Great breaks achieve a positive strategic goal back to the show. They communicate, both in content and presentation, something about the show plot. Breaks which score are real, relevant, and fun. They earn you valuable images. Here are some breaks by Reynolds Group shows which achieve this.

Power 106, Los Angeles Owning Wiz Khalifa

power106_cruz_500x350There have been some stellar things done by Reynolds Group morning shows in the past several months.  Here’s another.  With core hip artist WIz Khalifa set to debut a new masterpiece, The Cruz Show, Power 106, Los Angeles, seizes the moment.  Not only in allowing Wiz to take over the show (where anyone tuning in at any point during the program gets some of Wiz), but in what they did to promote the day.  The video piece at the link below lasts just two-minutes, yet has been seen and shared online 10-million times because it’s so funny.  The team successfully brought two topics together:  Wiz’s new effort and Adele’s hit song “Hello”.  They get Wiz, known for his pot smoking, to do his version of her song, thus garnering lots of eyeballs and laughter.  Creating talk around the topics of the day requires an interesting, humorous, and unique twist.  This one by this great morning show is an A+ all the way around.

KYGO Owning the Broncos

Ryno & TracyThe biggest, boldest content you can do is something fun around something local.  Live, local, and funny is the ultimate content, in fact.  With the Broncos in the Super Bowl, Ryno and Tracy, KYGO, Denver have done a few things which are bulls eyes when it comes to sticky breaks around the highest relevant content of the moment.  You’ll hear two examples below.  One is the “Peyton Prayer” which has been done all season.  In this weekly feature, a member of the clergy issues a prayer for the team.  As you’ll hear, the goal is NOT to do religion, but use the vehicle to create humor.  It’ll be quite obvious how this is done once you listen to it.  The other is the “Broncos Roll”, a short, custom made song to support the team.  In the latter example, music-based ideas really resonate with the audience.  This fun song is their rallying cry of support for the team.

WUBE Rascal Cats

amandajesse_500x350We always preach that the prize doesn’t get you the true win in a game or station contest, but the way you give it out.  Amanda and Jesse, B105, Cincinnati, had Rascal Flatts tickets to give out.  With the group coming to town for a concert, just taking caller ten on their fun afternoon show would have been blah, blah, blah to the audience.  So they came up with a game called “Rascal Cats” where they replaced a word in a Rascal Flatts song with a cat screeching.  This works for a few reasons:  it’s vicarious (it gets passive listeners to play along) and those who have no interest in winning are laughing because of the twist.

MOJO Hi, This is Donald Trump…

Mojo in the MorningSeizing the moment in pop culture extends past your content breaks so being about the topics of the day permeates everything you do. Detroit has a huge Muslim population.  Mojo in the Morning, Channel 95.5, Detroit, excels at taking whatever is in the pop culture or news churn on any given day and owning it with their brand of innovation.  The team had several liners cut by Eric Harthen, a great voice actor.  Their audience knows it really isn’t Donald Trump voicing the lines – this is part of Mojo’s appeal – but they use Trump’s pronouncement to ban Muslims from entering the country to connect with and (important) entertain the audience with sweepers used to position the show as very contemporary and fun.

WUSN ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

wusn_lisaray_500x350Despite our being just past the holidays, here’s a break from Lisa and Ray, US99.5, Chicago, that really excelled.  Like many popular morning shows, the team was offered an interview with country legend Trace Adkins.  Not content to just do a Q&A centered around his agenda, the team made the off-air ask and then wrote a Chicago version of the classic “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”.  Trace consented and with his large, booming voice, read the poem in one of the breaks.  We were uber local and affirmed our fun images.  We always ask:  what are we doing with this topic no one else thought to do?  In doing so, we create an innovative moment which helps us bring the audience back again.

WQYK Hello

wqyk_daveveronica_500x350The parodies of Adele’s hit “Hello” seemed to be endless.  Turn left, right, move forward or backward, and people were having fun with this song.  Even Adele did, too.  When silliness abounds, Dave and Veronica, WQYK, Tampa are in as well.  Here’s a break done using other songs with the word “hello” on their show.  A break like this can be perceived as very cheesy if not presented properly.  That’s not the case here as everyone in the room is in on the joke.  Sometimes shows will miss having more fun with the shorter list of Hot Topics each day and grab a topic with less equity.  Listeners gravitate to what’s familiar when they wake up.  This is why it’s so critical to know the topics of the day (those with a very high level of familiarity) and come up with more things to do around them than wade into less-than topics which require the audience to use their brain to comprehend.


KYGO Peyton Will Be Back

Ryno & TracyThere is, somewhere in your market, a radio station that is an expert at giving their listeners the news.  While most listeners wake up and want to know what’s going on in the world, the purpose of the newscast is less to inform people than it is to define who you are.  The listeners want your take on the day’s topics (that honesty is character definition).  You want them waking up wondering what you think about whatever is big that morning.  This is why perspective is so critical when talking about a story.  What’s yours?  What work do you do to figure that out before the news story is done on your show?  What also helps a newscast is, when applicable, a sense of humor is shown.  If the audience cares about a story, they already know most, if not all, of what you’re about to tell them.  Ryno and Tracy, KYGO, Denver newscaster Chuck Clark is here telling the audience what they already know the morning after – that the Broncos beat the Patriots.  But listen to this very short clip how he created humor to make it sticky.

AMP 103.3 Jeffrey Hates Adele

amp1033_tjshow_500x350No matter where you go, there’s Adele.  She seems to be on every single TV channel, on every website you click to, and screaming out of every speaker on every radio station.  Everyone loves Adele.  Or do they?  Conflict creates entertainment.  The TJ Show, AMP 103.3, Boston, ran into show friend, Jeffrey, who hates Adele.  Jeffrey thinks everyone is being duped into buying Adele’s schtick of sadness and melancholy, all to the make the singer more rich and famous.  Here’s a perspective on Adele yet to be expressed…and it’s very funny to hear as TJ and his team challenge Jeffrey’s cynicism.  This is a Hot Topic mixed with a contrasting perspective to develop humor and completely works to create a few minutes of radio the audience leans into and will leave talking about.  They didn’t solicit for this – Jeffrey expressed the view to a cast member and TJ saw the opportunity and invited him on the show.

WBMX Charlie Sheen is HIV Positive

Karson & KennedyStory-telling is the most powerful thing a show can do with its content.  Charlie Sheen announces that he is HIV positive.  What resulted is Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston hearing from a listener who is also HIV positive from her former boyfriend.  Personalizing your content, telling immensely powerful, first-person stories, is great radio.  We talk all the time with shows about not handling stories like this on the surface (sharing facts as you know them – which anyone can do), but digging very deep, sharing with listeners how this affects you and being honest enough with your fans on your take on the story is a terrific way to define your character.  The listener in this audio clip emailed the show to share her story (resulting in her coming on the program) because she feels like she knows the cast and trusts them.  When big stories happen, you want the audience to wonder your take, to tune in because you go miles deep to explore things, and because you’ll be vulnerable enough with them to connect in very personal ways.

Froggy 92.9 Paris: Facts or Stories?

Rob & JossSpinning around the dial the Monday after the Paris terrorist attacks, anxious to hear how talent connected with the audience, one of the gold awards goes to Rob and Joss, Froggy 92.9, Santa Rosa, CA, who worked their ass off the day after to find someone in the middle of it all.  They found a local couple in Paris that evening on their honeymoon, who called a friend for dinner, who blew off a heavy metal concert he had a ticket to (yes, it’s that concert).  They ended up having dinner close to the attacks.  You can give facts or tell stories.  You can regurgitate what you’ve read or do the work to bring me inside the story.  They hit every button on this, even recording and editing the interview on Sunday and airing it in each hour on their Monday show.  It was that powerful.  This proves that work and prep does lead to unique, story-based radio the audience leaves talking about.

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