John Frost “Most Radio Stations Aren’t All That Bad, but…

Most radio stations aren’t really all that bad, but most aren’t all that good either.  Even the ones that ARE good aren’t good all the time.  An elite few are good most of time.


Stations that are good most of the time get that way by understanding the transformative power of CONSISTENCY.    


Let’s not forget that radio is a REACH and FREQUENCY medium.   We achieve our success, however you define that, by reaching lots of people and having them tune in and tune in again and again.  That how perceptions are formed, that how familiarity is created, how fundraising goals are met, and how ratings are achieved.


For some reading this Frost Advisory that may seen like Radio 101 but I am surprised how little programmers and managers talk about it.  Frankly, I hear a lot more conversation about doing something too much (like playing the listeners’ favorite songs) than doing something not enough.   I even had one former GM argue repeatedly for decreasing the exposure of several of the things the station was known for—the morning show, a popular contest, and the listeners’ favorite music.   I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say.   


A key in the process of having a radio station be good consistently is to do the right things and do them consistently.   


In this case the “right” things are things that are relevant to your listeners, meet the expectation of why they tune in, 

and are aligned with the purpose of your station.   


Here’s a free tip on how to make sure the things you’re doing will result in your station being good consistently.  


Anticipate what your listeners will say when they hear it.  


What do you want them to say…..


…when you play a song?     “I love that song!”  


What do you want them to say…..


…when you do a promotion?   “The station always seems to be helping someone. That’s a good thing.”  


What do you want them to say…..


…when you air a traffic report?    “That was helpful.  Now I won’t be late for work.”  


What do you want them to say…..


….when you give the weather?   “Good.  Let’s plan to do something outside this weekend.”  


What do you want them to say…..


….when your talent talks about an experience or observation they have?    “Me, too.”  “I know just what that’s like.”  “I’ve always wanted to do that.”  “I like that.”  

(Common ground is the basis for all relationships, even one with a brand.)   


Anticipating how your listeners will respond will help you evaluate whether a programming element is relevant, meaningful, interesting, or helpful.   


The good stations do that, and they do that consistently.    

John is a partner in Goodratings Strategic Services, and has been a successful major market disc jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Sandusky, Gannett, and Alliance during his 38 year broadcast career. John joined Goodratings’ partner Alan Mason in 1999. Contact John at john@goodratings.com

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