If you have a creative, dedicated and passionate air staff - They need to talent-up. More localisms, topicalities and interactions with the listeners. Not less. If a Country talent thinks that telling what Taylor Swift is wearing is connecting with the audience, they need to go back to basics and start over on what's important to the listeners. Sometimes I feel like this is being hung on the programmer, when the air staff fully understands that making an emotional connection, imprinting on a listener is the most important part of their jobs.
I have been listening to a lot of Country stations the past week in several markets and there are some great format jocks - That's the ones who tell us whats on the web site, how we can win Kenny tickets and what Jennifer Nettles is up to. What about the community, the gang at Shooter's (local made up watering hole), Jim can't plow today because a part didn't come in because of the economical conditions, Mary telling a story abut how the local mechanic takes advantage of single women when working on cars, Sgt. Ramirez who was celebrated at the base last night for bravery in Iraq and more. Who put the chains on you, the programmer or did you chain yourself up?