AudioGreat 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.
For the record, I am not a big fan of Hollywood reports. I’ve just seen too many listeners comment on how the information is ripped off from TMZ or Perez Hilton’s website (whether it’s true or not, that’s their general perception). The goal of a show’s Hollywood report should not be to convey information (especially information any listener can now get on their smart phone), but to entertain the audience. Here’s Steve Kemble, America’s sassiest lifestyle guru on KVIL, Dallas’s Gene and Julie. Steve is a howl – it’s not the stories Steve covers, but how he covers them (total fun) that makes listeners want to come back the next day for more!
Like many shows, Mojo in the Morning on Channel 95.5 plays some throw back music each Friday. Besides playing the tunes, the team also plays the “Throw Back, Throw Down” game. Listeners choose a show member to play on their behalf. Mojo then plays the first second of a throw back song. The first show member to buzz in and identify the song wins a point for the listener en-route to a prize. It’s lots of fun and you really get the playful chemistry of this team.
The syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show out of Atlanta is one of the quirkiest shows you will ever hear. In this clip, Rickey and his team call the front desk to welcome the new receptionist to the station. She is a minority hire – she has no hands! Listen as they talk with her and note that even though this is a total put on (and the audience knows this), they are smart in that they never make mock this character directly, which makes it funnier.
Kevin Karlson, from Karlson & McKenzie, WZLX, Boston, is always making fun of his mom. In this break, Kevin pokes fun at and creates a game only he can do with listeners, over how his mother mangles words in the English language. Using your relatives is always smart…even better if you do something with them that’s unique and playful.
Sometimes the simplest breaks are seen as throw-aways by talent. Here’s Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston, talking about how Karson’s newborn son, Barrett, slept the previous night because he’s teething. This is very strategic content. Karson reminds listeners he’s a dad, it’s quite authentic, and as a result, it’s organically fun to listen to and connect with if you’re a parent.
Shows have a couple of different ways to share experiences they have in they market. They can talk about them and they can bring me there as a listener. Here’s a segment of Gene and Julie, KVIL, Dallas. Gene went to the DMV to get his license renewed. He brought a recorder to gather audio of the experience and all of a sudden, this break has more energy, comes more alive, and is more fun to listen to because of how he used it in the break.
Ever meet a porn star? Kyle, from Kyle & Rachel on Radio Now, Indianapolis, went out for drinks with friends one evening and ran into one. Instead of just talking about it on the show or doing a simple phone topic, they took it a step further. They put the guy on and let listeners ask yes/no questions before taking a guess at the unique thing the guy did for a living. This made the break vicarious, interactive, gave them more to create fun with, and built to an “oh wow” at the end when it was finally correctly guessed.
The listeners love it when Karlson and McKenzie, WZLX, Boston have Kevin Karlson’s mother-in-law on. Kevin just lost 40 pounds. His in-laws call the show to ask questions about it and make comments. This is truly original programming. It humanizes Kevin, we get the essence of his relationship with his in-laws, and it’s very funny!
Trivia always works on morning shows because is makes listeners play along. How you do the trivia, though, determines if it’s entertaining. Jimmy and Yvonne, on DAVE-FM, Atlanta, do “The Waffle House Aptitude Test”. They line up five callers and then ask the person who answers the phone at a local Waffle House five questions based on current events. However many of the five questions the person get right determines which phone line/listener wins the prize (i.e. if they get three right, the listener on line three wins).
Paul McCartney recently played in Chicago. Here’s a call Eddie and Jobo, on KHITS, Chicago, got from a male listener who’d gone to the concert the previous night with his son. Seems like the son didn’t come home, and the father speculated that he’d been picked up by a cougar at the concert. The team did the most logical thing. They teased the listeners into the next quarter hour that they’d call the kid’s cell to see if he or the courgar would pick up. This is a great way to extend listenership through two quarter hours of a program. You might be surprised what happens. Here are both segments.