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

Clock Restrictions

July 14, 2011 1 comment

Working with a personality recently, the topic turned to familiar territory:

” Our competition is allowed more freedom to talk for longer periods of time.  Isn’t that an advantage that will be hard for us to compete with?”

It’s a great discussion, but one that usually ends with a chicken/egg debate:  Does talent blossom because restrictions have been lifted or has the format clock loosened because talent has demonstrated that they have content so compelling that programming changes are needed?


Each competitive situation is different, of course, but there are a few absolutes that all talent should understand:

1)  The length of time you are granted to entertain your audience has nothing to do with your ability to entertain.  Every artist is has restrictions.  A painter’s canvas may be 3″x5″ or it could be the side of a building.  The art is expressed within the confines of the media in which it is created.

2)  Brief content demands more preparation, not less.  A famous presidential speech writer once told the Commander-in-Chief, “If you want a 10 minute speech, I can whip that out for you in half an hour.  If you want a five minute speech, it will require significantly more time”.  The same applies to your show.  If your format allows four 30-second breaks per hour and 3-4 song intros, you will have to work harder to craft your content to have an impact in a short time.  It’s not an excuse to fail to connect with your audience.

3)  Don’t waste opportunities.  If you have a 12 second song intro to entertain, then kill it for that 12 seconds.  If you have 12 minutes, it better be great.  Every moment counts.  Every second is important.  Use your platform.

For those who think they it’s impossible, click here.  Navigate to the right hand column, and watch the videos of Jo Jo Kincaid and listen to the aircheck of Broadway Bill Lee.




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

Here’s How to Tell Stories With Emotion

Melissa Etheridge has a new radio show.  it’s five nights a week, five hours a night.  It’s been on for about a week on a handful of AC and Hot AC radio stations in North America, with many more coming on board soon.

Many performers and rock stars have become radio personalities with varying degrees of success, from Kim Mitchell in Canada (he had a hit in the 80s called GO FOR SODA and does a very good afternoon show now), Greg Kihn, David Lee Roth, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty (XM), Chaka Khan, Alice Cooper, Nicki Sixx, etc.

Celebrity alone does not convert to great radio.  After the novelty wears off, the critical factor is content and the performer’s ability to connect with listeners.

Melissa is still new on the radio, but she has all the right qualities to become a major success.  She’s passionate, bold, has strong opinion and can tell great stories from her career and her life experiences that are much broader than you might expect.

One of her features each night is called “OUR TUNE”….a story about a song with meaning to one of her listeners.  I heard this last week, and had to share it with you.  CLICK HERE  to visit my web site resources page, scroll to the bottom of the middle column and click on Melissa’s picture.  Sorry for the hoops, but WordPress won’t allow Mp3’s to be embedded in this blog…or if they do I can’t figure it out!

Listen to the heart, the emotion and the passion in how this is related on the air.  It reveals her character through content, and is a perfect example that every personality can apply to their own performance every day.  This story doesn’t happen by accident.  It draws from experience, personal values, character traits and discipline to prepare oneself to tell the story from deep within.  I’d love your comments on it and offer ideas, feedback, thoughts and suggestions on how to do the same in YOUR show.  Listen and enjoy!


Categories: Performance, Programming


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

Morning Show Boot Camp 2011

June 26, 2011 1 comment

Congratulations to Don Anthony for another fantastic MSBC in Miami.  The convention this year was full of talented, motivated personalities from all over the world and it was an honor to be a part of it.
In addition to the valuable content and idea exchange, it was a pleasure to meet some new faces.  The attitudes are much more positive than in the past as learn to expand their horizons to appeal to listeners in new ways and using all of the engagement tools at their disposal.
For those of you who attended my session on Friday, Facebook to Fortune….thank you.  You can download a copy of the presentation from my website here.

If you haven’t been to attend Boot Camp, please plan to attend next year.  It’s an important ingredient in your career path.

Next up:  I’ll be presenting a session on connecting with the audience emotionally at the Midwest Conclave Learning Conference on July 15 (Minneapolis).  Hope to see you there!

Meet Me In Miami

June 21, 2011 1 comment

If you’re planning to attend Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp in Miami this week, look me up!  The gathering is Thursday-Saturday, and features some great resources for your show and career.  I’ll be presenting a session titled “From Facebook to Fortune” on Friday morning, showing you how to turn your natural resources (ability to motivate audiences) into new actual revenue using the power of the loudspeaker (radio) and social media.  I’m staying at Eden Roc, and would love to meet you and exchange ideas.  Let me know if you’re attending!