Last week we talked about real bits and topics that come from the listeners that make a mark with life group. I don’t know how many times I wanted to smash the radio when a morning host would talk about a golf game. Imagine the poor old sap on his way to work to the factory in his gray primer F-150 having to endure this. I argued with a marker manager once over a morning show. He said the talent is talking to all the big customers of the radio station and I told him, the talent needs to talk to the listeners. Needless to say, the manager was a golfer and the morning man introduced him to all the big clients who golfed. This morning show turned around from inward focused to outward and became the biggest morning show in the market in 2005.
We got a comment last week – “My co-host couldn’t believe someone would do that”. Ouch, you can’t take that road in Country Music Radio. Never act a prude or act like something the listener says, or the host brings up is going to make you sick. There is no place in Country Music Radio for fine silver and red wine. Country Music Radio fans are not about white linen table clothes and Lexus. Avoid the square peg in a round hole is one of my favorite sayings. We had a morning show co-hostess once that showed up to a major station event in a new BMW and in a fur coat.
When a CMR station is camouflaged as a Top-40, the usual female co-host always gravitates towards her natural inclinations – BWM and Dinner at Ruth Chris. Trying to squeeze mainstream out of everything and not even once lowering her or him to some good ol’ redneck standards. These folks take this as carte blanch to talk about Chris Brown's trouble, Britney Spears and Justin Bieber. When the station takes on a rock or Top-40 persona, most of the talent tries to stretch the boundaries of good taste and stay redneck free. Wrong move and once that could alienate you even more from the life group. They try to make self-induced judgement calls like, Our audience are not all toothless rednecks, some drive BMW's and have real jobs.If management and staff believe this - Switch formats now!
Staying loveable, funny, emotional, entertaining, caring, goofy and plugged into the life group is the key. There is more to the worn out line: Keep it real, than you might imagine.