Tuesday, July 28, 2009


http://www.burnsradio.com/articles/content_analysis.htm I hope you get to read the great research from Alan Burns and Associates that every one is talking about. Every Market Manager, Program Director, Consultant and VP/Programming needs to read this today and react. Bob Glasco use to warn me as my consultant, when the friendly-conversational, wire into the listener-vibe started getting over taken by station promotional banter. In this study less than 9% of HOT AC/AC and CHR talent use listeners and less than 2% talk about life experiences or themselves. What are the programmers doing? A slave to the administrative process, just plain gave up or in Country, spending too much time on music issues. Bob Glasco and I chatted today and he brings up; real shortened, inter-focused,non-listener balanced PPM gimmicks as almost more hype. Bob spoke of the success in San Francisco and Seattle with the Prime Minister - Entertaining Country radio with panel PPM life group participants and performance in the PPM world. How does this happen? Alan says that we get lazy as programmers and managers and let the talent do what they feel is comfortable and some of it is the new PPM methodology that all the breaks need to be short and sweet. Drake "Boss" radio was short and to the point, but the jocks said cool things over :08 second intros. Even when I was a Top 40 talent in the 70's and 80's, we never read liners, we gave the information as part of a break in a listener-oriented fashion, through a phoner or in a cool way that it didn't sound like hype or radio crap. From the study, this is the thesis of how to solve the problem and what the problem is. How Did We Get to This, and What Can We Do About It? Radio stations have valid needs they’re taking care of – particularly the “Three Ps”: Positioning, Promotion, and Platforms. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for talking about music or the audience. In addition, most air personalities are... -not trained to think about the audience -not taught how to talk to the audience about the audience’s world efficiently -easier to shut up than to teach. -All that being said, we feel there needs to be greater focus on and inclusion of listeners’ interests. Program Directors can... -be aware of the need to leave room for listener addresses in clocks -encourage and require it -show their air personalities how to build lists of what the audience is doing, thinking, and dealing with in their lives, even down to hour-by-hour during the jock’s show. -use, and encourage their air staffs to use, every opportunity to talk to listeners about their lives and their interests. Those opportunities can come via focus groups, informal listener advisory panels, and one on one conversations. Many smart programmers do try to craft station messages in listener benefit terms, and that can increase the listener’s interest level. But that’s still talking about the radio station rather than the audience or the music. General Managers and owners play a crucial role as well, since they set priorities, incentivize behavior, and frequently decide how much “business” has to be built into the air personalities’ content slots. Those who plan to be in the radio industry for the long-term stand the most to gain, or lose, from music radio’s battle to remain relevant.


  1. Randy Raley made a comment about your note "END THE SELF-PROMOTION MOTION NOW":

    and spot on. we have forgotten so much more than we know.

  2. Billy Thorman Pretty cool info!
    31 minutes ago

  3. Dene Hallam Chuck:

    Some real good 'meat' from You the last few days! Thanks.

  4. JoelRaab@aol.com to me
    show details 2:00 PM (56 minutes ago)
    yes, this was a really good article! good catch, sir :)

  5. Those who live by the super-tight, researched based radio, die by it. The game has changed, music programmers have been phoning it in forever. They cite chapter & verse what Scott Shannon, Clifton, or what some warhorse like Bill Tanner did in the day. Remember students: the novelty of music on FM has long passed, the infusion of "ethnic street" is passe, CHR talent is basically irrelevant (Seacrest & certain morning shows are the exception) You all have understimated the audience for years, now it's time to pay the piper. Jacks, Bobs & Maxs show the lack of any creativity in the business.

    I don't believe the line in the article about in the 80's Top 40 stations didn't do liners. On what planet was that? You music guys are getting to the party a little late. The content banner on most music stations has been superfical b.s. aimed at the lowest common denominator for 2 decades. We all did it, fess up. Now all this crap doesn't work, HELLO MISTER I-POD HOW ARE YOU?....GOODBYE MR DJ...LOTSA LUCK.

    Mystery PD