Little things matter, because the listener is continuously forming an opinion of you as he or she listens.
One overlooked deejay thing is what I call “The Echo” – where you say the title of a song the last thing out of your mouth, then the song begins by singing that title. “Why would that matter?” you may ask. Well, that could send the message to the listener that you somehow didn’t know how the song began, or maybe you forgot – otherwise, you wouldn’t have put it back-to-back with the vocal repeating what you said.
Centuries ago at KNUS in Dallas, various members of the air staff would get together casually and listen to airchecks of each other. It was good-natured; we all liked each other. When the “echo” thing came up once, I stopped the audio and said to my friend, “That kind of makes you sound like a moron.”
He replied, “I wouldn’t say that.”
I teased, “I know YOU wouldn’t say that, but…” – and we all burst into laughter. But then we all agreed that we would consciously avoid “the Echo”. It became one of dozens of “rules” we formed in order to not sound like every other ‘asleep at the wheel’ station.
We all did things a certain way. Or avoided doing certain things as a group. I truly believe that tiny threads of connection among an air staff will inevitably end up being a zillion tiny threads of connection with the listeners. A great talent or station is like that cool club you want to be a part of. That’s the way we felt, and all the members of that staff tried to instill that vibe throughout their radio careers. (Oh, and fyi, KNUS became the first FM station to be #1 in a major market.)
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2022 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.