I was never good with resolutions. The one about the thing at the place with the stuff? I didn’t
make it past noon on the 1st inability to commit and my weak resolve. Damn. Damn. Damn.
Here are a few things to resolve for 2014:
Here are a few things to resolve for 2014:
“A scary Christmas story Uncle Paige?”
Yes Erin. Climb up here. The rest of you crowd around.
Now all of you get real close and I’ll tell you a story. A sad story about a radio station that didn’t understand the true meaning of Christmas.
It was Christmas 1993 and your Uncle Paige was flying home the weekend before the holidays from the station in New York. I’d just spent five weeks dealing with some really stupid people and my Christmas spirit? Well, time was running out and I just didn’t feel very Christmassy. My cab fought an ice storm all the way to Laguardia and once I was in the terminal and dealing with angry, rushed New York travellers, it didn’t put me in any better of a mood. Read more…
There are also a LOT of football comparisons too. Especially when it comes to elements of the game.
The Minneapolis paper will, on a Sunday in the Fall, break down that day’s matchup of the Vikings and whoever is about to kick their ass. Read more…
One of my favorite “positions” is Trips, which often are Money Can’t Buy prizes. Honestly? The Grammys? The Eagles in London? The Superbowl? No one in the real world is ever going to be able to attend one of thosStrength In Numbers
e things, so these can be really amazing prizes that we want to own and get credit for.
The best way to do that? Read more…
Until I was at a station and one of the interns was complaining about trying to get through on the request line from an event and it rang and rang and rang and it really pissed her off. Read more…
One of my favorite Michael Martin quotes regarded a radio station whose website was literally devoid of any reference to the holiday in 2012. “I can see how they would miss it. It’s not like it’s on the same fucking date every year. It just kind of sneaks up on you.”
First, your websites should be tweaked and Googlized. Now in NY simply added a pumpkin to their logo, which is further evidence that Digital is Rocket Science and is best left to the professionals.
Second, haunted houses are up and happening and some of these joints pull in thousands of people. You need to be there. And think outside the metro but still inside the rated area. Read more…
One of these shows was Davey D and Chris Lane. God they were good. And early one 1st Q I was hanging out in Sacramental and we were discussing Valentines and what they should do as a morning show for it. As you should do, so did we: we went over the radio landscape of the market and reviewed what the other shows in town traditionally did. Because you never want to do what another station does. I then whipped out my file of 8000 (now it’s 12,000) potential contests, topics, bits, features of other non-pigeon-holeable “stuff” that they could do for Valentines.
Chris flipped through it, looked up and said “I wish we could do even half of this.”
And so we tried and thus was born “Love Week”. Read more…
The second group generally are managers and directors who don’t like deviating from the game plan (some of the greatest promotions of all time were put together on three minutes notice) or who are comfortable with the status quo:
“I don’t see the need to constantly reinvent the wheel” from a PD
“If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it”. I prefer, “If it ain’t broke, break it”
“Keep it simple stupid” which usually translates to “Keep it boring stupid”
I’d never truly gauged my rep until I was at a C Company station and the GM said that one of their consultants had nervously pulled him aside and advised against working with me because, “He’ll lose your license”.
Okay. That’s the world’s oldest and stupidest fucking excuse. When was the last time a station lost its license? Get back to me on that.
Do we want to kill a listener or swear on the air or fake a contest? Hell no. You’ll lose your job for being an idiot, but the station won’t lose its license. Read more…
A quick reminder: “Vibe” is the byproduct, the plutonium so-to-speak when you combine Attitude and Emotion. Great radio stations have Vibe.
I’ve always loved weekend contesting and themes because they allow us to divert from whatever we’ve been doing all week and be topical. Great weekends in Radio are all about being topical and addressing what everyone is buzzing about. Read more…
Bert, an 18 year-old phenom from Holland via California who had veteran sluggers waving at his pitches in futile attempts to get some wood on the ball. Bert returned to the Twins after a sojourn around the majors and in between pranks in the dugout (he was the master of the flaming shoe: crawling under the bench and lighting a teammates shoe on fire) he returned in ’87 to help the team to their first World Series. He’s since gone on to broadcasting and is arguably the best, most knowledgeable and entertaining “color guy” in baseball telecasts.
There were three things that Bert Blyleven brought to the game of baseball that apply to a great air talent at a radio station.
When I look back at the best morning people I’ve worked with, they all had a passion for the medium. This wasn’t some “thing” they were going to tinker around in and then use it to spring board to something else. This was all they’d ever wanted to do. It was in their blood. They were lifers.
If this was you, then you need to find that inner Geek who came in and hung out and became addicted to Radio and filed carts and just wanted to be a part of this amazing thing that was happening.
Has Radio changed? Absolutely. And for us to get back to where we need to be, it’s going to require Geeks. Lifers. People who are in love with the medium. Discover or Recover your Inner Bert. Could you make more money filling out TPS Reports at Innatech? Sure. But why would you want to?
Great, successful ball clubs all have fun and cohesive clubhouses. The players show up and they work hard and they work their butts off, all the while having fun. Because they know that, like us, they have one of the greatest jobs in the world. Whatever team Bert was on had a great clubhouse atmosphere. Because lurking, behind the scenes, was Blyleven. Freezing jockstraps. Filling lockers with shaving cream. Setting shoes on fire.
Great radio stations have a Spanky McFarland. The person in charge of generating Fun in the hallways. As a Promotion Director, that was part of my unofficial job description; to make sure there was Fun in the hallways. Because, honestly, that translates on to the air. When you hear great, amazing radio stations, it’s very rare that there isn’t a Blyleven in their hallways.
And don’t give me the bullshit “We’re not allowed to have fun in the building” excuse. Then take it out of the building. KSFM in Sacramento, when it was PD’ed by Rick Thomas and Bob West, would quarterly have parties at their houses. Big, booze-drenched blowouts that ended with the staff being sober-cabbed home. That station was/is a juggernaut. And the Fun Factor can never, ever be over-stated.
But the key weapon in Bert’s Triple Threat? The curve. The breaking ball that just seemed to stop in mid-air and drop to the ground. It was a thing of Art. And that’s what a stunt is. It’s the curve in your pitch count. You set it up with a steady stream of fast balls and inside pitches. One after another.
What’s your fast ball? It’s the stuff you throw every day. The regular bits that are your steady diet of material that is fed to the audience, one after another. Until they are lulled into a pattern and then…WHAM…a big hanging curve.
Why? Because we can. And because it jars them back into consciousness and gets them back and focused on you. It gets their attention. Outdoor and database spam are just more messages that get lost in the cascade of messages and advertising that rain down on the masses every day.
Bert, if he was in Radio would never, ever let something like the Mayor going to jail pass him by. A former Disney star laps dances the world at an award show? Bert would throw a curve. I mean, c’mon, it’s a given. And IF nothing like a bus driver strike or a political convention or a televangelists’ wife assaulting a flight attendant is happening, then he’d just make something up and throw a curve anyway.
Because it’s the most effective pitch you have. And because Bert would. When in doubt, always ask, “What would Bert do?”
One thing Bert would do would be to immediately get Paige Nienaber into your budget for 2014. He helps over 100 radio stations across the US, Canada, India and Africa with promotions and marketing, not just for morning shows but for Sales and Programming. Reach out to him or check out his extensive client list and testimonials.