Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday Morning Meeting for December 2, 2009

Remote Control: How your station presents at remotes

Since crossing from the talent and programming side to the agency side of the business, I began to make little observations about our industry from the sidelines.  The first thing I noticed was that I no longer panicked when my cell phone rang (especially after hours and on weekends and holidays). Second was the realization that I was beginning to listen to radio like a listener again, enjoying the music and the content--not as a tense program director. And, the third major thing I noticed (more from the agency perspective) is how EVERY radio remote produced by EVERY radio station has major flaws.  Hopefully, these suggestions will help your station perform better for clients:

  1. Crew arrives at 10:00 a.m. to set up a 10-Noon remote.  As the client, I’m expecting the station to ready to perform at 10:00 a.m., not in set up mode.  Be set up, tested, and ready 15 minutes prior to start time.

  1. Talent arrives at 10:03 a.m. for the same remote.  Should the client/agency deduct the time from the talent fee?  Talent should be on-site 15 minutes prior to start time.

  1. Remote set-up guy is smoking and drinking a Snapple just behind the prize wheel.  Dude, c’mon!  You’re working.  Either wait two hours or duck behind a building.  This is not a good example to set in front of the kids who are showing up for a balloon. 

  1. Talent is chowing down on the free food at the remote.  Cool if offered, not cool if you leave your post and shovel your face in front of the public that shows up to spin the prize wheel.

  1. The Mardi unit does not work, and the cell caster is shot, so you’ve opted to pre-record breaks back at the station.  Not very exciting for the client or the listeners who have come to see your station “broadcast live.”  And, there may be last-minute copy changes.  Fix your equipment and do it live!

  1. Love the torn jeans and halter tops on the talent. Classy.  Khakis for the talent with a station-issued shirt.  Opt for the nicer shirts when ordering (and buy different styles for both men and women) as your talent is a reflection of your brand.

  1. Talent wants to perform for the crowd gathered and forgets that they’re really performing for those who are not at the client’s remote yet.  Young talent especially need to be reminded to mention the client’s name and main selling point a minimum of two times during a :60 second break.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.  Please e-mail me: or follow me on Twitter @BobKnightAdMan 

Next week:  “State-wide campaigns for $30K and other outrageous client requests.”

Bob Knight is Vice President, Advertising and Digital Media with Harrison Edwards PR & Marketing in New York and oversees the company’s advertising and HEdigital divisions, which include podcasting, webcasting, blogging; and print, electronic, and broadcast advertising and media buying. Prior to joining Harrison Edwards in 2005, Bob worked for some of the nation’s largest broadcasting companies, successfully developing programming in some of the most competitive markets including Chicago and San Francisco; his stations and shows were consistently top-rated.  In addition to Bob’s work as program director and on-air personality at AMFM, Inc., Clear Channel Communications, Citadel Broadcasting, Entercom, and NextMedia Group, he served as a consultant to Internet radio stations during the dot com boom. Bob’s national and regional radio commercials have won a Gold Clarion Award (AWC) and Gold “Big W” Awards (Ad Club) for commercials he produced. In 2008, Bob was named a “Rising Star Forty Under Forty” by the Business Council of Westchester and is a graduate of Leadership Westchester (Class of 2009).



  1. Why does radio continue to sell these low-yield events to customers? - Beat up tables and tents, blow up mascots, beat up speakers and tuner and nothing at all to giveaway. What a waste of time and resources.

  2. That's what I've been saying here. When you go to a K-DIRT event it is unforgettable. From
    strippers to pit bowls on parade, jocks participating in our own Mixed Martial live events, all out brawls (that Ice Road Trucker has a wild hair and a quick temper). We had engineering mock-up a 80's style control room on a stage--our old school look hooks em.

    If some A-- clown from another station sets up a card table with a cell phone, he's dead next to us.

    No brag-just fact

    Ty Calhoun