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Welcome to the all new Airchecker experience. A social networking site for radio. We are powered by the people of radio and those who have a great passion to have conversations about radio. As the voice of the Canadian radio industry since 2009. Airchecker has gained a loyal army of followers who say we are the best source for radio. 1000s of radio lovers power your radio news each week via Airchecker. read more >

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The Stuph File Program – Episode #0486

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0486.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

Yes, You Can Double Your Ratings In A Year-Here’s How

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Yeah, a headline like Double Your Ratings immediately makes you think it will be followed with some flippant comment like, “Get twice as many listeners.”

I’m not selling a radio “get rich quick” plan. But driving ratings may not be as impossible as many programmers and air personalities think.

Whether you have a 10-share or a 2-share, every station can double the ratings. It literally works for everyone, though I’ll admit it’s a bit more challenging double a 20-share than a 1 share.

Here’s the empowering thing: Every station can do double your ratings without external marketing and advertising. It doesn’t require a big contest. And it doesn’t depend on a promotion or marketing budget.

The truth is, it’s really simple to double your ratings.

You can double your ratings just by getting more value from existing listeners.

Here’s how:

Double Your Ratings Math

Follow along as we do a little math. Sorry, I know you’re not in radio because you love math. But I’ll keep it simple.

The following is based on adults age 25-54, in the morning show (6-10am Monday-Friday). According to Nielsen (in PPM measured markets), here’s how much a typical station’s P1 listeners tune in:

In case you’re wondering, each listening occasion lasts about 9 minutes. That’s not relevant in this discussion, but it’s interesting. Most broadcasters think it’s quite a lot more. But no matter how long the average commute time, the tune in time is much shorter.

But here’s the math that is relevant. The average P1 tunes in just 2 days per week. Repeat for emphasis: The average P1 (note average listener, not total cume, but P1) tunes in just 2 ays per week. The actual number is 2.3 days per week, but I promised to keep the math simple. Again, yes, that is P1’s. It’s not the total audience.

And that average P1 tunes in 3 times per morning.

So do the math.

2 days/week x 3 times per day = 6 quarter hours/week

That’s the credit a station currently get from P1 listeners.

The Power of +1

What if you could convince the existing audience to listen just one more time per day and one more day per week?

By getting one more tune in per day, and one more day per week, quarter-hours grow from 6 per week to 12.

3 days/week x 4 times per day = 12 quarter hours/week

You have just doubled your ratings from 6 to 12 quarter-hours. It seems like a magic trick, doesn’t it?

How to Double Your Ratings

Of course, something this simple isn’t necessarily easy. But think about the impact of just one more day per week, and one more quarter hour per day. It seems possible, right?

How does that change the way you approach your show tomorrow? Maybe you’ll spend a few more minutes preparing teases for upcoming features.

Does it make you more interested in promoting a new song? It doesn’t matter if they stay tuned to hear you or hear that song playing on your show. You still get ratings credit.

How about planning the show a few days ahead, so you can invite listeners to tune in the next day at the same time for a specific reason with a horizontal tease? Or promote something for tomorrow on Facebook and Twitter?

Will you re-think that morning show promo that runs all day instead of just slapping together another “if you missed this morning’s show, you missed this” promo.

And maybe you’ll invest a little more thought into every break, even those throw-aways early in the morning when “nobody is listening.”

Doesn’t that make you realize that every break is important? Every quarter-hour is precious. You don’t have the luxury to present anything less then “A” material.

Reality Check

Now let’s look at it a little deeper. Sorry, I know math sucks.

Consider how the audience is listening. You’re probably preparing way too much content.

If you’re on the air four hours per day, five days per week, and present four breaks per hour, you have 80 segments per week to fill.

5 days/week x 4 hours/day x 4 breaks/hour = 80

If the audience is tuning in only six quarter hours per week (see above), they are hearing only 7.5% on your show.

6/80=7.5%

They miss more than 90% of the content you works so hard on each day.

Are you sure you are talking about the most top of mind material frequently enough? Are you framing content and introducing topics clearly and concisely, every single time?

And perhaps it’s not such a bad idea to create less content, make it better and  repeat that great material. This increases the chances of listeners hearing the best the show has to offer.

Conclusion

Many times, broadcasters are depressed when they realize how little the audience is tuned in.

But I think they should be excited. Break it down, and it’s easy to see that the challenge of winning listeners isn’t that overwhelming, is it?

Just get one more quarter hour per day. One more tune in occasion.

And get one more tune in day per week.

That’s all there is to it.

Start now. Plan one thing in tomorrow’s show that has a legitimate chance to earn one extra tune in occasion. Promote it. Tease. it. Develop multiple angles or a compelling storyline to increase the chances of gaining an advantage.

One extra quarter-hour. One extra day per week. Double your ratings. That’s all it takes.

PLEASE JOIN ME FOR A SEMINAR ON HOW TO LITERALLY DOUBLE YOUR RATINGS. THIS FREE ONLINE WEBINAR IS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18 AT 1PM EASTERN TIME. I’LL SHARE THE FULL DOUBLE YOUR RATINGS STRATEGY WITH SPECIFIC STEPS TO TAKE TO INCREASE THE CHANCES OF SUCCESS. IF YOU WANT TO WIN THE RATINGS GAME, YOU MUST KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE RATINGS GAME. I’LL SHOW YOU HOW IN THIS SEMINAR. TO JOIN, CLICK HERE.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0485

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0485.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Meredith Thomas, actress, A Christmas In Royal Fashion
  • Roy Samuelson, voice actor — descriptive narration
  • Stuart Nulman, Book Banter

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

ABE HEFTER, UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD AND BURLI

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Burli has always had a very special place in its heart for journalism educators. We maintain very good relationships with journalism and technical colleges across North America, because we believe in helping grow the next generation of journalists.

Take, for instance, long time professional broadcaster, Burli user, and educator Abe Hefter, of the University of Hartford, Connecticut. His new role is to help young people learn to become passionate about providing the news in a radio
newsroom environment that allows them to do the job.

We sat down with Hefter and talked about his experience with Burli, and what he hopes to bring to the table for the next generation of newsrooms.

Broadcasting Across Canada

Abe Hefter is an Applied Assistant Professor with the School of Communications at the University of Hartford. He’s been aboard there since early 2017, following a 30 year career in news radio across Canada and a 15 year career in higher education.

Coming from Montreal, and working in Vancouver and many points in between, Hefter’s covered some ground. He’s served in some of the country’s biggest news rooms, including CKNW and NEWS 1130 in Vancouver, the Canadian Press in Toronto, and TSN 690 and CJAD in Montreal. He’s been a show host, anchor, reporter, and sportscaster, and has had a lot of fun doing it.

His prior teaching experience goes back to 2003 with Concordia University’s Continuing Education department. He joined Concordia’s Journalism department in 2013, and that prior experience helped him design the new course when he went to Hartford, one he simply calls “The Newsroom”.

The Newsroom

His goal is to provide an environment for the students to work as close to a real radio shift as possible. They rotate roles from day to day in a non-broadcasting setup, each acting as an editor, newscaster, sportscaster, entertainment reporter, business reporter, and general news reporter. He wants the students (as he puts it) to “come to work”. And his experience working with Burli, which he calls “the industry standard”, is now shared with his students.

“There’s no better feeling than to be able to share everything that I’m able to share as a result of what I’ve done for many years with the students at University of Hartford”, says Hefter. ”A big part of what I’ve done in radio broadcasting, including reporting back to CJAD Montreal from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, was done using Burli”.

He’s particularly happy with the changes that have come about to turn journalism away from the analog world and into the digital. In his sportscasting days, Hefter spent some time covering four different Olympic games, and he recalls with a laugh unscrewing the mouthpiece on the hotel phones to hook in his Sony tape deck using alligator clips and have his newsroom record his audio, right over the phone lines, from another country. But the switch to digital audio is just the beginning, he says.

Teaching the New Way

He draws upon his broadcasting days to teach the students at the University of Hartford how to build their newscast – working with the audio editor, creating new text to accompany the story, and pulling info from various wires. His appreciation for the current state of industry tools is evident.

“It’s seamless”, says Hefter of Burli Newsroom. “It provides me with everything I need… all the tools I need to get the job done, and all the tools my students need to get the job done”. And he is busily passing his skills to the next generation of radio news professionals, no matter which end of the industry they hope to work in.

“Leaving the class, when all is said and done, with a really good understanding of how a professional newsroom radio environment works… Burli is a part of that. Burli is a big part of that!”

We’d like to thank Abe Hefter and the University of Hartford for their time and participation in this story.

Air Personalities: Name Tag Yourself More Effectively!

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When at an event with strangers, it helps if everyone wears a name tag. Knowing a name brings strangers just a little closer together. It’s the first step to getting to know someone. The same thing happens in the relationship between radio personalities and listeners. That’s why name tagging is so important.

This seems like a minor thing, but it can be the difference between your listener feeling connected to a show and feeling distanced. From research, we know the biggest cause of tune out is listener confusion. And a major cause of confusion is when they “don’t know the people on the air.”

But it’s a really easy for personalities to overlook or forget the fact that listeners don’t know all of the personalities.

One of the problems is that there are even managers and PD’s who think air talent is so insignificant, they should not say their names.

They couldn’t be more wrong. However, there’s an art to doing it without sounding self-indulgent.

How to Name Tag on Multi-Personality Shows

Read more …

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0484

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0484.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0483

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0483.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0482

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0482.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Phil Keoghan, host, National Geographic’s Explorer
  • Andrew Fazekas, science writer — Oumuamua in space
  • Peter Franklin, The Gabby Cabby

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0481

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0481.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Anik Matern, actress & acting coach
  • Shannon O’Dowd, co-author, The Ultimate On-Camera Guidebook
  • David Buck, writer, Tedium — history of scale modelling

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0480

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0480.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Peter James, author, Absolute Proof
  • Dr. John Huber, clinical forensic psychologist — Facebook & depression

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

Forget Original Material: Focus on Unique Performances

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Every time I work with an air personality that insists on creating original material that has never been done before, a shiver runs through me.

They’re almost certainly going to fail.

There are so few truly original ideas that nobody has done before or is doing now. And talent that is so convinced they can do it are misplacing their efforts. Most of the content you see, hear and experience is an idea that’s been done many times before. It looks different and feels different because of how it’s performed and who’s performing it.

Original material doesn’t matter. Unique content does. That may sound like a contradiction, but it’s not. Here’s the difference.

Original Material

 When is the last time you had a truly original idea? Are you sure it was really original? Did you Google it? Chances are, your original material was a result of something you saw, heard or experienced elsewhere.

Seth Godin discovered that original material is a dead end to obscurity. When looking for ideas for a book, he was looking for a new topic that had never been done.

He says:

Every time we had an idea, every time we were about to submit a proposal, we discovered that there was already a book on that topic. Someone else had ‘stolen’ my idea before I had even had it.

You can spend most of your time trying to create a new feature, topic or story that nobody has done. But that’s not the key to unique performances.

Stop wasting your time! Why bother?

Your Fans Don’t Expect 100% Original Content

The key to success has nothing to do with finding all original material. Content becomes unique when you hijack the content by injecting your personality into the topic.

As Godin says:
No one expects you to do something so original, so unique, so off the wall that it has never been conceived of before. In fact, if you do that, it’s unlikely you will find the support you need to do much of anything with your idea.

 

Instead of obsessing over original material, focus on how to perform your content so that only you could do it. Hijacking ideas and making them your own allows you to spend your energy figuring out how to connect with your audience with an emphasis on character traits.

After all, listeners don’t become fans because of the information or the topics. They become fans because of how those things are performed in a style that’s all yours.

DeDe In The Morning’s Unique Performance

Here’s a perfect example of how it works in radio. This is DeDe in the Morning on K104/Dallas. With her co-hosts Lady Jade and Michael Shawn, listen to how this show takes a fictional story that everyone has access to and turns it into something only they could do through a unique performance:

 

This break comes alive because of their personalities, not because of the topic. By the way, this is a great story to use on your show, too! Steal it and perform it in your own unique style.

Conclusion

There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from, borrowing, adapting and even stealing someone else’s idea. There’s a lot wrong with simply performing someone else’s content exactly as they did it.

You can’t copy your way to success. So be smart about choosing the right ideas to steal, then work hard to make those things stand out in a remarkable, delightful and important way. Original content doesn’t matter. Unique content delivered in your character voice does.

Photo Credit: Freepik.com

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0479

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0479.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0478

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0478.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

The Critical Importance of Storytelling On The Radio

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Pop Quiz: What’s the most important skill a radio personality can have? Is it a great voice? A pleasant personality? A smooth way of talking up song ramps?

It’s none of those things. It’s the ability to tell stories. Storytelling is at the very core of the difference between announcers and true personalities that command attention on the air.

Fortunately, there are some basics any personality can learn and apply to tell better stories. There’s an art to relating a personal experiences on the air. But every art is governed by some principles and laws. There’s also a science to storytelling. The science is in the structure of a story. There are 5 storytelling steps, and each is important in crafting a great break on the air.

Some personalities are naturally great storytellers. They have a gift for making the listener feel special. Others (most) have to work on it.

Mastering, or at least understanding, the 5 Steps of Storytelling will improve your communication and connection skills, on the air and off. It will also tighten and sharpen the show’s performance because you’ll realize the importance of deeper show prep.

Let’s examine and demonstrate each of the 5 Steps of Storytelling.

5 Storytelling Steps Defined

Here’s a short summary of each step of a well-told on-air story: The hook, set up, dress up, payoff and black out.

Step 1: Hook

A magazine attracts attention to a story by the headline. Their headline is the hook. On magazine covers, the headline is designed for one purpose. It’s to provoke curiosity so the shopper picks it up and turns to the story. That’s it. It’s the same on the air. The hook’s sole function is to get interest in what will follow.

Hooks have to be quick. You have 7 seconds to get the hook in and lure the audience deeper into content. The hook should rarely be about you, but rather to set up a story that supports the hook.

The hook is the most important part of your story. If you don’t capture attention in the opening line(s), listeners will be gone by the time it gets “good”.

Step 2: Set Up

In the magazine metaphor, the set up is the first paragraph of the story. Once you open the magazine to the right page, the setup lures you into the rest of the article. On the air the Set Up should advance the story and frame the details that lead the audience onward.

The second step of storytelling is really the first step toward Pay Off.

Personal stories, main characters and conflict happens in the Set Up. Think of it as a bridge from the opening line to the twists and turns that build interest toward the thrilling conclusion.

A set up should have enough detail to move the story forward. In most cases, such as in the Jeff & Jer segment below, a personal story works best in the set up phase, particularly if listener participation is coming later.

Step 3: Dress Up

In this step, the break accelerates toward payoff.

How will you embellish, exaggerate and enhance the content? Turn up the volume on the story during the Dress Up step.

Adding detail, color and twists and turns is important in this phase. But every element must move the story toward the conclusion.

A lot can, and often does, go wrong in this step. The wrong details can become a detour or dead end. This usually happens because personalities fail to plan this part of the story.

Step 4: Pay Off

There are two critical elements in getting to the Pay Off. The first is building anticipation by increasing suspense. The second is protecting the outcome so the Pay Off is surprising.

Every break needs a destination.

Before the story begins, plan the outcome. In fact, this is where you should target the bulk of show prep time. It’s much easier to perform spontaneously when you know where a break is going.

Some bits don’t have a natural punchline, including the example below. That’s okay, as long as there’s a direction and a plan for getting out efficiently.

Step 5: Black Out

Once it’s over, it’s over. 

Many great breaks are ruined when talent goes for one more punchline. That one extra joke or one more phone call can turn a good break into an ordeal. It’s always better to find an exit and take it rather than hoping for another out that doesn’t come.

Conclusion

Storytelling structure is a fundamental element of radio performance. Personalities should use the 5 storytelling steps in every break. In Show Prep, start with the Pay Off. Identify how you want the break to end. Then develop a great Hook. With those elements in place, the Set Up and Dress Up are much easier.

Some segments will have a longer Set Up or Dress Up than others. Experiment with the 5 storytelling steps in your show prep process to find your sweet spot. As you learn to master the break structure, it will et easier and easier.

This is just a sample of the storytelling principles I share in my new online seminar, STORYTELLING BASICS. The webinar is October 9 at 1pm EST. Sign Up for the free seminar here.  The seminar is also available on demand after October 9 here.

 

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0477

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0477.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:


  • Mary Winchenbach, creator, Tirdy Works
  • Dr. John Huber, clincal forensic psychologist — lawnmower parents
  • Lee Jenkins, author, Permission to Forget

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.