Monday, June 8, 2009


Radio programming is a simple art. It's based on the premise of what to do and not what to do. Sometimes the balance isn't there, so the product becomes conflicting in it's presentation and approach and how it's received. Transmitter versus receiver-oriented radio defined by Scott Shannon early on at WPLJ makes the most sense in this parallel. If you transmit; passion, creativity, show biz and emotion, that's whats received. Same with bland, boring and pabulum.
Two of my faves: Ries and Trout and Rob Balon. Rob talked about in the world of diaries, you need to create an illusion that your product (station) is used by everyone all the time. This would account for perceived verses real reporting listening factors in the Arbitron world. To have that you need to revert to Ries and Trout: Positioning Battle for The Mind. What rung on the product ladder are you going to occupy?
To become memorable you need to be outward. Turn the mirror around on the audience and customers. So they can react and reflect the usage of the product. All you really hear on most radio today is the expressions of inward radio. Stations, especially Country, talking about the radio station's promotional and new technologies. Outward was YOUNG COUNTRY. To listen to the Dallas station and a song would end: "Hi Young Country" - right into an interaction with the listener. Outward is a morning show that doesn't happy talk each other to death and talks to the audience and uses the audience as part of the break. Local, topical and listener interactive is OUTWARD.
When you listen to your station, what do you hear? - Inward or Outward. The entire presentation needs to be Outward - Connect with the life group and listeners. We use to do this before we hid behind voice tracking, cutbacks and the rampaging effects of post consolidation. Look it's not easy to win, you have to put some elbow grease into it and sometimes it means getting involved and asking questions about what you don't know. Perhaps we can learn something from you!


  1. Homogenous and SAFE or unique and risky. No worthwhile relationship is without risk. Which Country Stations are just plain entertaining to listen to ,speak to the community they serve, really say something. It's odd but when I was on the air @ KLOS, my favorite station was and still is a non-com. KCRW isn't not for everyone for sure but certainly not the same dolop of gruel each and every minute of the day. That station could never be replaced by an mp3 player.

    Austin Keyes

  2. Magic thanks for stepping in my brother. Magic (Austin) has been a freind since 1973 - We did alot together for several years in the 70's he went on to a stellar rock radio talent career and a momumental voice service. If we could get him to write about imaging for tomorrow under WHO'S YOUR VOICE. That would rock.

  3. Cooking up some historical perspective now, the brew will be drinkable for tomorrow.

    Austin Keyes
    Amir Mansbacher
    Austin Harris
    shaun Harris
    Lavelle Thomas
    Paul Fredrix
    Israel Jones
    Mad Magic Mguinn
    and Hey Baby gimme some'

  4. Awesome stuff Austin. I totally agree. Putting the listener into the mix is a great way bring them closer. It's a lot of work but well worth it.