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An odd request: I was asked to gather my thoughts for a programming philosophy. I'm not up for a gig mind you... it was merely a question posed by someone who frequents this site. We were talking about radio (go figure!) and I went off on one of my programming diatribes.
"You really aught to right this stuff down!" he said.
"No. I mean it. You really should write this down. And send me a copy."
Ok already... I jotted it down.
- Radio Needs...
- Radio needs passion. Passion. PASSION!!!!!
- Radio needs showmen on the radio! Put on a show!!!!
- Radio needs entertainers, not djs.
- Radio needs staffers excited by what they do.
- Radio needs programmers that demand entertainment.
- Radio needs programmers who know how to coach, grow and inspire their air talent. And staff.
- Radio needs programmers who turn air talent into entertainers. Sense a theme here?
- Radio needs programmers who understand people not formats. Formats are for the record industry to pigeonhole their artists.
- Radio needs music directors who understand listeners' favorites, not industry hype. Screw the industry. Listeners know what their favorites are.
- Radio needs more structure at the bottom. Less at the top.
- Radio needs corporate VPs... ....to be extinct.
- Radio needs focus. Oh my god does radio need focus.
- Radio needs to focus on the listener not the god damn industry.
- Radio needs to learn about human emotion. They're not P1s and P2s. They're people. Give 'em a reason to like you. Inspire them to love you. Make 'em hate you for all I care, but dear god, make them feel something because that'll make them remember.
- Radio needs to learn about respect. The Hot/AC jock who calls his listeners "baby" and "sweetie" doesn't respect women. Neither does the PD who doesn't correct him.
- Radio needs to focus on simplicity. Why does it take seven words to say "hit music"?
- Radio needs to relearn the basics.
- Radio needs promotions that make sense and are easy for listeners to play along with.
"Every time a radio station allows itself to be nothing more than background music, radio becomes a background medium."
- Radio needs writers who can explain promotions succinctly. Writers who understand things from a listener's point of view. I hear promos talking about why Usher is cool and why Eminem is a badass. Get a clue. "He won a grammy at the blah blah blah." Your listeners already know these artists are cool, otherwise, you wouldn't want to do promotions based on them, would you?
- Radio needs good writing! Period.
- Radio needs to be fun again. And exciting.
- Radio needs to learn that slogans are neither fun nor exciting.
- Radio needs branding that isn't about a slogan.
- Radio needs to simplify slogans so they make sense and are actually memorable. Then constantly offer up proof of performance.
Be it. Prove it. Live it. Love it.
- Radio needs to master proof of performance. Don't say you do something. Prove it.
A lot less.
Or how about not at all.
- Radio needs to be honest. Hype is one thing, but come on already... "Biggest ever" my ass. I know it's a lie and your listeners do too, unless you prove otherwise.
- Radio needs production people who know what the word succinct means. I sat through a 60 second promo into a five minute break? Are you kidding me? And I still don't know how to play along with whatever the contest is. Are you KIDDING me?
- Radio needs production that is simple and fun. Less sfx, better scripts. Honest to god, I heard a legal ID the other day that used 37 pieces of sound effects. Yes, I counted.
- Radio needs jingles that don't sound like updated versions of soap commercials from the 1950's. You test your records constantly. Why do your jingles sound nothing like the records that test through the roof week in and week out? I'll tell you why: Because the industry is out of touch and out of date.
- Radio needs to not be out of touch.
- Radio needs to not be out of date!
- Radio needs less big voices and more voices who have something to say. Why does the voice of a station targeting teens sound like he's 50? Because that's the way it's always been.
- Radio needs to sound national like I need another hole in the head. Even multi-market shows should sound like you singular are talking to me singular.
- Radio needs to be less irreverent and more RELEVANT.
- Radio needs to get over itself as a means for music delivery. HOLY CRAP! There's gotta be more. Please, dear god, tell me somebody's getting the message on this front. Every time a radio station allows itself to be nothing more than background music, radio becomes a background medium. Nobody's passionate about the background. When was the last time you walked into a doctor's office and thought "Leave me in the waiting room longer because I can't get enough of this Muzak!!!!!" When was the last time you told stories about that awesome thing you heard on the Albertson's Radio network?
- Radio needs to utilize content that is unique to it. Is your afternoon jock doing a shift or is he doing a show? Do you expect listeners tune in because you're there, or are you giving them a compelling reason? Really think about that one because it's a biggie.
Please help it.