Thursday, July 30, 2009
MORNING SHOW PREP POINTS BY BOB GLASCO
Planning is the key to more quality entertainment, spontaneity, chemistry, creativity and consistency. Hours and hours of prep go into one hour of the Tonight Show, Kidd Kraddick, Mancow and others are ferocious planners to enable them to be confident to be spontaneous. Block out some uninterrupted time daily for planning the show for the next day. Meet with the Program Director at least once a week. Ideally, you touch base daily, but by meeting, we mean, ask for an hour of his/her time. If the meeting is nothing more than exchanging gossip and small talk, fine, but stay connected. Program Directors are KEY players on many winning morning shows. Each player should spend some time working on the show individually. The time can be used as you see fit. Sitting in a park or mall people watching, reading prep services for ideas, networking with other morning show personalities for ideas or calling home to Mom to set her up for a bit. At some point in the day, arrange to meet via the phone or IM to put your individual ideas together for the next show. Arrive at the station early enough to go through the papers, net and outside prep services to make last minute adjustments. Therapists around the country have discovered after years of prodding people’s psyche that those in a hurry or rushed have less satisfactory careers and lives. Give yourself the gift of time! Morning show hosts that arrive earlier than they need to are much less likely to start the day off on a wrong note. Once you’ve ticked off your radio partner/producer or engineer at 5:45am, it’s much harder to feel good about doing a fun sounding morning show. Arriving at work 15 minutes earlier to work each day than you think you need to will make you a better personality, a better worker, and a more confident person. A quarter hour of time a day is a wonderful investment in you that will pay off with big dividends by year’s end. Have a plan for all segments before the show starts. It can be as simple as a piece of paper with the stopset times noted, and blank space next to and under it for filling in your plan. Hold a weekly planning and “brainstorming” meeting, not for the next day’s show, but for future planning (e.g. Valentine’s Day, how can we put a new twist on the hot topic at the time, etc.) Have each person be responsible for at least one idea from the following categories (depending on the nature of content on your show): Phone topics Personal experience stories Feature/game audience interactive Guests/interviews Production piece (song parody, etc.) Promotion/stunt idea A continuing story-line idea Go into all planning meetings with the intention of creating memorable radio. Look for the angle that will maximize an idea and generate talk. Can the idea be taken and made more extreme, controversial, or funny? Great content is about making an emotional connection with listeners. That is, to make them laugh, cry, inspire them, anger them etc. Adoring listeners are great, angry listeners are great, it’s the bored and or ambivalent listener that is to be feared. - Focus content in four key areas: Hot and topical (including local) content Entertainment/celebrity/pop culture information and gossip Relationships, male-female topics Real life experiences and genuine emotion. Develop a bank of local experts you can call on when something on that subject pops up in the news (legal, medical, academic, etc.) And last but not least; don’t become a prisoner of your prep. If something happens during the show that takes on a life of it’s own, don’t smother it with the next bit you prepared. All the prep in the world rarely is as good as those golden moments.