The Greatest Story Never Told

A few weeks ago, when the Titan submarine story was all over the news, I got a late-night text from an anchor of a show I work with.

The show had befriended a local professor a year earlier who’d gone into space. Intrigued by the story, they talked with him on the program and found out he liked adventurous experiences which he brought into his classroom for discussion with students. They were going to do another break on the lost submarine and the anchor texted the professor to see if he’d ever been in a sub, wondering if he could offer something into the discussion no one on the show could.

The professor asked the talent to call him immediately. The professor shared that he was due to be on the actual Titan voyage that went missing and proved it by sending a picture of the sub on a boat ready to launch at the dock without him. He was uncomfortable with the language in the agreement and his instincts told him to bail from the trip.

If you’re thinking “wow” right now and getting chills, you’re not alone.

He wouldn’t come on the show because he knew it had blown up and everyone had perished, but that news hadn’t been released to America yet and he wanted to be respectful.

Why am I sharing this story? Because I want you to see how this show preps its daily content. Instead of a generic survey or bland phone topic, this show was so deeply curious about the biggest topic of the moment that they tried to figure out how to become the rabbit hole for listeners. Their efforts were to create a break around the topic no one else could.

If you’re a manager, listen to your entire morning show tomorrow and rate it against the funny graphic my friend Kris Rochester did to the left.  Where does your show fall on every break on the Steve Reynolds Content Tracker 3000? Is your show doing birthdays, this date in history, surveys and lists or some other equally bland and generic content? Or are you on top shelf content that makes you relevant?

More specifically, how hard are you prepping to be about the moment? About what’s going on right now? And not in a way that only shares the information or story readily available to everyone in every place they look.  How relevant are you? Relevance is an image that keeps fans returning to the show.

Despite the professor not coming on that show (yet), our team there is always thinking: what is the conversation the audience is having right now and how do we join it in a way no one else can? This show does that around every hot topic (nationally and locally) which makes me immensely proud and a reason they’re pulling a 16-share A25-54.

Take a random hour of your show tomorrow and re-air it in three weeks. On the re-air, listen to hear if the content feels stale. If it does, then it really worked on the day it was originally offered.

Being epic is about being in the moment.  Is the content you’re hearing bland, boring, generic, or evergreen? Or is your show about today’s topics, being done in a way that reflects the curiosity of your personalities so you continue to build a unique product that can’t be duplicated across the street?