More than once, while playing a song, a listener called into my show and told me they could hear me. I said, “Great! Thanks for listening. Where are you?” He said, “It doesn’t matter, you idiot. I can hear you on the air NOW!” Oops. Forgot to turn the mic off.
The broadcasting business can be fun or it can drive you nuts. I wouldn’t go back to it because of all of the micromanagement. It drove me nuts. They never understood that you can’t hire a creative person and then tie their hands so they can no longer be creative.
One station was different. They let me do my thing and it really worked. My show was always number one in the ratings. It was crazy, wild and fun. I believe people listen to a particular station because of the music and the DJ(S). Radio managers don’t really believe that, for the most part.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard program directors say that people don’t care about the announcer, just the music. Really? What if you play great music and the host makes it really funny too? That keeps people from changing the channel between songs.
I even managed to keep people listening to the commercial spots by adding in a funny, bogus commercial. People loved it. Management didn’t because they didn’t understand the concept. They came to me after a show and told me to stop it. They said the advertisers were upset because they thought I was making fun of commercials.
I told them that I wouldn’t stop because it was in the client’s best interest to continue. Their heads cocked a little like a dog learning a new word. I asked them what most people do when commercial breaks start. They said that they change channels, supposedly confirming that it is the music that listeners most enjoy.
I asked them what the clients would think if my listeners didn’t change the channel and instead paid close attention to the commercials because one of them was going to be very funny. If it was a five spot break, I would load it either fourth or fifth so the listener would stay through the entire break and right back into the show.
They turned their heads and looked at each other with red faces, then said “brilliant!” and walked away. I refused to do cookie cutter template radio. That’s what everyone else did and why the morning show was now number one. The company made more money for their ads, the advertisers made more on their investment and I made more too. Win-win-win.
Hire creative people!
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