As more and more research flows in, one thing is clear: One of the main reasons people become fans of a show is “It’s fun!”
Now besides the fact that “fun” and “funny” are not the exact same thing, the takeaway should be making a really focused assessment of what you do each day, and holding your feet to the fire on whether or not it’s actually fun for the LISTENER, not just you.
An old friend contacted me last week to start working with his midday talent, but in the process of bringing each other up to speed on our lives, he mentioned that his morning show still does “The Impossible Question” trivia thing. He said, “It’s a lot of fun, and people really like it.”
Well…no, not really. Trivia – unless you really frame it in a way that’s fun – is not inherently fun or even interesting in itself. (Of all the contests you can do on the air, trivia tests the worst BY FAR. The reason is simple. It’s not 1972 anymore. With the 24/7 News cycle and the internet, trivia doesn’t pack much punch anymore. If I Google “trivia” – which I just did – 178 MILLION websites come up. So it’s certainly not unique or hard to find anymore. Plus, I can just ask Siri and have the answer in under 5 seconds.)
The Secret Sound? Well, okay, IF you do it right. A series of “No, that’s not right, but thanks for trying” breaks on the air burn a hole in the listener’s brain after a very short while.
That great thing you do where your little kid, who can barely talk, is on the air…is that fun? Are you sure?
So I guess what it boils down to is asking yourself, “Is this show actually fun?” Be honest. Tweak whatever needs it; throw away what can’t be improved.
The listener WILL find fun somewhere. You have to make yourself the best choice for that.
– – – – – – –
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2016 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.