attention doesn’t guarantee you’ll keep it.

8: Drop Bread Crumbs: One great pay off is critical, but without mini-payoffs, you lose momentum (see #9).

7: Be famous for a Branded Feature: Give your show something for the audience to look forward to, and talk about.

6: Demonstrate Character Through Storytelling: Every personality should become a great storyteller.

5: Add Perspective: If you’re not willing to be bold and vulnerable, you cannot become great.

4: Be Consistent and Unpredictable: These are contradictory terms, but both are important in attracting interest.

3: Show Your Heart: Demonstrating what you care about makes you endearing.

2: Make Them Laugh: Nothing is as powerful as a funny show. Nothing.

1: Find Your One Thing: Most shows try to do too much. Do less, and do it well.

You can check out the webinar for details on each. But be fore-warned: They all include hard work and preparation. It’s not easy. But that’s how you get to be in a league of your own.

Conclusion

To get through it, you need help. Maybe it’s a mentor, a PD you trust or a talent coach. But maybe you can’t afford a talent coach. In the next few weeks, I’m introducing an interactive online course for air talent that will train you on those things and more.

But for now, make a commitment to yourself, your career, your family and your future. Make a commitment to be the very best you can be.

It’s hard. Don’t let anybody tell you it’s not. The journey from #10 to #1 starts with clarity and focus.

Along the way, you’ll become frustrated. That’s part of the process. You may even want to quit when facing your 1,000th creative challenge.

Just remember what Jimmy Dugan said:

Now go and become great.

I’m presenting a new webinar

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Baseball, The 3-Run Homer and Your Radio Station

As an avid baseball fan, I take every opportunity to connect my favorite sport with to radio. There are more connections than you might think. But what does baseball, the three run home run and your radio station have in common? A lot.

A three run home run changes the game. It turns a 2-2 tie into a 5-2 lead. Or advances a team from trailing 5-3 into winning 6-5. A three-run bomb transforms a tight, 1-1 pitching duel into a secure 4-1 lead. A three-run home run energizes the crowd and changes fortunes.

Former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver was asked the key to his legendary success. He became famous for his response,

Baseball is all about good pitching and the three run homer.

What’s Your Three-Run Home Run?

Radio stations often become masters of the mundane. We obsess over details that are important, but not transformational. Programmers make sure the music is on target, format clocks adjusted and music beds air just right. Personalities take care to hit the benchmarks, punch the promo at the proper time and compile pages of topics for the show.

But as important as they might be, those details don’t change the game. They’re not three-run homers.

Radio’s three-run home runs happen when personalities create emotional moments on the air. It happens when they recognize opportunities and go deeper into content. We can analyze, examine and critique all of the fun out of the radio station.

A three-run homer can be an over-the-top promotion that you become known for. At Star 100.7 in San Diego, we built Becky’s House, a transitional shelter for victims of domestic abuse. It started with a phone call from a woman (Becky). By going deeper, we hit a three-run homer that became a defining part of our brand’s community roots.

It can be a show’s signature feature. At Magic 92.5/San Diego, Jagger & Kristi have built a mini-brand around War of the Roses and Thousand Dollar Minute. Both features are three-run homers for the show.

Maybe your three-run home run happens each morning, by developing a segment into a Didja Hear moment that is memorable and shareable.

In baseball, three-run homers can overcome dozens of mistakes. Walks and errors are quickly forgotten when that slugger steps up and changes the game. It’s the sam for radio. That’s one reason you often listen to a legendary radio show and wonder “What’s so special?” You missed the three-run homer!

Sometimes It’s The Small Things

But a three-run homer doesn’t happen without many little things that make it possible. There have to be baserunners or the home run won’t deliver three runs. The pitchers have to prevent the other team from building a big lead, or the home run won’t matter.

Radio stations need balance. Doing the little things well are important. It’s the foundation for the brand. Often, we get so hung up on a big idea that we don’t recognize the small but meaningful moments that can endear personalities to fans.

We spend hours seeking the next big thing and never find it.

[tweet_box design=”box_09″]Here are 9 small things you could do each day that would develop great listener loyalty.[/tweet_box]

What could you do to put runners on base so your three run homer matters? Here’s a very short list of things you could do every day to build an audience:

  1. Return every phone call and email.
  2. Send a handwritten card to five people.
  3. Publish new content to your website or social media.
  4. Record a podcast on a specific topic.
  5. Contribute to a blog, forum or Facebook fan page that interests you.
  6. Call ten people in your station database to thank them for listening.
  7. Send congratulations note to three people in the community who did something special,
  8. Call every listeners celebrating a birthday (you should have the info in your station database) to wish them a happy day.
  9. Contact another personality to trade ideas and network.

Do enough of the small things, and you’ll have a better chance of having runners on base for your big moments.

Conclusion

Your competition isn’t doing these things. They don’t see the value. They’re only looking for one big idea that is worth pursuing.

Hall of Fame baseball manager Earl Weaver made a career out of playing for the three run homer, but Earl also had a great pitching staff and solid defense. Set aside time each day for both, and remember that it’s the everyday small things punctuated by an occasional home!

Sometimes it’s the small things. Sometimes it’s the three-run homer.

Photo credit: Freepik.com

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Rain: How People Are Listening To Music Breakdown

Nielsen Total Audience for Q1: Everyone is spending time with mobile devices

Nielsen’s Total Audience Report for the first quarter of 2017 placed its focus on generational distinctions, with profiles for baby boomers, millennials, and more.

For all age groups, daily radio listening stayed static, or only just edged higher. Baby boomers tune in the most with 2:03 in daily time spent listening for the period, followed by generation X at 2:00 while millennials posted 1:37 in daily listening. Generation Z showed 1:08 in daily time spent, although that data point only reflects the habits of ages 12-20 and the bracket includes any individual born on or before 2015.

Daily time spent with smartphones was highest among millennials (generation Z could not be tracked because of mobile privacy rules). Millennials reported 2:51 daily time spent with smartphone apps for Q1, up from 2:01 in the year-ago period. Generation X smartphone use jumped up from 1:40 to 2:36, and baby boomers leapt up from 1:20 to 2:29. Television, both live and time-shifted, took the biggest share in daily time spent for all age groups.

In broadening to monthly time spent, the radio trend was similar across the brackets. Generation Z and millennials had the lowest monthly time spent at 35:46 and 49:46, respectively. Generation X and baby boomers posted notably higher rates of 61:07 and 62:18.

The monthly time spent chart showed that mobile device use could outpace television. Millennials spent 77:44 on smartphone apps or web and 76:56 on tablet apps or web. Generation X posted 82:42 monthly time spent on smartphones and 81:38 on tablets. For baby boomers, smartphone apps and web secured 75:01 and tablet apps and web had 74:35. Mobile video usage was broken out separately, with markedly lower amounts of monthly time spent for each bracket compared with general app and web use.

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The Cost of Listening

Virtually everything comes with a price and a value. That’s what drives every transaction. Yet since consumers don’t pay cash for radio, it’s easy for broadcasters to assume that it’s free. It’s not. There’s a cost of listening.

Starbucks charges $4 for a cup of coffee. Their cost of materials is far less. There’s a lot of profit in that cup of Joe. But the value delivered to customers is worth more than the the ingredients. Their brand is wrapped in their environment. That includes the stores in which they serve coffee. The convenience of being on nearly every corner. Their commitment to serving the community. The principles on which their brand is built. All of these things represent value that cause coffee drinkers to happily pay several times more than they would at 7-11.

An iPhone is valued by the Apple customer, though competing brands offer smartphones with similar features at a lower cost. Apple prospers because they deliver an experience to their customer. Their market share grows even though their products are relatively expensive devices with high margins.

These examples are easy to understand. Commerce takes place when the perceived value of a product or service is equal to or greater than the cost.

But what does that have to do with radio?

Is The Cost Of Listening Driving Away Audience?

In most cases, no money changes hands when a listening occasion takes place. But the price/value relationship still applies. Each listener makes entertainment choices for specific reasons. It could be to hear their favorite song, find out what’s happening in town, win a contest, get a laugh or simply find station to match their mood.

Your ability to deliver an experience that meets the desire is what your show is worth.

But there’s a price. They pay for your “product” with time and attention. The longer it takes to realize value, the greater the cost of listening.

Too many commercials (and poorly produced commercials) add to the cost of listening. The same goes for directionless, pointless talk. A contest comes on that’s too hard to play or they think they can’t win? It’s getting expensive to listen.

Your topics are unfocused or confusing. A song (or three) I don’t like. Information that’s unimportant or irrelevant. Unfamiliar or uninspiring  personalities. Another 7 minute stop set. These drive up the cost of tuning in, or staying tuned in.

There are dozens of distractions that increase the cost of listening to your radio. It’s getting more and more expensive to listen. And there are more and more choices to shop.

When the cost becomes too high, listeners seek value elsewhere. They may punch the button to find another radio show or turn to satellite radio or their personal device. They may turn on Spotify or Apple Music, or go to a podcast.

Some escape to television, interact with social media, play a video game, turn on a movie or any number of other entertainment options. Your competition isn’t just other radio stations, you know.

Keeping The Cost Of Listening Affordable

In a research project with Strategic Solutions Research, we explored what causes tune out. That’s another way of identifying what adds to the cost of listening. Those six things are:

Not Getting Attention Quickly

Content That Has No Context

Slow Pacing

Not Enough Payoffs

Confusion

They Just Don’t Care.

Each of the six are detailed here.

You can reduce your cost of listening by providing more value. There are two solutions:

Lower Your Prices

Identify the most important reasons a listener chooses you, and be great at it. Objectively evaluate every detail of your show as if your were a listener and remove all unnecessary clutter. You’ll be shocked at how much you find.

You won’t be able to remove all of the barriers. Commercials are with us for awhile. But the more streamlined the show, the better your value proposition.

Increase Value

The other way to deliver a better experience is by increasing the value of the experience. With your list of most important brand qualities in mind, what can you add to your show that makes you memorable, unique and irreplaceable?

How can you deliver this experience on the air in every break and extend that value as a meaningful part of your audience’s lives on multiple platforms? Does what you offer match what they pay to tune in-and stay tuned in-to your show? To your station?

Chances are it revolves around your personality that can’t be duplicated.

Conclusion

When we deliver more value than is expected, radio becomes a bargain. How are you connecting to the audience emotionally to deliver an experience greater than the ingredients of your product?

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CFAM Celebrates 60 Years! (VIDEO)

CFAM hit the air waves at 8:01 p.m. on March 13, 1957. The radio station, operating at 1,000 watts and located at 1290 on the AM dial, was housed in a small studio in Altona – a community of 1,800 people at the time.

The idea for a radio station in Southern Manitoba was conceived by A.J. Thiessen, an entrepreneur from Rosenfeld.

“It was a very momentous evening – something that people had looked forward to for quite a while,” reflected CEO Elmer Hildebrand, who at the time of the launch, worked as a commercial copywriter at the station. “It was a cold winter day…(and) it was an amazing evening and from my recollection it’s sort of like yesterday, I can remember it well.”
CFAM hit the air waves at 8:01 p.m. on March 13, 1957. The radio station, operating at 1,000 watts and located at 1290 on the AM dial, was housed in a small studio in Altona – a community of 1,800 people at the time.

The idea for a radio station in Southern Manitoba was conceived by A.J. Thiessen, an entrepreneur from Rosenfeld.

“It was a very momentous evening – something that people had looked forward to for quite a while,” reflected CEO Elmer Hildebrand, who at the time of the launch, worked as a commercial copywriter at the station. “It was a cold winter day…(and) it was an amazing evening and from my recollection it’s sort of like yesterday, I can remember it well.”
Read On.

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Fate of College Radio Charts Uncertain at CMJ After Almost 40 Years

For the second week in a row, the charts haven’t been published. Will they follow the CMJ Music Marathon into oblivion?

One of the remaining bastions of the college-rock era has fallen silent, at least for now. For the second week in a row, CMJ has not published its weekly college radio charts, calling into question the fate of an institution that has tracked the music played by college stations around the country since 1978. No date has been set for when the venerable—and, once, invaluable—charts will resume.

Adam Klein, who owns CMJ through his Abaculi Media, has not responded to Pitchfork’s requests for comment on the matter. The charts typically go out on Tuesday afternoons. On Tuesday, February 7, in an email to radio promoters and publicists obtained by Pitchfork, Klein said the charts might resume by the end of last week, and would “definitely” be back this week. On Tuesday, February 14, in another email viewed by Pitchfork, Klein told the CMJ community, “There will not be charts this week and I will let you know where we stand on timing before the end of the week.”

The chart hiatus is just the latest in a series of setbacks for CMJ. The last-known remaining employee, Lisa Hresko, recently took a new job with indie-label trade group A2IM. And last year’s lack of a CMJ Music Marathon, for the first time in the event’s 35-year-history, came despite Klein’s assurance it “absolutely” would happen in 2016.

Here is Klein’s February 7 email to radio promoters:
Read On.

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BlackBurn Radio Wins Lotto

Everyone involved in an office lottery pool dreams of winning a big jackpot, but few of them ever do – and even fewer end up getting phone calls from strangers congratulating him.

That’s what’s been happening in Wingham this week, as 27 employees of BlackBurn Radio have split a $1-million windfall.

It works out to a little more than $37,000 per employee.

It’s not life-changing money … but it’s a nice little bump,” says Nick Sawicki.

The money was won in last Friday’s Lotto Max draw.

Like many office lottery pools, the one at Blackburn Radio has simple rules. Everybody puts in two dollars a week, and small wins are used to buy additional tickets.

Dan Bieman has been running the pool for the past decade.

“Anybody that’s been in it as long as I have has probably sunk in about $1,000, but it’s all worth it now,” he says.

“To share it with these fine people here is very special to me.”

The coworkers say they’ll be putting their winners toward paying off debt, taking vacations, and just generally making their lives a little bit easier.

With files from CTV London

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11 New Years Resolutions Every Personality Should Keep

For most of you, New Year resolutions feel like a forced, trite way to make a change. In fact, you may have already given up on the whole process. After all, if you really wanted to change, why wait around for January 1?

Sometimes we need a benchmark as a trigger point to get us to take action. It’s way too easy to push aside those adjustments and goals that are important, but not really time-sensitive.

To seriously make lasting changes, it’s important to create specific goals with a timeline. Doing it at the beginning of a new year is a natural time to refresh, adapt and make those changes that will lead to greater success in your future.

If you’re looking to set resolutions for next year, but are struggling for achievable ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

[tweet_box design=”box_09″]11 New Year’s Resolutions every air talent should keep[/tweet_box]

Here are resolutions that are worth considering:

 

New Year Resolutions: Preparation

Plan Your Show 2-3 Days In Advance

You know the current routine. The show is over, and we start prepping for tomorrow. That’s fine, but it’s short-sighted. Make it a priority to constantly prepare the show at least two days in advance, adjusting as needed in your daily planning sessions. This is detailed in the webinar on demand Turn Daily Life Into Daily Content.

 

Getting into this habit allows you to develop story arcs that carry over from day to day and provides a structure that helps you see the bigger picture, rather than getting caught in the weeds each day. It makes the prep process more productive and more fun.

It also helps you with our next resolution suggestion:

 

New Year Resolutions: Promote

Promote Tomorrow’s Show

If most of tomorrow’s show is already laid out in a schedule, you can easily promote the best content today!  One of the most effective methods of teasing upcoming segments is promoting “tomorrow at this time“.

Why? Most of the audience tuned in at any given time is available to listen the next day at the same time. That’s an opportunity you should use with specific promos and teases to capitalize on the existing audience!

Knowing what’s happening tomorrow can also provide content for forward momentum at the end of your show, with quick hooks that build anticipation for the next day. And, it makes far better copy for your recorded morning show promo than the tired “If you missed today’s show, here’s what you missed” promo.

Fine-tune those teasing skills with the webinar on demand 30 Teasing Tips in 30 Minutes. Or, brush up on all of your teasing skills here.

 

 

New Year Resolutions: Find Your One Thing

Identify Your Best Feature-And Get More Out Of It

The New Year is a great time to look back at your best-performing quarter hours. Dig into the ratings software and track performance over the entire year. Why do those quarter hours perform well? Which quarter hours drag you down? Why? If you have research available, use it to seek further insight!

The goal is to identify the content that causes the greatest listener response and become famous for it. Perhaps it’s one of your benchmarked features. Or an appointment tune-in moment for a contest or game. Or maybe you don’t have anything that stands out. This is the time to find your One Thing that can make you #1.

Then, figure out how you can squeeze more juice from it.Can you create a greater online presence for it? Should it be a podcast? Should there be bonus content available by download? Can you air the feature more often? How can you add a new twist to reinvent and freshen the concept?

Next, apply your findings on the air. Drop the features that don’t perform well and repeat your most popular one more often.

It’s also a good time to identify features that are “second tier” — the ones that are decently successful, but could be even more so if you optimized them. And, if you can’t find a way to improve them, it may be time to dump them entirely.

 

New Year Resolutions: Improve Yourself

Try Something New Every Day

Want to become a better performer? You must stay fresh, motivated and just a little bit anxious. If you become bored your audience will soon be bored as well. And being boring is one of the 7 Deadly Sins of Radio Personalities. That means challenging yourself to constantly innovate. This will keep you from falling into ruts.

It doesn’t have to be anything major, but change things up each day. Introduce a segment with a different tactic. Change the production elements for a long-time feature. Get into a segment with a different technique for hooking your audience. Or just work on the techniques of executing content additives consistently.

 

New Year Resolutions: Network

Form Partnerships With Other Departments

You’ve probably heard that you have to win in the halls before you win on the air, and it’s true. Your co-workers can help make your show or hold it back. And it’s up to you to turn them into an asset that takes you higher.

The promotions director should be one of your closest allies. Make yourself available to help them do their job more effectively by volunteering to host events and appearances even if you’re not being paid. In the process, you’ll be amazed at how many paid opportunities come your way.

Make it your mission to meet more station advertisers and get to know them personally. The account executives will love you for it, because it makes their job easier, and you’ll probably increase your endorsement fees and live commercial opportunities.

This is the year to make a greater effort to be more immersed into the fabric of the station outside of your studio doors.

 

New Year Resolutions: Extend Your Brand

Start a Podcast

Podcasting is a growing mini-industry, but think about what it really is: Specific audio packaged for listening on demand. That’s it.

It’s easy to start a podcast, but difficult to promote it. You have the power to promote on the air! So start a podcast.

But please, a podcast is more than just a recording of your entire show from this morning. That’s not a service to the listener. It’s an ordeal. Identify specific topics that interest you and build a community around it. Or create a podcast around one of your most popular features.

As your podcast builds an audience, you’ll find ways to recycle your online audience into appointment tune-in moments on the air.

 

New Year Resolutions: Online Updates

Update Your Website Daily

The number of static radio websites is sad. Make a commitment that this is the year you’ll make your site come alive with living, breathing content.

Replace that tired bio of each personality with highlights from this morning’s show (make it shareable), previews for tomorrow and content that takes the audience into a deeper, interactive relationship with your brand.

There are many ways to do it. For a great example, check out The Bert Show site.

And use video! It’s easy and inexpensive to set up a high quality video studio. Videos are a great way for listeners to get to know you in new ways and extend your personality in new ways.

Updating your site is like working out: You’ve got to do it consistently to see great results. You can’t just update it once a month and expect to rack up the results.

For more ideas on how to master your digital exposure, check out the webinar on demand 10 Digital Concepts to Build a Fanbase.

 

New Year Resolutions: Education

Listen to Shows in Other Markets

The most successful people never stop learning. One of the best ways to keep up with trends in personality radio is to learn from those who are great at it. This can get the creative juices flowing, and help you become a more inspired personality.

Find shows you admire or have heard about and start a relationship. Listen to them regularly, borrowing (or stealing) the ideas and techniques that apply to your show.

The tough thing is, there’s so much content out there, you have to be discerning to find the really good stuff. We make it easy to find great new air checks, updated almost weekly-and with analysis here.

Not sure where to start? Become an Insider, with subscriptions starting at just $5 per month. We keep our community up to date with the best ideas and training for career growth.

 

New Year Resolutions: Research

Test Content Before it Airs

How many times have you launched a bit, expecting the phones to light up and….crickets? Many times, a slight tweak or a different angle makes all the difference in the world. Now you can pre-test your content, for free!

With Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to run small tests — throw a topic out with a question or hook, and engage your audience to see how they respond. Then, introduce the same topic a couple of hours later with a different angle, a different hook.

You can also try your hooks on friends, family and co-workers. Pay attention to how they respond. Do they ignore you or engage in the conversation? Use that information when crafting your on-air content.

See how that performs. If it strikes an emotional chord on social media, it’s likely to resonate on the air too. By A/B testing content, you can launch that break with confidence, know which direction to steer it and have insight in how to promote it.

 

New Year Resolutions: Measure Progress

Track Your Growth-and Celebrate It

In marketing, advertisers track their ROI. How are their commercials growing their business? In radio, it’s a little trickier. Ratings may not be the best measure of progress.

On-air growth is one of the most notoriously difficult things to measure, but also the key to unlocking career growth. So why not make it your New Year’s resolution?

Set up a system to save a show every week. Don’t pick just the best show, or the worst. Make it random. Archive it, save it as an Mp3 and label it clearly. Then, at least once a quarter, listen to how you sounded three months ago. Or six months ago. Or a year ago. or two years ago. How have you grown? Are you reaching your goals? Have you progressed? What were you doing well then that isn’t as sharp now?

Archiving and reviewing content regularly is a great way to chronicle your history and help you see the forest for the trees. I’m constantly amazed at how far shows I work with grow when reaching into the past to compare. And that’s reason to celebrate!

 

New Year Resolutions: Conclusion

Growth should be continuous, but the beginning of a new year is a great excuse to make new plans and establish goals. What are your New Year Resolutions?

 

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Erin Davis CHFI Toronto Says Goodbye December 15th

Erin Davis announces retirement after nearly 30 years as CHFI host. Davis’ final show December 15th. t.co/NWFw7zUtK6 @981CHFI

— Airchecker (@Airchecker) December 16, 2016

Cityline says goodbye to radio legend, Erin Davis. @erindavis t.co/0eVSft5b28 Enjoy your time away Erin. Peace & Happiness ^AC xx.

— Airchecker (@Airchecker) December 16, 2016

I had NO idea @981CHFI was going to do this. Thanks for spreading the journal love (and mine returns Jan. 9 at t.co/RCs7j5CXs6). xox t.co/DnsLdzenW7

— Erin Davis CHFI (@erindavis) December 15, 2016

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Who Killed Local Radio?

Sunday 10 July, 2016

Image: Shutterstock
Opinion from Scott Mayman

We’ve already witnessed fewer local shifts at local radio stations, thanks to networking by the big radio operators who say it’s all part of “efficiencies”. Most of us feel, this is B.S.

What happened to the core values inside a local radio station? What happened to local managers, local journos and local staffing who offered one on one “face to face” connections?

In 2015, I embarked on my own fact finding mission at a variety of local markets (Country, regional and metro). Not scientific, but it got the job done.

The removal of that local connection is the reason many retailers stopped buying ads with a local station which offers more networked programs than shows.

One retailer told me, he was allowed to walk away because the station could not provide local talent to provide a live broadcast in the afternoon from his store. Another retailer told me a similar story because they didn’t offer a local Saturday morning show.

Inside the station; it goes without saying: “We are passionate about our work and what we do.” But it’s mostly just recognised at a local level. How is your work evaluated if your management team is in another market place?

Once upon a time, a local News Director or a local manager made those local hiring decisions. They were always in touch with what’s going on around them and who is available locally. Not anymore.

Imagine you’re supporting your Sydney NRL or Melbourne AFL footy team. But the Captain isn’t on the field. Instead, he’s calling the shots from Adelaide while the Coach is online from Perth. Club management gives direction in a phone hook up from Canberra. Where’s the loyalty, dedication and trust? How successful do you think your local footy team would be at the end of the game… of the season?

So, what happens when the department head is in another city? Often staff feel helpless at a local level.

A leader MUST be based locally and evaluate decisions on local matters. It’s the only way for the local team to rise to the next level. It’s been proven to deliver results.

How does it match up with your local operations?

Scott Mayman is an award-winning Australian radio presenter who has worked professionally in both his home country and in the United States. In 2010, Scott initiated the 4BC/101FM “ready reserve” program with great success. Many radio journalists attribute their success to the program.

Scott is currently Breakfast Host at RADIO 97 – FM104.1 on the Tweed Coast and a Correspondent for CBS Radio News.

Read more at: www.radioinfo.com

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AM730 All Traffic All The Time Vancouver

Via Mike Cohen

Burns Bog Fire Destroys AM730 Transmitter.

Am730 is back on the air! However, we are still operating at reduced power for the time being. We are currently able to be heard on the North Shore, in the City of Vancouver to the Massey Tunnel, in Burnaby, and in the North West area of Surrey.

You can still get all your traffic updates and real time road closures from:

– Online streaming at www.am730.ca,
– On AM730 social media (Facebook or Twitter),
– The Free AM730 App,
– With an HD radio on 101.1, sub channel 3
– News Talk 980 CKNW (story here)

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Halifax CHNS Radio 90 Years

When CHNS aired its first radio broadcast on May 12, 1926, the station used a 500-watt transmitter and aired from a tiny room at the Carleton Hotel in Halifax.

The times have changed, but CHNS is still around. Now known as 89.9 The Wave and airing from Bayers Lake, Nova Scotia’s oldest radio station has seen it all.

Thursday marks the station’s 90th birthday, and it’s celebrating the milestone with special vintage programming for the entire month of May.

Along with the usual music, news and talk shows, listeners this month can enjoy vintage commercials, historic news stories, archived interviews, and old-school music and jingles.

“We’re taking listeners on a trip down memory lane,” said Mike Mitchell, director of programming with Maritime Broadcast System Radio, the station’s parent company. “We’ve archived a significant portion of our 90-year history, so we’ve been able to put together some pretty great stuff from an audio perspective that will air every day, all month long.”

No radio station in Halifax has more memories than CHNS. Over the years, the station has been home to some of Atlantic Canada’s most well-known broadcasters and radio personalities, including Ian
Hanomansing, Stan Carew, and Mike Duffy.

From 1933-1960, the station was an affiliate of the CBC. It served as an important outlet for the news stories of the time, including the Second World War, the Korean War, and the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Clips from those days will be airing all month.

Vignettes from other iconic local programs, like Jerry Lawrence’s Hello Metro, will be on the air as well.

“Throughout our history, this radio station has told the story of Halifax,” said Mitchell. “We’ve accompanied great music with stories about this city’s people, businesses, organizations, and charities. This month, we’re celebrating that.”

From the 70s to the 90s, CHNS specialized in top-100 music before switching to oldies in 1992. In 2006, the station abandoned its original AM channel and re-branded as a classic rock station, 89.9 HAL FM. Just three years ago in 2013, the station switched to classic hits, and was reborn as 89.9 The Wave.

Read On

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Is Terrestrial Radio Facing Its Judgment Day With Fierce Digital Competition?

During a panel discussion at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Los Angeles on April 15, the moderator asked veteran programmer Jim McGuinn, formerly of modern-rock station WPLY (Y100) Philadelphia, why FM was no longer relevant to listeners in their 20s. “I blame commercial radio for f—ing it up,” said McGuinn, who today programs a Minneapolis public station that plays My Morning Jacket and Coldplay. “Sometimes, it feels like we are [still making up for] the sins of commercial radio.”

Such anti-corporate-radio sentiment is getting louder as companies like iHeartMedia and Cumulus Radio add commercials and cut staff in the face of crippling debt. IHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) is the world’s biggest radio company, with 861 stations and a healthy streaming service, but it’s at risk of defaulting on $3 billion in loans. Cumulus, the second-largest player, holds $2.5 billion in debt and has been cutting costs at iconic stations like San Francisco’s KFOG, which lost its entire staff in April. CBS Radio, with its 117 stations, reported a 5 percent decline in fourth-quarter revenue. Just weeks after putting the radio division up for sale, CBS decided to pursue an initial public offering instead.

In some ways, it’s an old and familiar story. “Tower Records is the perfect analogy — just substitute the words ‘radio station’ for ‘record store,'” says James Caparro, former president of Island Def Jam and PolyGram Distribution, who now is head of the Kefi ­investment group. “How do you right-side the company without destroying the culture? They’re going to be challenged with those financial realities.”

Indeed, while traditional radio companies have maintained steady ratings during the past 20 years — in the face of fierce competition from online music services and next-gen radio ­companies like Pandora and SiriusXM — those numbers recently have declined. Today, listeners spend roughly 14 hours a week listening to old-school radio, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau; in 2007, it was nearly 20. Even more sobering: 21 percent of the U.S. population does not own a radio, up from 4 percent in 2008, reports Edison Research.

Read On

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Radio Wouldn’t Have Any Hits To Play If Niche, Radio 1 Music Chief

Chris Price, the new head of music at Radio 1 and 1Xtra, has a big task on his hands. The 42-year-old, who now holds what is arguably the most influential position in the British music industry, must not only replenish the passion for music radio, but justify the existence of his station at a time when the BBC is facing millions of pounds’ worth of cuts.

On the same day as Price started in his new role, 1 March, a report commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said that changes to the focus of the BBC’s popular music, news and sport radio services, including Radio 1, could help advertising-funded rivals by as much as £47m annually. The changes would include airing fewer populist shows, with the “most likely and practical option” being to turn Radio 1 into “something more like” Radio 1xtra on FM, or a hybrid of Radio 1 and 1xtra, where the median age of a listener would be 18 to 20.

“It’s a terrible idea,” Price says, when I meet him in a small room on the eighth floor of Broadcasting House, as groups of young professionals in jeans and bright trainers congregate in studios nearby. “Breaking new music is enshrined in Radio 1’s service licence, it’s what we’re here to do. But what’s unique about us is that we play brand new music in the mix with more established names, that’s what gives us our size and our strength. So if Radio 1 were to play only music that was ignored by other broadcasters, it would quickly turn into a niche station. We would lose our ability to make the hits, which means commercial radio wouldn’t have any hits to play.”
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This ability to discover and nurture talent is the reason Radio 1 brings massive cultural capital as well as revenue to the UK creative industries, which are now worth more than £75bn per year. “If you look at the three breakthrough artists of last year – Jess Glynne, James Bay and Years & Years – Radio 1 played a central role in kickstarting and then growing all of their careers,” Price says. “It’s because of our scale that we’re able to do that. Of course, all that money flows back to the music industry and it’s one of the reasons we have such a vital music industry that’s respected around the world.”

Price, who grew up in Buckinghamshire, doesn’t “remember a time when he wasn’t making mixtapes and playlists” for his friends. After a brief flirtation with record label marketing in the late 90s, the French and German graduate from Bristol University went on to become a music producer at Radio 1 for six years before heading the music team at MTV and later Last.fm. It was then that he decided to set up New Slang Media, a music strategy consultancy working with radio stations and streaming services to help them curate music.

The words “passion” and “heritage” are bandied around often in the interview, with Price calling his appointment a “Rage Against the Machine moment” in his life. “I think, in general, music radio has over the past five years or so become a bit too over-reliant on data,” he says, in what appears to be a step away from Radio 1’s previously established system of using streaming stats and social media-follower counts to pick artists to playlist for daytime airplay.

“We’re kind of drowning in data, whether it’s Shazam tags or YouTube views, and the irony is that it almost leads to less certainty about what’s going on in the market than more. The best and only response is a return to the two things that are never going to let you down: your ears and your heart.”

In an attempt to ensure radio catches up with changes in the music industry, such as the global release date for music being moved to Friday as part of the “on air, on sale” strategy, Price is launching an initiative on Radio 1 in April: New Music Friday will feature more music than other days, including the hottest new releases.

“I want to reflect and satisfy our audience’s impatience to hear new music,” Price says. “For example, last Friday morning I was getting the train into work and I noticed that Kendrick Lamar had dropped this surprise new album that nobody knew about overnight. At midday that day we had posted a Kendrick listening party on daytime 1Xtra, where we played the full album front to back, uninterrupted, with DJ Ace giving his spontaneous reactions as he went.”

It hasn’t been plain sailing for the station, which has had fluctuating listening numbers over the past few years. The latest Rajar figures showed it has lost listeners since the last quarter, going from 10.56m a week to 10.33m. This is in part due to the growing popularity of streaming services, with Apple recently saying it had signed 11 million people to its music service since launching last year. That compares with 75m active users on Spotify, 16m on Deezer and 2.5m on Tidal. In a further sign of transition, Apple’s Beats 1 poached Radio 1’s Zane Lowe and Price’s predecessor George Ergatoudis moved to Spotify.

Does Price think radio stands a chance? “It’s radio that’s sending people in their millions to streaming services,” he says. “Look at Justin Bieber: his hit Love Yourself was streamed about 2m times last week on Spotify. But radio impact for that track last week was in the region of 70m. Streaming services are moving into music discovery, and Radio 1’s been doing this for 50 years, so it’s inevitable that they’re are going to look to us for talent. But right now I don’t see them as competition.”

Price also points out that while Radio 1 has 10 million FM listeners, it also has 3 million subscribers to its YouTube channel and 7.5 million social followers, “so we probably need a new way to measure how young people engage with us”.

“Young people” is precisely the target audience for the station and Price faces a further challenge to lower the average age of a Radio 1 listener. In the late 2000s, the BBC trust chastised the station for having too old an audience and promised to monitor its listening figures among the 15- to 29-year-old demographic. To ensure this happens, Radio 1 has focused its output on music it deems appropriate for younger ears – a policy that has opened it up to criticism from older artists such as Robbie Williams and Noel Gallagher, who have been left off the station’s playlist.

“Radio 1 considers every single artist, every single record, on its own merits,” Price says. “Age really doesn’t come into it. Who’d have thought septuagenarian Paul McCartney who recorded a track with Rihanna and Kanye West would have ended up back on the playlist? We’re just focused on finding the best new music for our diverse young audience. If the person recording it is 15 or 50, that’s fine by me.”

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Kelowna: Q103 Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu

Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu are returning to Kelowna’s airwaves. Starting on Monday, March 7th you will be able to listen to Kevin and Sonia on Q103 (103.1 FM) from 10am to 2pm. The syndicated show will air weekdays. The duo are not moving back to Kelowna and will remain as hosts of PEAK Mornings at Vancouver’s 102.7 The PEAK.

However, Sidhu says the pair are looking forward to being back on the radio in Kelowna, “We’re so excited to be back on the air in Kelowna. Over the years we’ve developed such a close relationship with our listeners and it’ll be nice to continue that on Q103.1.”

Kelowna listeners who have missed the pair will be pleased to hear that their style hasn’t changed, with Lim explaining, “We like to have fun and don’t take ourselves too seriously, so we’re hoping we can pick up right where we left off. You’ll get more of that brother/sister rivalry and our light-hearted perspectives on the world around us.”

Kevin and Sonia left Kelowna on April 25th, 2014. At the time, their morning show on 99.9 Sun FM topped the ratings. The pair were named “Performers of the Year” by the BC Association of Broadcasters in 2014, while they have also previously seen success in Best of Kelowna in 2013 and 2014.

So what does Sonia miss most about Kelowna? “It’s easy to say things like the weather, the beaches, and the amazing scenery, but when it comes down to it, we definitely miss the people! Whether we’ve run into you at the grocery store, a charity run or a winery, each interaction made us feel so connected to the community. We’re looking forward to getting to know all the new faces in Kelowna too!”

It’s fair to say Kelowna has missed Kevin and Sonia too. Listen to Q103 weekdays from 10am to 2pm to catch up with the pair.

You can find Kevin and Sonia on Facebook HERE.

Whether you have a band or show tip, need help booking music for an event or simply want to chat, feel free to email Vince at: vince@kelownanow.com or connect with him on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or Instagram.

Vincent Jones by Vincent Jones

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Howard Sterns Car Driver Became A Radio Star

The show will go on for Howard Stern — and his driver.

At the end of 2015, the shock jock struck a five-year deal with SiriusXM Satellite Radio, guaranteeing plenty more obscene antics, not just from Stern, but also from Ronnie Mund, Howard’s vitriolic chauffeur-turned-radio star.

Mund, a profane, gaudily tattooed Queens native, first began driving for Stern in ’86, when he was hired to take the shock jock to Connecticut for a meeting. It was supposed to be a one-off gig, but Stern took a liking to Mund and hired him as a full-time driver — and occasional on-air personality. Over the decades, Mund, 66, has grown into something of a cult figure with fans, he says, including Bradley Cooper, Jason Statham and Larry David. Last summer, he drove the pace car at a NASCAR race.

“He’s a superstar and an everyman who doesn’t hold back,” says “The Howard Stern Show” senior producer Jason Kaplan. “People love that. What other limo driver gets paid to emcee strip-club openings?”

Mund says he wasn’t looking to be a star. “I never wanted to be famous,” he tells The Post, while hanging out at the show’s Midtown headquarters. “I just wanted to drive Howard. Then [one day in the mid-’90s], I heard [late comedian] Sam Kinison on the show and didn’t like a prank he had pulled. I called the hotline and really got into it with Sam.”

Stern liked his chauffeur’s moxie and started putting him on-air. Mund has cultivated a knack for getting under people’s skin — like when he went after a writer on the show for getting hair implants and trying to hide them — and unleashing perverse proclamations and romantic advice. The divorced dad of two once told listeners that his secret for attracting women is Mambo cologne.

Recently, Stern came up with the idea of creating a nearly life-size cardboard replica of the sideburned, soul-patched, mustachioed Mund. A cross between Flat Stanley and your embarrassing uncle, it has popped up everywhere from a WWE match to a Backstreet Boys photo shoot.

“That was weird,” says Mund. “I got messages from girls who thought I had joined the band.”

On a show where humor derives from contentiousness, Mund comes across as the unfiltered, untrained on-air equivalent of a hockey enforcer. He takes his lumps, as long as he can inflict damage on others. When the creator of an app that judges attractiveness revealed Mund’s rating to be 0.0, the driver exploded in anger.

“I was legitimately pissed off,” he says. “It was not an act. It’s never an act.”

While Mund has no qualms about lashing out at Stern on-air — “I told him he drives like an old lady” — away from the mike he spouts compliments. “As a boss, Howard is great. You don’t have to do the deal of opening the door for him. He’s a regular guy.”

But Stern is still the boss. After a drunken Mund was loud and disorderly at a friend of the show’s wedding, Mund anticipated a razzing. “I picked up Howard, and he didn’t say a word,” recalls Mund. “Then he got on the air, and I got destroyed. I asked Howard why he didn’t discuss it beforehand. He said, ‘That’s not my job. I save everything for the air.’”

New York Post See Video

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Halifax Radio announcer Brian Byrne Trying To Be Front Man Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots are searching for a new lead vocalist, and Halifax radio announcer Brian Byrne hopes it’s going to be him.

Band members Robert DeLeo, Eric Kretz and Dean DeLeo posted a message on the band’s website earlier this month explaining that while “no one will ever replace” former lead singer Scott Weiland — who was found dead on his tour bus in December — they intend to continue making music and are seeking a new lead vocalist.

The busy father is no stranger to the life of a touring musician. He’s been the lead singer of I Mother Earth since 1997 and the alternative rock band continues to release several songs a year — as well as playing 10-15 shows. He’s also been an on-air personality since November, hosting Live 105’s weekday afternoon show from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

He connected with the band’s management through his buddy Todd Kerns — the bass guitarist for Slash — just before Weiland’s passing and then didn’t follow up out of respect. But when the band publicly announced they were opening up the search, he felt comfortable publicly pursuing the gig.

Byrne’s friends started a Facebook fan page called Brian Byrne for Stone Temple Pilots Frontman and it surpassed 1,500 fans in the first three days. Many of the posts are reaching more than 60,000 people and Byrne says he’s been amazed by the support.

“All of the attention on social media has been incredibly overwhelming, and it’s all been really kind of lovely,” says Byrne. “There are always a few negative comments, but I understand the game — people get really precious about change within something that inspires them.”

Byrne says the Stone Temple Pilots remind many people of “the best times of their lives” — their late teens and early 20s — and it might be difficult to accept the idea of a new lead singer. But he feels the band has a long career left ahead of them “making music and making people happy” and he’d love to join them.

“They’re still young guys and they have wonderful music they’ve shared for a long time, and they have more they want to share with whoever that new person is that makes sense to them,” says Byrne.

He was driving to a lake to have a bonfire with friends when he first heard Stone Temple Pilots’ debut album, Core.

“My friend picked it up for us to listen to on the drive, and I just thought ‘Man oh man, this is something I’m going to remember forever,’” says Byrne. “Even when I hear those songs now, they’re still so relevant. Nothing feels like a snapshot of that time — it feels timeless.”

His boss, Live 105 program director J.D. Desrosiers, knew he’d need to make concessions when he hired Byrne in November because he’s still an active touring musician. But he says the entire Live 105 team has been “fully supportive” of this new possibility.

“Brian’s really been settling into his role on-air and he’s getting great reaction and engagement from the Live 105 listenership,” says Desrosiers. “There would definitely be a void in the time slot he occupies, but he’d be representing the Maritimes and Canada in an internationally successful band.”

“Congratulations, celebrations and high-fives would be going around the office!”

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By Court Stroud

This is one in a number of stories on radio in Media Life’s ongoing series “The new face of radio in America,” examining all the changes taking place in the medium.Click here for earlier stories.

 

Local media is going to see a huge surge in revenue this year, $19 billion, or 16 percent over 2015.

Radio will not.

Almost all of that spending surge will go to digital media, such as social. Radio’s share of local ad dollars will actually shrink by 1 percent.

Clearly radio, like other tradition media, has problems.

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iframe src=”https://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=7683544&autoplay=false” style=”width: 100%; height: 131px;” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”>

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Confederation College Thunder Bay Pulls plug On Broadcasting Program

 

Once-popular program at Confederation College has been put on hiatus for the 2016-17 school year.

  • The college says the Broadcasting and Television production program has seen enrolment decrease and needs to be rebooted.

The vice president of Academic at the college said just six students expressed interest in this fall’s program.

“Well this program has a fabulous record, in terms of the program itself, it totally works,” Gail Murdock said.

 

“The issue is enrolment. What we will really be looking at is, are there alternate delivery strategies we can use to  — if I can use the word, broadcast — to a wider audience.”

Murdock said the college will finish teaching the second year of classes.

 

The six students who wanted to take the program next year will be offered other options.

 

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CANADIAN RADIO NEWS RECAP SEPTEMBER

CANADIAN RADIO NEWS RECAP

For SEPTEMBER, 2015

RADIO ACTIVITY

FORMAT CHANGES
AB Calgary 97.7 CHUP From Classic Hits-Hot AC (UP 97.7) to AC (SOFT ROCK 97.7)
NS Halifax 103.5 CKHZ From Hot AC (ENERGY 103.5) to Country (HOT COUNTRY 103.5)
ON Smiths Falls 92.3 CJET From Oldies-Classic Hits to Variety Hits (remains JACK FM)

NEW STATIONS LAUNCHED
ON Hamilton 95.3 CING-HD1 4,900 watts. Hot AC (Fresh Radio). Simulcasts CING 95.3 Hamilton.
ON Hamilton 95.3 CING-HD2 4,900 watts. Talk (AM 640). Simulcasts CFMJ 640 Richmond Hill.

STATIONS TESTING
BC Vancouver 98.3 CIRH Will begin testing in early October.
ON Barry’s Bay 106.5 CHBY Will begin testing in mid-October.
ON Prescott 107.9 CKPP Will begin testing this Fall.

CALL LETTER DATA
NS Halifax 99.1 new Will become CHHU
ON Arnprior 107.7 CHMY-1 Becomes CFMP

OFF THE AIR
QC Victoriaville 103.5 CKYQ-1 Off the air due to a condition of approval related to the common ownership policy attached to
Attraction Media’s recent purchase of stations in Victoriaville and nearby towns.

CRTC & IC DECISIONS

NEW STATIONS GRANTED
NL Gander 97.7 Commercial. 2,800 Watts. Hot AC. Newfoundland Broadcasting Company. Will simulcast CHOZ 94.7
St. John’s.
NS Halifax 99.1 Commercial. 300 watts (355 watts Max. ERP). Arabic-Multilingual. Antione Karam. Will partially simulcast CHOU 1450 Montreal.

TECHNICAL CHANGES GRANTED
NT Yellowknife 98.9 CFYK Reduce power from 5,500 to 4,090 watts. Raise antenna height.
NS Middleton 106.5 CBHM Lower antenna height.
NS Middleton 107.5 CBAF-6 Increase power from 19,000 to 19,200 watts. Lower antenna height.
ON Fergus 92.9 CICW Move to 101.1. Increase power from 45 to 750 watts (150 to 2,500 watts Max. ERP).
ON Kitchener 94.3 CJTW Move to 93.7. Increase power from 50 to 420 watts. Raise antenna height.
ON Tillsonburg 88.7 CBCL-1 Reduce power from 1,320 to 1,280 watts.
QC Victoriaville 101.9 CFDA Decrease power from 1,350 to 955 watts (1,350 to 1,600 watts Max. ERP). Raise Antenna height. Relocate transmitter. Change radiation pattern from non-directional to directional.

EXTENSIONS TO CP’S GRANTED
AB Hinton 104.9 Newcap has until February 20, 2017 to get this new 1,100 watt Active Rock station on the air.
BC Grand Forks 107.3 CBTK-2 The CBC has until October 31, 2016 to get this new 252 watt AM to FM conversion on the air
(ex-CBRJ 860).
BC Williams Lake 92.1 CBYK-1 The CBC has until December 11, 2016 to get this new 275 watt AM to FM conversion on the air (ex-CBRL 860).

CLASSIFICATION CHANGES GRANTED
NB Moncton 105.1 CITA From non-commercial to commercial. Includes CITA-1 107.3 Sussex and CITA-2 99.1 Amherst, NS.

CRTC APPLICATIONS

PROPOSED NEW STATIONS
ON Aurora 101.5 Community. 32 watts (50 watts Max. ERP). Variety. Voice of Aurora Community Radio.
ON Ridgetown 91.3 Commercial. 50 watts. CHR-Rock. Christopher Clarke.

PROPOSED TECHNICAL CHANGES
AB Peace River 96.9 CKUA-5 Reduce power from 100,000 to 22,000 watts. Lower antenna height.
BC Alert Bay 105.1 CBRY Increase power from 77 to 360 watts. Raise antenna height. Relocate transmitter.

PROPOSED CHANGES TO SPECIALTY LICENSES
SK Yorkton 98.5 CJJC Remove specialty FM license requirements and flip to a mainstream music format.

Next update November 1, 2015
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