KEN AND COREY ON LOCAL, TOPICAL AND LISTENER INTERACTION
SF is such a large market with the most unusual vibe of any market I've worked. The city can be so odd and if you were to base your content on the crazies and ultra-sensitive liberals that populate downtown, you would be so far off the mark here. The country audience lives in the East Bay, down the Peninsula, in Napa, and in normal subdivisions like anywhere else. I make it a point to talk about places I've been like the Wal-Mart in Dublin and that cheap Mexican restaurant by the courthouse in Sunnyvale. Now as far as the crazies and softies, we make fun of them on the air because that's what the rest of the Bay Area does. Our bit "Have you seen your crazy" was born from that attitude and I'm not sure it would work in any other market but here!
It's so cliche but every day you really do have to say to yourself "what is my audience talking about/thinking about/caring about right now?" With some topics it's harder to find the comedy than others but if the characters are the show are well-defined, compelling content is often created simply from the multiple points of view in the room.
I know Chuck told the story in a previous blog but the audience can often throw you a curve ball - i.e. when you bring up a hot political story and get little response, but then the next caller says "Hey Ken, there's a box on fire on Route 22" which turns into a hysterical 20 minutes of listeners speculating what's in it and where it came from!
Listener Interactions are King!
The first thing I do when being introduced to a new audience is to create an environment that tells the listeners it is safe to call and that their input is always welcome. At first that means putting on some calls that later would never make the air, but the audience may be apprehensive about you (the new guy/team) so it's paramount to convey that welcoming vibe. Once that is done, it's like a steamroller of synergy between you and the audience that generates great interactive content and that magical bond that consultants wax poetic about! It's easier to sound like the market when your cume that makes up the market is an integral part of your presentation.
Sometimes Corey makes fun of me when I try to extract content from callers (probably because I try too hard at times!) But you never know when Jim from Walnut Creek may give you radio gold when he casually tells you that his new girlfriend is a "mountain woman" that he picked up in the hills! We suggested he teach her to walk upright and introduce her to a razor before she meets his friends.