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.
One of the easier days to do a show is Monday, mainly because you have weekend content. Things happen to you and your listeners which can be treasure troves of relatable, story-based content for the program. Here’s a great example of knowing the quirky people who work around you, who can contribute to your show. Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis, met Bryan in the promotions department, who’s musically inclined. Hence a new, semi-occasional Monday feature where the listeners tell Bryan what they did over the weekend in one sentence, and Bryan sets it to music, in his own style.
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.
Two tenants of great talent are their ability to tell a story and a comfort enough with themselves to show their flaws. Listeners root for radio talent who aren’t perfect. Those who can put their mess out in the world and seemingly say, “I am just like you – things don’t work out for me sometimes.” That self-deprecation helps talent bond with listeners. If you look at David Letterman and Howard Stern, they built franchises around the “I’m just not good enough” vibe. Cindy from Cindy and Jimmy, Star 94, Atlanta shows this in our audio clip this week. She tells a story about how her youngest daughter accidentally gets her cell phone and butt dials an ex. The fun, imperfect part comes in how Cindy gets out of the call. They then launch phones for similar stories from listeners, which doubles the fun.
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.
Kids on female targeted morning shows are always a hit. Sean and Michelle, B103, Rockford, IL know how to use kids so women fawn. A couple of weeks ago when it was St. Patrick’s Day, Sean talked with his kids, telling them that they get wishes because of leprechauns. The result in this back-and-forth is that you meet a few strategic goals: Sean positions himself at the doting dad who loves his kids thus reflecting values women reward with great loyalty. And it’s damn funny so they’re laughing!
Two stories and then a peek behind the curtain…now that’s a way to do an interview. Ryno and Tracy, KYGO, Denver’s new morning show, understand the construct of an interview which includes the interviewee’s fans and non-fans. Talking to country star Jerrod Neimann, Ryno first touches on his laryngitis, asking Jerrod what he does when his voice isn’t up-to-snuff as a singer, which then leads into a story Jerrod tells about the time he and other guy friends went to a gynecologist for treatment. They end talking to him about his passion for obscure beers and an app he has to track that. All-in-all, this is excellent for the entire audience base. Well prepped and well done for all.