What really works in any field isn’t much about finding something completely new as it is about finding a way to build on something old, but making it better. We’ve had phones forever, for instance. But the Blackberry, then the iPhone changed what we can do with them – and what we now EXPECT from them.
The point is, there’s a tendency to categorically reject “old” ideas, and that’s often the biggest mistake. Radio is making one now. With all the technology we have available, and all the “sabermetric” data we now use, we’ve largely lost one thing that used to be the core of every great station – the connection to the music we play. Simply put, I rarely hear a station anymore that respects the music at ALL.
Imaging pieces blare right over the last word of a “cold”-end song. Fades are either ignored, where the air talent jumps in too soon, or the other extreme, where the song dies out completely. Or a “cold” end song ends abruptly, and then there’s dead air. The computer’s running everything. The talent is asleep at the wheel.
It’s not cured by something as simple as putting the cue tones in the right place (although this is ESSENTIAL). It’s also about a sensibility that we want to be PART OF the music, not have the music just be noise that plays until we make our next ‘brilliant’ remark.
If you don’t show an awareness of the music you’re playing – not just the lyrical content or little trivia pieces about the artists, but the “vibe” that song creates – you’re only giving the listener a “playlist” with jibber-jabber thrown in.
Remember, the listener can go to iTunes or You Tube or Amazon Music, etc. and get the music WITHOUT YOU. Be part OF it, and it’s just a lot easier to connect.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2020 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.