For even more inspiration, check out these breaks from my clients—and get a taste for what I bring to the proverbial table with my talent coaching.
Want me to show your team how to strategically develop kick-ass content that turns listeners into raving fans?
Kyle, Bryan, and Sarah, WRAL-FM, Raleigh The Break You Won’t Understand/in Audio /by Steve Reynolds
Relatabilty is an important image you must own to connect with the audience. Communicating “we understand what’s important in your life” goes a long way to the audience wanting to be around you. But you must also go deeper to connect with fans in emotional ways that makes that bond harder to break. In a market like Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill that houses major universities, March Madness is a critically important topic as many are into it and everyone’s aware of it. Kyle, Bryan, and Sarah, WRAL-FM, Raleigh know the images of each university. As someone who also lives in the market and is a die hard NC State fan, I’ll share that they always figure out how to disappoint us. The show knows the average Wolfpack fan is cynical about their team. Listen to this call you probably won’t understand. It’s an NC State fan who puts on full display that cynicism. NC State fans listening to their show, and everyone else who’s lived in the market for longer than a minute, are connecting and laughing at this. Bonus points (important): hear to how local this break is!
Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston Side Hustles/in Audio /by Steve Reynolds
The best phone topics come not from a prep service, but from your life. Prep service topics tend to be very generic and evergreen. “Do you like Peeps?” Nope, anyone can do that anywhere. Your best topics, the things you want the audience to contribute to, come from stories you will tell about items going on in your life right now, with a pivot to then have the audience tell you their stories just like it. Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston, are masters at doing this. Dan on the show and Karson’s wife, Lana, have found side hustles. Break one below is them telling their story. Lana’s is collecting cans and Dan’s is one not very traditional when it comes to the topic. Both are well-told stories by funny people. They engage the audience emotionally, then ask the audience to call in with theirs. If there’s a recipe on how to do a phone topic, this is is it and it’s well done.
Lou and Shannon, WJLK, The Jersey Shore, Shannon’s Ex Dishes on Valentine’s Day/in Audio /by Steve Reynolds
We get to holidays and everyone seems to do the same stuff every year. Innovation is one of the four critical images a show must earn. Not in a “here’s a new bit we’re doing” kind of way. We just need to identify the right topics and do something different around it that fits the show. It’s the treatment of the best topics that make you different. Lou and Shannon, WJLK, The Jersey Shore were tasked, like every other show, on what to do on Valentine’s Day this year. We’ve moved the show in a direction of being much more real, and more story-based. Lou did some intel behind the scenes and found one of Shannon’s exes and invited him on the program to dish on Shannon so we could learn more about her. This content is relevant, compelling, fun, and defines her character in a unique way. Go be different around the great topics and get remembered for it.
Karen Carson in the Morning, WNEW-FM, New York City and Kyle, Bryan, and Sarah, WRAL-FM, Raleigh with The Super Bowl Shave Off/in Audio /by Steve Reynolds
When you have a three-person show, you always have two people of the same gender and one common challenge. You must separate their characters. Case in point is Karen Carson in the Morning with Johnny Minge and Intern Anthony, WNEW-FM, New York and Kyle, Bryan, and Sarah, WRAL-FM, Raleigh. Both shows have two guys and a challenge we face at both programs is developing different personas for each of the two gentlemen. It’s first important to know how each is similar and different from the other and focus on the differences. Then, there are things you can do to help accentuate that. The week leading up to the Super Bowl, we set both guys in a competition with female-friendly Big Game trivia where the loser had to shave their head. In both instances, we got a ton of repeat listening as we did a narrative arc that lasted the week and incredible engagement on social media. Hear how both shows wrapped things up with the Super Bowl Shave Off on the Friday of that week. Watch WRAL-FM’s final round on Facebook here and the actual shaving of Bryan’s head here.
Gregg, Freddy, and Danielle, MIX 104.1, Boston Telling Tom Brady Stories/in Audio /by Steve Reynolds
In a time when listeners are less inclined to call radio stations, we must be more resourceful in creating entertaining breaks around the most relevant topics of the day. Tom Brady retires again from the NFL and you’re a show in Boston, where Tom remains a star. What do you do? If you’re Gregg, Freddy, and Danielle, MIX 104.1, Boston, you use the resources right in front of you. There’s a sports station in the building and one of the hosts was a Patriot and knows Brady. The message here is use the resources around you to do your show. Where they could have opened the phones and not known if they’d get anything good, they used the host to talk about Tom Brady in the first person. A simple, yet very effective decision.