Thursday, June 18, 2009


(left) Co-editor of FTC Austin Keyes at the legendary KFOG with Lee Baby Simms and Lee Abrams. Austin looks like Billy Crystal on crystal in the picture. Here's Austin's blog:

Can we please stop leaning on "professional voices" so much and put the job of branding our stations into the hands of real people, our listeners?

Jaye Albright opined this recently and I started to crank up the memory glands. ? not, listeners (real people) had great impact in 1990 when we featured them and that technique in Tampa on 98Rock’s evolution into the marketplace while building a new station. What followed was an 18 month drive leading to market ratings domination. WXTB was a rock 40/hybrid and the brainchild of Greg Mull our program director and former member of Frank Maggid and associates research team. It was as simple as blasting out a phone number asking people to call and make comments on their station.

“98 Rock is building a new kind of radio station, a station that lets you decide what we play…..The New 98 Rock, what kind of radio station do you want?....(listeners,listeners,listeners). This is your radio station, keep telling us, we’re listening as we build you a new kind of radio station.

Why do product companies, use the man on the street interviews about their products? Because it works. Regular everyday people telling us what they like about brand x is very persuasive. Testimonials are the best form of advertising. That’s also why twitter is such a rapidly growing phenominum.

The Amazing Tom Rivers was a young programmer @ WQYK in those days and he was listening to 98 Rock, (Tom had worked with us as a young on air talent) and taking notes. A decade later he would deploy listeners and Country artists as imaging tools to rebrand WUSN Chicago. Yessir put a little elbow grease into it and go out a get some sound. Let the listeners be the stars, they love it, and will surprise you with their creativity. Real People-Real Radio.

You have ideas? Let us know.


  1. I read your post ravenously - I'm always harping on my stations to incorporate listeners into their imaging. Nobody can say it (including us, the "big voice guys") like the everyday Joe.

    There is a plethora of recording tools available to us, including simple cell phone voice recorders, to procure on-the-spot testimonials from listeners. Take a script everywhere you go, or just let them loose to say what they want. Anyone who isn't tapping this limitless resource is doing themselves and their station/listeners a disservice.

    Having said that, VIVA LA VOICE GUY!!! ;-) Thanks for your service, Chuck.

  2. reports that former KMXB programmer, Justin Chase, is now at the helm of KCYE. This reunites him with former CBS GM Tom Humm