Archive for month: June, 2019
Very, very few shows can do political humor. It’s way too touchy for many of us in radio, considering how polarizing it is. But you can under a couple of conditions: you’re grounded in politics as your plot or you have been on the air forever and have a deep relationship with the audience who know you very well. The latter is like the friend you’ve had for a very long time you can talk politics with (few in radio have this level of a relationship). An example of the former is Daybreak with Drew Steele, 92.5 FOX News, Ft. Myers, FL. This is the conservative politics station in the market. It’s in their DNA to do everything political. And it’s in Drew’s ethos to take the political topics of the day and have fun with them. Considering Joe Biden is front page news to this audience, and that Drew’s job is to share his perspective in a humorous way, here’s his take on Joe and a parody on how his audience sees the former vice president.
The Dominican Republic is in the news. And not for good reasons. Few of you can do this idea. You must have an edgy show on a brand where you can very much color outside the lines, without fear of getting in trouble. On occasion, do The Dominican Republic Death Toll, where you give the latest number of people who’ve died while vacationing there. Told you it was edgy.
It’s a dilemma as old as radio. How to talk about sports on a female-targeted radio station, especially if the sporting event is the biggest topic in town. The answer may be easier than you think. Talking X’s and O’s with scores and stats aren’t even done on sports-talk stations – they story-tell and entertain. Which is where our answer actually is. Create fun, tell stories, personalize the experience, and it will be inviting to both men and women. The St. Louis Blues had an amazing run-up to win the NHL’s Stanley Cup. Stacey and Jonah, 1065 The Arch, St. Louis added a feature to their show to bring listeners into the arena experience with the addition of Hey Beer Vendor, where they got to know the beer vendors in the stadium. They redid Lady Antebellum’s “Hey Bartender” for a production value and then had fun with beer vendors, coming in the side door to talk about sports, while keeping it fun and relatable to their target demo.
Reddit had something on its board a few weeks ago that is tailor-made for digital hits and on-air content. You put a picture of a cast member on social media with the words: go ahead, roast me. Then the next day, find an entertaining character (a kid?) who’ll read the funnier things said as listeners have playfully scorched you.
Relationships content is the most universal you can do – they come in all varieties (boyfriend/girlfriend, boss/employee, you/your neighbors, you/your mom) and are quite relatable. On occasion, open those phones and ask listeners to read you what they recently got from someone they broke up with in a few feature called The Awkward Text From Your Ex. Thanks to radio great JJ Kincaid for this idea.
The throwback concept is easy and brings back great memories for people. Whether online or you do something with it on the show. Which is why we added a feature called Throwback Live on David, Sue, and Kendra, Magic 106.7, Boston. David, our show anchor, pits Sue and Kendra against each other to identify throwback clips from pop culture. This works for several reasons. The clips themselves (all from the 80s and 90s) bring back terrific memories for the audience. Sue and Kendra each fancy themselves experts in this kinda of stuff so the natural, playful competition between the two is a fun draw for the audience. And you also have that most classic of game qualities, listeners can play along in the car. We set this feature as an appointment each day in the show for an original air (Throwback Live at 8:25) and re-air it the next morning for a fresh appointment in the 6:00 hour.
One of the simple ways to easily grow the entertainment quotient of your show is to use the cast of characters around you at the radio station who are not on the show every day. Letterman taught us this simple approach, and every late night talk show host has done it since. Find people in the building who are bold, own a perspective or expertise in something, radiate wattage, and are fun (or you can have fun with), and bring them on the show from time-to-time. Koz and Jen at WTMX (101.9 The MIX), Chicago do this with Dale the Receptionist. It’s commonly believed that the station receptionist knows all. So when the show wanted to talk about outdated technology around the building, it was an easy decision to bring Dale on to note all of it and have fun. Real life characters add easy laughs for the show – you just gotta be on the lookout for them around the building.