Whenever a talent tells me that something “lit up the phone lines for two hours,” my response is always, “Well, I hope you didn’t run calls for that long.”
A lot of Air Talents won’t stop. For them, phone calls are like heroin. They’ll continue to take—and air—them as long as they keep coming in. This is almost always a mistake.
As you plan your show, think “two breaks”—one to set a subject up and one for a phone call response. Every call past that point has to EARN its way onto the air by contributing something new to the discussion.
Talk radio should streamline, too. By the time you do a good job of putting a topic on the table, you might take one “yes” call and one “no” call, but then you’re probably done.
And even the hottest topic should never go longer than an hour on the air, and never cross the top of the hour. Beating a subject to death isn’t the way to have Momentum.
Yes, there are exceptions…disasters. 9/11, Columbine, a flood or tornado in your area. But that’s about all I can think of. Your “weird food combinations” bit isn’t one.
Better to leave the listener wanting MORE than to be like a ham actor that keeps taking bows to diminishing applause.
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Radio Talent Coach
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2013 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.