In the past several commentaries, I’ve been particularly critical of radio personalities. Someone was kind enough to throw my words in my face and say, “You can be part of the problem or part of the solution. So far, you’ve defined the problem. Can you offer any help on a solution?” I hate it when my own words are used against me!
With that in mind, I found a memo written by a program director to his staff. This memo certainly offers solutions to those in radio who want to be better than a tune-out factor. And more than just the personalities, programmers should take notice. How many PDs have written a similar memo in the past nine months?
The memo is as follows:
There are a few things on my mind that we should all concentrate on:
(1) Do not mention your name on music sweeps. The only time you mention your name is at the top or bottom of the hour and on backsells! (The only time this doesn’t hold true is between midnight and 5 AM when there are no stop sets to backsell your name.)
(2) From now on, we’ll be on a first name basis only. The only time you’ll use your full name will be at the top and bottom of the hour. In backsells, use only your first name.
(3) The top and bottom of the hour ID’s are to be sold as they are…if you embellish them, it better be fantastic. Always give the hour and half-hour exactly. It’s 8:30…never 8:29 or 8:31.
(4) You are not to mention song titles, your name or the time in one-liner positions. Sell the liner and go directly into the spots.
(5) The liners are important. Unless you come up with a super way to sell the liner, use the same words that are written on the liner cards.
(6) The liners are on your clocks for a reason. Don’t move them around. If they are listed at :18, they go at :18.
(7) Keep everyone out of the control room while you’re on the air. This means engineers, newsmen, request people and other jocks. If you’re not on the air, keep out of the control room!
(8) Be inside the radio station a minimum of one hour before you go on the air. Use the time to prepare your show.
(9) Never make any comments like, “…that’s what it says to do” or “I just read these, folks,” when selling liners about the station. Be positive. Or be negative working somewhere else.
(10) Don’t billboard an upcoming song before a set before the weather or PSA. Just roll into the song. If you really feel strongly about the song and you feel you should say something about it, do your rap going into the spots…and never mention the title or the artist.
(11) One thought per set is a must!
(12) Except for the morning show, you should never be talking without music under. Say what you’ve got to say as the song fades. When it’s out, you should be out also.
(13) Some of you are pulling the music out too low when you begin the backsell. Keep the music up and under.
Now, the most important aspect of KHJ is your thought process behind what you’re saying. Most listeners can’t tell you what the jock said, but they can tell you how they feel about what they’re hearing. When you open that mic, have a positive thought pattern going! Don’t say the words, believe them! Concentrate so hard on positive motivation behind your words that your listeners will have to feel it. You can communicate without words. You can communicate feelings and that’s what we’re after. Your positive motivation should be on how you feel and you should communicate this to your audience: yourself, the music, and most important…K-H-J!
I can’t take credit for these words. This memo was written by Gerry Peterson, PD of KHJ