Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New Web Site, New Blog Location

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m proud to introduce the launch of my new website at,  And with it, this blog is being transferred to the new site.

The new site has a ton of resources, new information and will include all of the posts and comments in this blog.

This will be the final post here.  If you follow by RSS or email, first of all, THANK YOU.  Second, please re-sbuscribe to the blog feed at the site or by clicking here


If you have any problems, please let me know by email at

And, please encourage all of your friends, co-workers, and anyone else that would benefit from the blog to become a part of the Morning Radio community.

Categories: Uncategorized

Celebrating Denise

August 24, 2011 2 comments

Max Headroom is back, with a new name:  Denise.  You may not remember the Cyberpunk star of the 1980s, a badly-glitching artificial intelligence construct named Max Headroom as a faulty brain-scanned simulation of a comatose TV reporter. The character originally appeared as the host of a surprisingly successful (non-fiction) pop video show, titled “The Max Headroom Show”.

Now, 25-plus years later, radio has it’s own version of Max, named Denise.

Mark Ramsey’s blog post on “Denise”, the new artificial intelligence DJ just introduced, is well stated and a point of view that mostly reflects my thoughts on the technology…so I’ll link to Mark’s post here in case you haven’t read it yet.  When you’ve finished, come back and share your thoughts on these points and questions:

1)  For years, I’ve advised talent and programmers that every personality is either making the station better or they’re making it worse.  The advance in technology has made it possible for automation to make music intense stations sound great.  But automation does not connect with the audience on a deeper level.  It doesn’t become their “friend”, providing the special bond between station and listener.   The arrival of Denise ushers in a new era of automation that raises the bar yet again.  It’s even more critical now for personalities to elevate their performance, to be more significant…to be a difference-maker.

2)  In a programming world that is pressured by cost controls and is (over) reacting to the tactics dictated by PPM measurement, Denise will provide attractive options for some stations.

3)  The accountants are likely going to see another opportunity to eliminate talent, particularly those less experienced, developing positions.   We’ve already managed to drain the pool of many aspiring personalities.  If AI DJ’s catch on, how much more difficult will it be to grow as talent?

At the end of the day, this could be a good thing for radio.  As mentioned, it increases the “competition”, making it more important to grow personality that matters.   And, as technology takes over, the premium on human connections grows.   Is that a threat or an opportunity.  It depends.  How important are you to your audience?

One Step At A Time

August 22, 2011 1 comment

Sometimes programmers put too much pressure on talent by presenting them with a long list of things they would like changed about the show.   As a talent coach, it’s common to listen to a personality and instantly recognize 15-20 things that either should or at least could be better.  The list may all be valid, but presenting everything at once is overwhelming and often results in talent “shutdown”.  They don’t know where to start or how to go about improving the show.

It’s very difficult to concentrate on more than a couple of “fixes” at a time.  A better approach is to create a comprehensive list of everything that needs attention.  Then, sort the list, rating everything in three categories:  Major problems that will take a lot of time and work to correct, Medium problems that will take a few weeks to correct and Small problems that are fairly quick fixes.  Many of these small problems are formatic or technical and can be corrected in a week or less.

Within each category, rank them from most important to least important.

Now, with that list, start to attack.  Pick the highest priority small problem and the highest priority major problem first.  Once the small problem is corrected, move on to the next one, while still working daily on the bigger ones.  When you cross everything off the “small problem” list, start on the medium list.  And, you’ll probably identify new small problems to add to the list as well.

This approach helps talent focus, see and feel results quickly and in a short time, you’ll be amazed at the progress you make.

The Dog Days

August 4, 2011 1 comment

In baseball, they call August the Dog Days of Summer.  It’s the toughest month of the year.  The weather is hot, the players are tired and often banged up.  Fans are on vacation.  It’s not quite September yet.  And a lot of teams are coming to terms that they are “out” of the championship race.

It’s almost as difficult for morning shows.  Audience response declines.  Listeners aren’t as engaged.  Personalities take vacations.

Don’t get lazy!  As in baseball, it’s a grind.  But audience impressions are being formed every single time you open the mic.  You may have to work harder to cause the phone to ring.   But your competitors are probably “mailing it in” and not saving their best material for September, when everything returns to “normal”.

A reporter once asked Joe Dimaggio why he played so hard every day, regardless of the importance of the game.  His response:  “Because you never know when someone will be in the stands watching me play for the first time”.

Use this challenging month to your advantage.  Never let up!



Categories: Uncategorized

The Conclave in Minneapolis

Thanks to Tom Kay, Jay Philpott and the entire board of The Conclave for another terrific event this week.  It’s the finest event for the radio industry for learning, sharing and growing.

Thanks also to all those who attended my presentation on Morning Radio Friday afternoon.  Your attention and feedback is much appreciated!

I’m proud to have been a part of many of the 36 Conclaves over the years, and this year was absolutely one of the best.  I look forward to next year!

Categories: Uncategorized

Appreciate Your Listeners, Take 2

July 7, 2011 1 comment

A few months ago, I posted a blog on appreciating your audience. You can find the whole text here. Some new information has been released that emphasizes the importance of treating them properly.

First, Jacobs Media’s Tech Survey 7 revealed that a surprisingly large percentage (more than 1/3) wish to have a deeper engagement experience with their favorite radio station. They WANT to have a relationship with you. What a gift!

Secondly, in a recent research project at a client station, we asked a group of 125 listeners if they would be interested in a behind-the-scenes tour of their favorite station with a chance to meet the air personalities. A resounding 95% of all respondents said YES, and many with exclamation points and comments such as “it would be a dream come true”.

Most stations aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity. That research project is affecting how my client is dealing with contest winners. Now, when they come to the station to claim their prize, they are invited to tour the studios and meet the talent. They get to see how the “magic” is created behind the curtain. They get their picture taken with the air personality (emailed to them later). They leave with a gift bag of inexpensive station “stuff”. They get an experience. That winner will probably tell several friends, if not dozens. It takes a few minutes and just a little effort to give them something memorable.

Everyone in the industry is over-worked, under-resourced and challenged to find the time. Usually, we are taking care of the details, crossing tasks off our list and moving on to the next fire that needs to be put out. The result is missed opportunity to make a difference in listener’s lives and their perception of us. Slow down, take some time and be creative. You can make an impact.

Categories: Uncategorized


So I’m on a flight from San Diego to the east coast….air conditioner on the plane is on high. It’s very cold. The flight attendant just announced that there are no blankets on the aircraft and suggested we use our own blankets if we have them with us.

It’s late June. We are on an airplane. Who would pack a blanket?

Think about what you say through the audience’s filter.

Categories: Uncategorized