The GM of one of my client stations was looking for a morning show partner. After auditioning one possible candidate on the air, he had doubts about their being a viable team, since both of them were more “reactors” than “initiators” (fill in your own terms here). My reservations had nothing to do with filling those roles. I was concerned with who was going to bring Content to the table, since what they were saying, while it was “pleasant”, wasn’t really engaging.
The most successful air talents (in any day part) are the people who make you SEE in your mind’s eye what they’re talking about. Being visual is the starting place from which everything else emanates.
Here’s an example. Years ago when I was doing a morning show in Dallas with a brilliant partner, Rick “Beamer” Robertson, it was the opening day of the Texas State Fair. If you’ve never been there, it’s held in the Fair Park neighborhood where the Cotton Bowl stadium is – not the nicest part of town.
I reminded the listeners that on the opening day of the Fair, you get in free if you bring a canned good to donate to charity. Rick replied with “I have to explain to my Dad that beer is not one of the major food groups. He brings a 6-pack of Pearl, and thinks that’ll get the whole family in.”
We got out there. (The First Exit.)
So the next break, I wanted to finish up by talking about some of the things to see there that weekend – the Auto Show (very cool), the Texas vs. Oklahoma game was right next door that Saturday, and that would make a great day—go to the game, then go to the Fair. And lastly, I mentioned one of the main attractions, the “Texas Star”, a 212-foot high Ferris wheel (the tallest in the USA) that you can see for miles.
Rick then commented that he loved being on it, but he had a fear of heights, and it always seemed that at some point, when they were letting people off the Star, he’d get stuck at the very top – over 20 stories up! He audibly shuddered on the air, and I tried to calm him by saying, “Yeah, but the one good thing about being up there is that you can just see your car being put up on blocks.”
Here’s the point: If I (as a listener) can’t see it, what you’re saying is just a noise my radio is making.
But more importantly, if YOU can’t see it, you can’t talk about it.
If you’re a GM or a PD, think about this the next time you’re looking for an air talent.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2016 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.