Friday, July 3, 2009


I wanted to drag out one of my many articles Bill published, a few years ago. I was reminded of this when the local weathercaster, just said Hot outside compared to inside...From 11/04 Enjoy:
I recently completed a long drive on I-70/I-80 to our daughter’s wedding in Pennsylvania. Long drives are good to hear radio outside your area and especially your own format. Since arriving in Wichita, the Great Plains, the heartland, etc. in 2003, I have taken notice to a developing trend in radio, not only here, but across the country.

A term Kevin Metheny coined called “pointless interjections”. It comes from mostly announcer-type air talent that has never been trained in the “humantics” school of radio on air delivery. I always managed to use my primal urges, good, up-beat, natural delivered breaks in contemporary fashion. I had great mentors; I remember these “interjections” in a Burkhart-Abrams weekly newsletter in 1980. We use to laugh at the phrases, today, I’m not laughing, they have taken over the airwaves.

· “This Morning” – What’s so different about this morning from every other morning.

· “Let’s go to the phones” – As opposed to going to the bathroom.

· “Degrees” Not even Jim Cantori says degrees.

· “Outside” This is insane, of course it’s outside. Weather Channel and local TV are the main culprits.

· Metheny hated this: “Geographical displacement” – “Up there”, “down there”, “out there”. What do we draw a line north and south, east and west of the radio station and every area or place is representative of where the radio station is?

· The above has two parts; just give the location, 2150 Hennes St near the old water tower. Not “out there on Hennes St”.

· “I’ll be here till 12” – What happens at 12, do you turn into a pumpkin?

· “Come on out and say hi” A remote broadcast classic stupid break. We are going to jump in the car, go say hi and leave.

· Take ownership of a contest, often announcer-type talent state; “Your chance to win those Toby Keith tickets coming up”: Win Toby Keith or we have another pair of Toby tickets. Those sounds like you don’t want anything to do with it.

· Don’t as permission to speak. “I’ve got to tell you” or “Let me tell you” – TV does this all the time “Let me ask you”. Just speak, c’mon boy speak!

· My favorite’ “Hey” – Hay is for horses!

· Dont forget "Hump Day Wednesday". Phil Hunt echoes "I don't know what hump day is, but I'd like to find out". Listeners don't call Wednesday Hump Day.

I think you get the point. To attract, maintain and bond with the listeners as communicators, we must strive to talk to the audience in their own language. Listen to how non-radio people talk amongst themselves or in groups. Nobody sounds like a game show host.

Humanism is the key. We have a class of radio people that have come up over the last few years as basic announcers. To take our medium to the level where it can over-compete, we must be human beings talking to human being. The talent that are wrapped around these interjections are usually old school jocks and newcomers. They have never been trained by program director's or bothered to seek a better way to communicate. Word economy is the key, wrapped up in a little phrase Bobby Rich called “Restrained Urgency”; it is the art of creating a lot in a little space. Jocks of the 70’s and 80’s were experts at the mechanics of painting a colorful painting in: 08 seconds. By the way, there is still a lot of great radio and air talent working hard. We need to beware of the announcer pabulum and pitfalls to do greater radio!

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