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.

Jobo and His Wife

Eddie & JoboOne very efficient way to do character development is to put a relative on your show.  Recently, Jobo, from Eddie & Jobo, KHITS, Chicago, gave his mom a car for Christmas.  He was beside himself when one of his brothers drove the car (against orders!) and smoked in it.  Jobo wasn’t too pleased.  Being too emotional about it, Jobo asked his partner, Eddie (who knows his mom very well), to call her to get things right.  What you have here is a break, grounded in real life, that’s quite fun to listen in on.

WBMX Karson’s Grandmother

Karson & KennedyNothing humanizes a radio talent more than when you put a fun relative on the show.  It’s terrific character development as the talent shifts from being an entertainer to someone’s kid, spouse, or parent.  In these segments from WBMX, Boston’s Karson and Kennedy, Karson’s 93-year old grandmother calls the show to see if Karson knows that that town’s famed Fenway Park is turning 100 years old.  Real life is funny…and these two segments with his grandma are.

WWFS Reading the E-Mail

Jim & KImThere is no doubt that relationships topics always work on female-targeted radio shows.  Jim and Kim, Fresh 102.7 New York’s morning team, saw a multiple page letter a Wall Street broker wrote a gal he had one date with that was way over the line.  They could have just read the letter (or parts of it) on their show.  Instead, they found someone fun in the building and had them read it to the listeners, thus shifting into a position to react, which made it much more fun because of this added dimension.

KSON Golden Globes or Golden Girls

John & TammySometimes breaks go completely sideways.  That’s what happens when performing.  How you handle it is what turns it into lemonade.  John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego, came up with a fun game called “Golden Globes or Golden Girls”, with our entering the awards show season. They gave a fact about one show or the show and the listener had to figure it out.  Really simple and very easy to follow, right?  The listener got completely confused with how to play and here’s the audio.  Listen as John and Tammy just back up, letting this take on a life of its own, making it even funnier.

Do Something With Hollywood Reports

Two breaks from two shows dealing with the same issue – what to do with Hollywood reports to make them more entertaining and memorable.

Eddie & JoboKyle & RachelI have never been a big fan of Hollywood reports because they tend to be nothing more than the regurgitation of things listeners can find on Perez Hilton’s website or TMZ.  In order for it to be great, you must do something with it.  Here are two examples of this.  In the first segment, with the pending Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries divorce, Eddie and Jobo, KHITS, Chicago, talked tp a divorce attorney who offered her prospective on why Kris asked for an annulment.  It’s very efficient, but more importantly, it engages the listeners emotionally.  

In the second segment, when Jerry Sandusky’s attorney suggested that detractors call 1-800-Reality to get a grip on life, Kyle and Rachel, Radio Now, Indianapolis’s morning team did just that and found it to be a gay sex line.  They could have just told listeners that’s what you got, but instead, they let me feel it by actually airing the audio.

WWFS Use of Street Audio at Holiday Party

Jim & KImHere are three very simple examples on how the use of audio can help make a break come alive.  Jim and Kim, FRESH 102.7, New York’s morning team, knew the CBS office holiday party was coming up.  Instead of just talking about Christmas parties, they brought listeners there in these three very short examples below.  In the first, they walked around the building asking CBS employees what not to do at a holiday party (they knew they’d get stories based on previous gatherings).  In the next two, they went to the party, waited until a certain amount of alcohol was had, then went around and asked employees what they were worth.  Always have something to record with wherever you go.  Bringing listeners to the event (verses just talking about it) always works better.

WZLX, Boston Scared Straight Santa

Karlson & McKenzieWhich list are you on?  Naughty or nice?  Every parents dream for the next couple of weeks is for their kids to behave to get through the holidays.  And the threat of Santa Claus is most powerful.  In this classic bit from Karlson and McKenzie, WZLX, Boston, they check on kids and call them out on their naughtiness.  The team takes calls from parents whose kids are misbehaving.  Then Pete McKenzie calls the kid as Santa Claus and gets them to promise to behave through the holiday season or they’ll get nothing for Christmas.  Pete is very careful to not cross the line and become cruel – listen as he adds just the right amount of attitude and humor as he interacts with young Schuyler.

Scared Straight Santa

Karlson & McKenzieEach year at this time, Karlson & McKenzie, WZLX, Boston, do “Scared Straight Santa”. They take calls from moms whose kids are acting up.  Pete McKenzie then calls the kid back as Santa to check on them and then gets the kid to promise to his mom on the phone to behave until Christmas.  The best things about this are that it’s not dirty and women fall in love with it.

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