Who’s your voice? No matter who you are using now, (you know the one that invoices you monthly and has his agent call if you go over your quota by a line or two). The most important station voice should be your Audience. Not only does it make you local, but real and one-to-one. Which is what you want, right? Like the ads for morning/afternoon/night shows looking to hire always say “great phones”. So add some cinematic character to your station canvas, go out and capture listeners around town or at your events and create some interesting audio. My friend and talented creative director/vo Ben Blankenship(KDXY @ Saga group in Jonesboro AR) has been doing it @ every major promotional event for years now. I know it takes more time and you are pushing the limits already with smaller staff and all the responsibilities- my answer for that is “figure it out”. When music radio evolved into 24/7 operations in the 50’s-60’s the original format vo guy was Bill Drake, remember? Ladies and Gentlemen you’re listening to a million $ weekend on, CKLW,KFRC,KHJ,KYNO and so on. It was mostly top hour/bottom hour ID and jingles and jocks were the rest of the voices heard. In the late 60’s and 70’s radio was more stripped down, had that free-form sound, and again station voice work was relegated to the PD / Prod Dir. or the biggest voice on staff (Brother John ABC FM’s,Russ Albums WLUP/WYNF or Jerry Clifton with his too cool for the room read and laid back/intimate promos on his stations). If I leave out an obvious name out of your radio playbook, forgive me as I was raised in SoCal and that’s the radio I was exposed to in the 60’s-70’s. Leap forward to the mid-late 80’s and we start hearing “The voice Guys” more and more like Joe Kelly on all the big city FM rockers on 50K per year retainer, really! The trend continued as bumpers/sweepers became the norm between every frkn song. NO segues, it sucks,…..for the listener(duh)! And the 90’s with all the filtered voices (John Frost KROQ, Keith Eubanks WNNX). And finally last 5-10 years when we saw stations use Actors to create an image, (Barry Corbin/ WLPX, and Sam Elliott somewhere), the choices and possibilities became endless. So what do you do, who’s voice represents your station? See the thing is there are format legends, John Willyard comes to mind and he’s great and everywhere. But that’s the problem with radio. It follows trends, whatever the “thing” is, sometimes because of corporate edict or fear of change everyone begins to sound the same and that’s lame. Not only the same voices are heard but too often the content of what is said is stale and un inspiring. Why is that. Why would you hire a voice, run it all the time and only create new imaging once a month, or less? Ah but that topic (writing good imaging and lots of it) is for another time. For now, I finish with this. Country radio is Rich with history and full of character; the artists, the listeners , and your town and air talent and the world at large. What more do you need? Go gather, some audio soundbytes, find a fresh voice and write some inspiring copy, there are so many things to showcase on your station. Experiment and have some fun, it’s Radio not Walmart. And it really is that simple. If you need some ideas ask Chuck, he creates new scripts for his voice guys weekly. I know.