Foxx and Annie, WCBS-FM, New York City with The 6:40 Feel Good

I’ve featured on this page examples of the positive news and content features done by many shows.  Research has proven over the years that this feature resonates with the audience because the world can be such a negative place.  I’ve always encouraged you to feature the good news from listeners instead of just finding good stories that you tell them.  What works is letting listeners talk about their favorite topic – themselves!  Foxx and Annie, WCBS-FM, New York City had a perfect example of this feature the other day in the 6:40 Feel Good when a listener called to boast about how she learned how to fix her washing machine from YouTube.  Listen to this break and hear the listener’s pride!

Carlin and Brent, Indie 88, Toronto with Toronto’s Worst Bathroom

To make an idea sticky, you must push your verbiage to the margins.  Language counts for something so to look for the best or worst of something is better than living in the mushy middle.  Which is why Carlin and Brent, Indie 88, Toronto went looking for Toronto’s worst bathroom.  No doubt their listeners have had to use many of them (so we knew it’d be relatable).  We went about this differently than normal.  The show curated a ton of audio and video content prior to us launching the competition, guaranteeing we’d have stuff for breaks long before we asked the audience to get involved.  Here’s an example of a break they did after the launch.  The winning store owner of the worst bathroom got the golden plunger award.  Remember when doing something like this to push your language to the margins so it stands out.

Chris and Dina, WMAS-FM, Springfield, MA with the Celebrity Slowdown

When you have something to give out, how you give it out is way more important than what you have to give out.  Yet, I still hear shows that believe the quality of the prizes equals the success of the show or still solicit for caller ten (ugh).  How you entertain and engage the audience is much more important because earning that image captures the imagination of those not trying for the prize, which is most of the audience.  That’s the concept of designing whatever you do for those who only come in to be entertained.  Chris and Dina, WMAS-FM, Springfield, MA came up with a fun new game to prove this called the Celebrity Slowdown.  My bet, as you listen, is that you’re playing along.  So will the audience.

Carlin and Brent, Indie 88, Toronto with Drunk Doug Ford

You know what’s local?  Making fun of (having fun with?) those larger-than-life personalities in your market.  Do you know who they are?  Carlin and Brent, Indie 88, Toronto do.  Doug Ford is the premier of Ontario in Canada and comes from a long line of very colorful family members who are also politicians.  Doug is ripe for being made fun of.  Which is why the guys, on occasion when Ford says something that catches their ear, doctor the audio in a segment they call Drunk Doug Ford.  Being local is about knowing the people and things happening in your town where, when they’re part of your content breaks, are only understood by those who live there.

The Daly/Migs Show, Rock 99.9, Seattle Digging Deep on the Bridge Story

I heard some creative excuses two weeks ago about why some shows didn’t touch the Baltimore bridge story.  One said “we’re the escape” (no, you’re not – you need to reflect how the audience feels waking up to the story).  Another said “it’s not local” (that doesn’t matter – it was topic #1 that day which validates being on it). Your audience wants to be tied to the topics of the day.  Add your perspective and you define who you are.  That is one way to do character development.  Enter the Daly/Migs Show, Rock 99.9, Seattle who dug deep into the story.  That morning, they not only talked with listeners who had bad bridge experiences, they also got on a guy who oversees the bridges in the state of Washington.  Listen to their inquisitiveness to localize the story and give insider perspective they would not have normally had.  Listeners lean in with this kind of relevance.

Karen, Johnny, and Anthony, WNEW-FM, New York with Elvis’s Tips on Marrying Someone

When doing a narrative story arc (a story that evolves and lasts a few days on the show), it’s always best to look at it as though you’re writing a book.  The opening chapter sets the entire story and the conclusion is where you’re headed.  At Valentine’s Day, Karen, Johnny, and Anthony, WNEW-FM, New York married someone in a feature we called the No Budget Wedding.  What moves that narrative forward to your designed conclusion are the middle chapters – things you do that advance the story line.  Here’s one of those “middle chapters”.  Karen getting advice from an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas on how to marry the couple.

Chris and the Crew, WPST, Trenton, NJ with Joe’s Mom Does March Madness

You must marry opposites to create memorable radio.  Plus, it ain’t too bad to have a cast of characters you can rely on to help.  March Madness is on – it’s a big topic everywhere (not everyone is doing it or following it, but they aware of it, which is the only threshold you must meet).  Chris and the Crew, WPST, Trenton, NJ is super topical and local.  Joe’s mom has zero knowledge of the teams.  But, she’s a pistol – always opinionated and (even better), always cursing.  Let’s bring those two together for this week’s audio.  This is topical, local, real, and fun.  All terrific images to get from a content break.

Carlin and Brent, Indie 88, Toronto with the Drag Queen Bachelorette Party

The absurd always works.  Marry the usual with the crazy and people will listen along.  Carlin and Brent, Indie 88, Toronto did this effortlessly in this week’s audio.  Carlin’s sister is about to get married.  She’s given him a rather interesting task:  he must put together her bachelorette party.  Carlin openly admits he has no idea what to do.  So, in a brainstorm, we decided that he’d subcontract the work out to local drag queens.  Carlin and his girlfriend were about to go to a drag show anyway.  He approached the head drag queen and invited her on-the-air to discuss the dilemma.  They agreed to put something together for Carlin so we’re off the races with unique, character-driven content that has an absurd element to it so listeners pay attention. Edgy, attitude, the absurd. If that’s not you, invite it on your show to stand out.

Carlin and Brent, Indie 88, Toronto with Break Brent’s Brains

Benchmarks are even more effective when they define a cast member on the show.  If the reason for the feature goes to a core attribute of the personality, it helps that talent secure a position in the mind of the listener.  Like:  “she’s the mom” or “he love dogs.”  Look at Carpool Karaoke as an example.  James Corden is a singer and theatrical performer at heart.  So it makes sense for him, being a fan of music, to invite celebrities in the car to sing along with their tunes.  Carlin and Brent, Indie 88, Toronto, came up with a new way to give out prizes.  Brent has a fascination for quirky facts.  Marry that to the belief that everyone knows one and here comes Break Brent’s Brain.  Listeners call with their fact.  The one that Brent is most wowed by wins the prize.

Kyle, Bryan, and Sarah, WRAL-FM, Raleigh with the Door Dash Audit

With tax season fast approaching, Kyle, Bryan, and Sarah, WRAL-FM, Raleigh decided to lean in on the lifestyle of one of its cast members.  We talk much about relatability and radio’s super power to connect with the audience.  One thing morning TV does not have is relatable cast members.  Connecting is what we do well in radio.  When forming a relationship with anyone in life (much less a listener), they must leave having connected with one of you – and the base for connection is having something common.  That’s perfect character development.  Bryan spends an amazing amount of money on Door Dash (and Uber Eats).  The team gave a financial expert access to Bryan’s banking info.  He then shared how much Bryan spent using these services in the last year.  The number will blow you away.  Now, Bryan sits with a sign behind him in the studio (as seen in social media posts) to show how many days he’s gone without using Door Dash!