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World: Chan Fong Has Been In The Radio Business For 25 Years


With a radio career spanning over 25 years, 988 DJ Chan Fong is one of the country’s most established deejays today. But did you know being a radio deejay has never actually been his full-time job? Chan Fong’s career path has been a varied one.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do after finishing Form Five. I wanted to go into the entertainment line but it wasn’t well-developed then. So, I decided to study graphic design instead,” recalls Chan Fong, who turns 47 this year, in an interview.

Still, he always kept an eye out for opportunities in the showbiz industry. “While I was studying, I heard that Rediffusion (now 988) was looking for radio drama artistes. These drama artistes work part time, recording only at night.”

He became a drama artiste for the radio station in 1991 while studying.

By the following year, the hardworking Chan Fong had proved his worth and made the leap to radio presenting – something he would do to this day but still only on a part-time basis.

So where does Chan Fong’s bread and butter come from?

Earlier in his career, he also pursued a diploma in recording engineering, and later put those skills into good use when he produced albums for popular Mandopop duo Michael & Victor (Michael Wong was his junior in the diploma course). He also hosted the weekly chinese musical programme, Music Express on TV3 and had acting gigs too.

But Chan’s main source of income comes from working full-time at an advertising agency for the past 19 years. “If you remain only in the entertainment line, it’s hard to live a good life. Advertising brings me a better source of income,” says Chan Fong, who now owns the ad firm and has 70 employees under his care.

Asked why he continues to be a radio deejay despite having found success in advertising, Chan Fong says he still has a passion for it and feels a big sense of responsibility.

Indeed, besides anchoring 988’s breakfast show, Morning Up (weekdays, 6am to 10pm), he also offers a shoulder for listeners to lean on once a week on City Heartbeat (Fridays, 10pm to 1am).

For 20 years now, listeners with problems big and small will call up the show and Chan Fong will offer them some words of wisdom.

“I have a responsibility to do this programme. Whatever problems a listener shares, someone else out there is facing a similar problem. I may not be able to solve them immediately but it may help those out there listening from going down the same road.”

1. As a radio deejay, you play a lot of music for other people. What kind of music do you personally love?

I listen to a lot of jazz music. I love artistes like Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Diana Panton and Janet Seidel.

When I listen to jazz music, it’s not like pop songs where I can easily sing along, it’s about the feeling it gives me.

I like to hear it especially when I’m driving alone at night.

2. Listeners pour their hearts out on your segment, City Heartbeat. What’s the most heartbreaking story you’ve heard?

Once a guy who has been taking drugs for quite some time called up. I told him, “Why don’t you quit? I know it’s hard but you have to do your best.”

I even scolded him. He said, “I’m sorry, I know what I did was wrong but please let me finish.”

He shared that his family didn’t want to see him anymore. They had moved out and they didn’t want him to find them. They were scared of him.

He called my show hoping that his family would tune in, and listen to what he had to say.

He told me he had been very sick and had three months left to live. Then he mentioned his parents’ names and said, “Mum and dad, I’m so sorry, please forgive me. Bye bye.” And hung up.

I was stunned.

3. Do you see the rise in the consumption of music streaming services today, especially among the younger generation, as a threat to radio stations?

There are two groups of people. The first group wants to listen to music only while the other group, wants a mix between listening to music and listening to deejays talk as well. Music streaming services can’t satisfy that.

Teenagers prefer to listen to music only. But when they get older, they know they need more information, whether it is local news or life advice. So they will listen (to radio).

And on 988, we are focused on current affairs and news, while other radio stations are more skewed towards entertainment, music and games.

4. 988 just launched an album with four short films, CNY House Of Happiness 2017. Tell us about it.

With most Chinese New Year songs, the lyrics are usually filled with well-wishes and flowery words but there are no stories behind them.

I wanted to tell stories. So last year, we made a short film, accompanied by songs with simple messages in them. There’s a song about people buying clothes off the rack for CNY these days, unlike in the past when people used to have their clothes tailor-made.

This year, we have four short films packed with meaningful messages. For example, one of them is about putting down your handphones and enjoying the festivities.

5. As the host of a morning show, you’ve been waking up very early for years. What tips do you have for people who aren’t early risers?

You just have to sleep early. There’s no other way. I try to sleep, ideally, by 10.30pm because I have to wake up around 5am.

In the past few years, I’ve also been changing my lifestyle. Not only do I sleep early, for breakfast, I eat chicken breast or grilled salmon (with no oil and just a bit of salt) plus a bowl of boiled vegetables. I also go to the gym three times a week.

Canada: U.S. Radio Reached Over the Border


The Radio Preservation Task Force faces a mammoth undertaking: It is tasked with preserving and archiving American broadcasting.

The reach of that broadcasting, however, is not confined to the boundaries of the United States of America. In fact, in the 1920s and 1930s, NBC, CBS and MBS all established affiliates within the boundaries of Canada.

Material evidence of American radio persists in Canadian archives and forms part of the early history of the country’s broadcasting, not only as stations that could be heard over a signal-porous border but from within Canada itself.


As regulations tightened in the United States and Canada in the 1920s and 1930s, American radio signals broadcasting across the border and American affiliate stations established in Canadian cities both came under scrutiny.

Most Canadians lived close enough to pick up powerful American stations on clear channels in the evenings. Technical changes were put in place so that powerful U.S. stations did not dominate, including the use of directional antennas and regulation of frequency utilization.

Immediately after World War I, amateur broadcasters prevailed under light regulation. But as more stations filled the airwaves, interference from distant stations, weather conditions and finally the reallocation of radio frequencies disrupted the audience’s enjoyment of radio programs. Radio became dominated less by hobbyists and increasingly was influenced by listeners who wanted to hear their favorite programs. Regulation became more important.

NBC and CBS stations that crossed the northern border were broadcasting to Canadians and were part of the American networks.

The popular misconception that Canadians listened almost exclusively to U.S.-based stations was disproved by the establishment of American-affiliated stations in Toronto, Montreal and later Windsor.

CKGW in Toronto and CFCF Montreal were NBC-affiliated stations that enabled the network’s programs to broadcast over Canadian airwaves. CBS provided a more select variety of programs on CFRB in Toronto and on CKAC (now the largest French-language station in Montreal), which existed as a bilingual station with local English and French content and also included CBS content in the mix during the ’20s and early ’30s.

The American Radio Act of 1927 and creation of the Federal Radio Commission were followed by reallocation of radio wavelengths across North America. Strict technical requirements forced many small American stations off the air; but small, private, local stations, not part of any chain, persisted in Canada.

In Canada, the Radio Broadcasting Act was not enacted until 1932, but in the intervening five to six years, stations in Canada joined NBC and CBS.

Following the reallocation, Canadians and Americans were dismayed by the loss of favorite stations and programs. A convergence of factors following this disruption permitted drastic changes in Canada.


With the exception of Montreal and Toronto, Canadian cities were limited to one frequency per city, in order to serve listeners who were tuning in with crystal sets rather than expensive radios with tuning knobs. Crystal sets were more likely to be found in American and Canadian cities until the introduction of tabletop radios in 1931.

The shortage of radio frequencies assigned to Canada in the North American Gentleman’s Agreement of 1924 — allowing only six exclusive wavelengths and 11 shared wavelengths — forced a variety of Canadian cities to share wavelengths. Larger companies that hoped to acquire a city radio station often had to settle for a signal outside the city, sometimes outside of the province, hoping it could still reach listeners in the desired location. Therefore, it was challenging for American affiliates to acquire their own stations without a shared wavelength.

Letters began arriving at the offices of the Radio Branch of the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries, complaining not only about interference from the reallocated Canadian and American stations but also the religious criticism of Judge Rutherford, president of the Watch Tower Society, which was broadcast over International Bible Students Association radio stations.

The minister of Marine and Fisheries exercised his only power by cancelling the IBSA licenses. This action provoked debate in the House of Commons over the power exerted by the ministry. That same year, the regulation of radio broadcasting was questioned and a few slots for new radio stations were created. In December 1928, a formal inquiry into the future of Canadian radio commenced with the appointment of the Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting, commonly known as the Aird Commission.

Soon NBC became the first of the American networks to enter Canada with the physical presence of an affiliate station. On Nov. 16, 1929, R.W. Ashcroft, manager of the Trans-Canada Broadcasting Company, announced that CKGW would begin to broadcast programs from NBC’s Red and Blue networks, making it the first American affiliate to offer American programming in Canada.

Shortly thereafter, Montreal’s CFCF became an NBC affiliate. CFRB affiliated with CBS. And CKAC added CBS programs when it became an affiliate.

While Canada moved tentatively toward regulation and the creation of a national public radio broadcasting network, Canadian stations continued to join American networks and carry American programming. After the Radio Broadcasting Act, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission broadcast select programs on the national network as well. The Canadian Broadcasting Act of 1936 established the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., which introduced more American programming on its own stations and permitted its continued inclusion in the schedules of private Canadian broadcasters throughout the interwar years.

Anne F. MacLennan’s research on radio has been published in “Journal of Radio & Audio Media,” “Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal” and “The Radio Journal.” Her ongoing research focuses on radio programming in the 1930s, the radio audience in the 1930s, broadcasters, and the design and promotion of early radio.

Radio World welcomes your own stores about the preservation of radio content as part of our ongoing coverage of the RPTF effort. Email ideas to radioworld@nbmedia.com.

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BlackBurn Radio Wins Lotto


Everyone involved in an office lottery pool dreams of winning a big jackpot, but few of them ever do – and even fewer end up getting phone calls from strangers congratulating him.

That’s what’s been happening in Wingham this week, as 27 employees of BlackBurn Radio have split a $1-million windfall.

It works out to a little more than $37,000 per employee.

It’s not life-changing money … but it’s a nice little bump,” says Nick Sawicki.

The money was won in last Friday’s Lotto Max draw.

Like many office lottery pools, the one at Blackburn Radio has simple rules. Everybody puts in two dollars a week, and small wins are used to buy additional tickets.

Dan Bieman has been running the pool for the past decade.

“Anybody that’s been in it as long as I have has probably sunk in about $1,000, but it’s all worth it now,” he says.

“To share it with these fine people here is very special to me.”

The coworkers say they’ll be putting their winners toward paying off debt, taking vacations, and just generally making their lives a little bit easier.

With files from CTV London

Digital Has Not killed The Radio Frequency In Canada — Yet


Norway may be switching off its FM radio network in favour of digital but don’t expect the same type of tune-out to happen in Canada any time soon.

The shift to digital radio technology — touted for its clearer sound and potential for more channels — is taking place at a much slower, wait-and-see pace here, say broadcasters and industry analysts.

That’s not to say we haven’t already tried. During the late ’90s and 2000s, Canada experimented with the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) model that Norway will shift to this week — and it was a flop.

Duff Roman was instrumental in trying to make DAB a success here as president of Digital Radio Rollout Inc., a consortium of private and public broadcasters, but ultimately couldn’t woo the Americans to follow.

“We tried our best to get them onside. They didn’t want to do it,” he said.

They were already working on adopting HD Radio, another type of digital radio technology that’s now slowly seeping its way into Canada. It is developed by a private company and delivers digital versions of the audio from FM stations via a special receiver.

Digital receivers can cost hundreds of dollars and inability to convince consumers to buy into a new system was part of the reason that DAB stalled.

Roman said he is disappointed because he thought DAB was the superior model.

“It’s sort of like Beta and VHS,” he said of the difference. “The best system didn’t win.”

“I’m over it now … I think it will work as sort of an upgrade.”
14 Canadian stations testing out HD Radio

The CRTC stopped renewing DAB licenses after 2012. Now, it oversees 14 Canadian stations who have started experimenting with HD Radio in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and a few other cities.

These stations have largely been using it as a way to simulcast their AM talk radio stations with less fuzz and clearer audio.

It’s not like internet radio, which is streamed off the internet, or satellite radio, which uses a particular frequency and has a wider footprint. Instead, HD Radio is broadcast in a local market and can only be heard via a HD receiver.

“It allows a radio station to use its analogue FM frequency to broadcast multiple digital audio signals on the [same] frequency,” CRTC spokeswoman Patricia Valladao explained in an email.

She said the number of broadcasters adopting it remains small.

“Presently there are no public proceedings or applications before the CRTC related to this issue, nor is it under discussion.”

Corus Entertainment has been testing out HD Radio in three of its markets — New Westminster, B.C., Hamilton and Calgary.

But Chris Sisam, vice-president of Corus Radio East, said widespread adoption is still a long way off.

“Really, we’re just dipping our toe in the water,” he said. “For us, it’s just a better way of delivering an AM signal.”

Sisam said the number of people listening to the stations via HD Radio remains small — and that’s just anecdotal. He said there is no way of measuring those who are listening via traditional FM radio separately from those listening by HD Radio.

Bell Media and Rogers Media, two of the other major Canadian broadcasters, are also experimenting with HD Radio in a few large markets. CBC is running a pilot project with HD Radio in Toronto for its French-radio service.

“At this time, we have no plan to abandon FM radio, but we are starting to explore digital technologies for radio broadcasting,” CBC spokeswoman Emma Bédard said in an email.

“CBC/Radio-Canada supports HD Radio as a voluntary North American digital radio standard. As both U.S. and Mexican radio broadcasters have endorsed this standard, this will help ensure the widespread availability of receivers to North American radio audiences.”
But will it catch on?

When it comes to digital radio, America is much further along.

There are around 4,000 stations using HD Radio technology in the U.S. and an HD Radio receiver has become a common feature that’s built into new cars. They are being installed with some new car models in Canada, but owning an HD Radio receiver is still pretty rare here.

“We don’t have the reception system available,” Sisam said. “We could deliver [programming on HD Radio], but no one could receive it.”

Norway to become 1st country to switch off FM radio
Canadians consuming less TV and radio but more media overall, CRTC says

David Bray, president of the radio consulting firm Bray and Partners, thinks there is a “real possibility” that HD Radio might not catch on here.

“You still face the challenge of getting receivers out there,” said Bray, who was also involved with the push for Canada to adopt DAB. “That’s a huge practical problem.”

He thinks the better sound and promise of more channels might not be enough of an incentive for people to go out and buy one.

“How are you going to get the public on board? It’s really not that easy,” he said, comparing it to DAB’s struggles. “Apathy is the insurmountable problem.”

Bray suggests creating some unique programming that’s only available on HD Radio, similar to what some speciality satellite radio channels offer.

“Digital radio is almost certainly the future, but in what incarnation I’m not sure.”

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0387


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 #0387.

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 #0386


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 #0386.

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

Featured in this episode:

  • Jim Beqaj, author, True Fit: How To Find The Right Job By Being You
  • Ian Fieggen, Ian’s Shoelace Site
  • Chrissy Steed, CEO, The KiddiePreneur Brand

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.

Ask The Coach: Do I have the talent to suceed?



QUESTION:  Do I have the talent to succeed in radio?  - Numerous!

That is one of the questions that gets slung in my direction the most?  “Do I have what it takes to succeed?”  I think the answer for everyone is “yes”. It is my personal belief that every person can succeed if they work hard enough and put in the time. That’s not to say that everyone will achieve the same level of success.  They won’t.  It will also be harder for some people than it is for others.  That’s life.  But, if you want something enough and are willing to commit yourself – and be patient – then I believe you can succeed.

Why do I believe that?  Well…

Talent isn’t a gift of nature.  It’s like a muscle.  The more you work the muscle the bigger and stronger it can grow.  Stop working it and it begins to weaken again.  Yes, some people naturally have bigger muscles and greater strength, but everyone can grow their muscles if they work at it.  Talent should be thought of like a muscle.  It takes unimaginable dedication and perseverance, and often personal sacrifice but you can improve performance if you work at it.  You can take a good performance and turn it into something great.  Something spectacular.  If you really want to.

When I talk to people about improving their performance, one thing I recommend is keeping a “Performance Journal”.  I invite talent to capture their dreams in these journals.

The thinking is that if you write your goals down, it is more likely to happen.  Once you write a goal down, you bring it to the attention of your subconscious mind.  Then the Reticular Activating System in your brain brings relevant information to the attention of your conscious mind.  You are bringing the power of your whole mind – both the conscious and subconscious parts – to the achievement of your goals.  Sounds scientific, so it must be true!

Jim Carrey is a believer in this.  His famous story goes something like this…  In the early 1990s when he was a struggling comic trying to make his way in LA, he wrote himself a check for $10 million and dated it Thanksgiving 1995, added the notes ”for acting services rendered,” and he carried it in his wallet from that day onward.  Every day it was a physical reminder of what his goal was.  He looked at it every day. Yup, you guessed it! He got the $10 million for his role in Dumb & Dumber in 1995.

The idea with the “Performance Journal” is to physically write down what you want to achieve.  Write down your dreams for the future.  Then each time you make an entry you reflect on your progress.  Are you getting closer to your goals?  What do you need to work on tomorrow to achieve  it?   Writing things down creates clarity.  It keeps you focused on what’s important.  With every entry you make, you add more clarity to what you want, constantly reminding yourself what it is you’re working toward.

Every day I encourage you to make a new entry and re-read your most recent entries.

Oh, and why not just spend a few minutes each day thinking about these things before you drift off to sleep?  And why can’t you capture these notes on your iPhone?  Well, there’s good evidence that the act of writing itself helps us remember things better. So make sure you physically write things down!

Building your talent is a mission.  This technique – the ”Performance Journal” - helps you focus on the mission.  Achieve what you dream. You’re worth it.

If you have a question or would like to contact Paul for any reason then you can email kaye.paul@mail.com.  And don’t forget to follow Paul on Twitter @mrpkaye

11 New Years Resolutions Every Personality Should Keep

11 new years resolutions worth keeping

For most of you, New Year resolutions feel like a forced, trite way to make a change. In fact, you may have already given up on the whole process. After all, if you really wanted to change, why wait around for January 1?

Sometimes we need a benchmark as a trigger point to get us to take action. It’s way too easy to push aside those adjustments and goals that are important, but not really time-sensitive.

To seriously make lasting changes, it’s important to create specific goals with a timeline. Doing it at the beginning of a new year is a natural time to refresh, adapt and make those changes that will lead to greater success in your future.

If you’re looking to set resolutions for next year, but are struggling for achievable ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

[tweet_box design="box_09"]11 New Year’s Resolutions every air talent should keep[/tweet_box]

Here are resolutions that are worth considering:


New Year Resolutions: Preparation

Plan Your Show 2-3 Days In Advance

You know the current routine. The show is over, and we start prepping for tomorrow. That’s fine, but it’s short-sighted. Make it a priority to constantly prepare the show at least two days in advance, adjusting as needed in your daily planning sessions. This is detailed in the webinar on demand Turn Daily Life Into Daily Content.


Getting into this habit allows you to develop story arcs that carry over from day to day and provides a structure that helps you see the bigger picture, rather than getting caught in the weeds each day. It makes the prep process more productive and more fun.

It also helps you with our next resolution suggestion:


New Year Resolutions: Promote

Promote Tomorrow’s Show

If most of tomorrow’s show is already laid out in a schedule, you can easily promote the best content today!  One of the most effective methods of teasing upcoming segments is promoting “tomorrow at this time“.

Why? Most of the audience tuned in at any given time is available to listen the next day at the same time. That’s an opportunity you should use with specific promos and teases to capitalize on the existing audience!

Knowing what’s happening tomorrow can also provide content for forward momentum at the end of your show, with quick hooks that build anticipation for the next day. And, it makes far better copy for your recorded morning show promo than the tired “If you missed today’s show, here’s what you missed” promo.

Fine-tune those teasing skills with the webinar on demand 30 Teasing Tips in 30 Minutes. Or, brush up on all of your teasing skills here.



New Year Resolutions: Find Your One Thing

Identify Your Best Feature-And Get More Out Of It

The New Year is a great time to look back at your best-performing quarter hours. Dig into the ratings software and track performance over the entire year. Why do those quarter hours perform well? Which quarter hours drag you down? Why? If you have research available, use it to seek further insight!

The goal is to identify the content that causes the greatest listener response and become famous for it. Perhaps it’s one of your benchmarked features. Or an appointment tune-in moment for a contest or game. Or maybe you don’t have anything that stands out. This is the time to find your One Thing that can make you #1.

Then, figure out how you can squeeze more juice from it.Can you create a greater online presence for it? Should it be a podcast? Should there be bonus content available by download? Can you air the feature more often? How can you add a new twist to reinvent and freshen the concept?

Next, apply your findings on the air. Drop the features that don’t perform well and repeat your most popular one more often.

It’s also a good time to identify features that are “second tier” — the ones that are decently successful, but could be even more so if you optimized them. And, if you can’t find a way to improve them, it may be time to dump them entirely.


New Year Resolutions: Improve Yourself

Try Something New Every Day

Want to become a better performer? You must stay fresh, motivated and just a little bit anxious. If you become bored your audience will soon be bored as well. And being boring is one of the 7 Deadly Sins of Radio Personalities. That means challenging yourself to constantly innovate. This will keep you from falling into ruts.

It doesn’t have to be anything major, but change things up each day. Introduce a segment with a different tactic. Change the production elements for a long-time feature. Get into a segment with a different technique for hooking your audience. Or just work on the techniques of executing content additives consistently.


New Year Resolutions: Network

Form Partnerships With Other Departments

You’ve probably heard that you have to win in the halls before you win on the air, and it’s true. Your co-workers can help make your show or hold it back. And it’s up to you to turn them into an asset that takes you higher.

The promotions director should be one of your closest allies. Make yourself available to help them do their job more effectively by volunteering to host events and appearances even if you’re not being paid. In the process, you’ll be amazed at how many paid opportunities come your way.

Make it your mission to meet more station advertisers and get to know them personally. The account executives will love you for it, because it makes their job easier, and you’ll probably increase your endorsement fees and live commercial opportunities.

This is the year to make a greater effort to be more immersed into the fabric of the station outside of your studio doors.


New Year Resolutions: Extend Your Brand

Start a Podcast

Podcasting is a growing mini-industry, but think about what it really is: Specific audio packaged for listening on demand. That’s it.

It’s easy to start a podcast, but difficult to promote it. You have the power to promote on the air! So start a podcast.

But please, a podcast is more than just a recording of your entire show from this morning. That’s not a service to the listener. It’s an ordeal. Identify specific topics that interest you and build a community around it. Or create a podcast around one of your most popular features.

As your podcast builds an audience, you’ll find ways to recycle your online audience into appointment tune-in moments on the air.


New Year Resolutions: Online Updates

Update Your Website Daily

The number of static radio websites is sad. Make a commitment that this is the year you’ll make your site come alive with living, breathing content.

Replace that tired bio of each personality with highlights from this morning’s show (make it shareable), previews for tomorrow and content that takes the audience into a deeper, interactive relationship with your brand.

There are many ways to do it. For a great example, check out The Bert Show site.

And use video! It’s easy and inexpensive to set up a high quality video studio. Videos are a great way for listeners to get to know you in new ways and extend your personality in new ways.

Updating your site is like working out: You’ve got to do it consistently to see great results. You can’t just update it once a month and expect to rack up the results.

For more ideas on how to master your digital exposure, check out the webinar on demand 10 Digital Concepts to Build a Fanbase.


New Year Resolutions: Education

Listen to Shows in Other Markets

The most successful people never stop learning. One of the best ways to keep up with trends in personality radio is to learn from those who are great at it. This can get the creative juices flowing, and help you become a more inspired personality.

Find shows you admire or have heard about and start a relationship. Listen to them regularly, borrowing (or stealing) the ideas and techniques that apply to your show.

The tough thing is, there’s so much content out there, you have to be discerning to find the really good stuff. We make it easy to find great new air checks, updated almost weekly-and with analysis here.

Not sure where to start? Become an Insider, with subscriptions starting at just $5 per month. We keep our community up to date with the best ideas and training for career growth.


New Year Resolutions: Research

Test Content Before it Airs

How many times have you launched a bit, expecting the phones to light up and….crickets? Many times, a slight tweak or a different angle makes all the difference in the world. Now you can pre-test your content, for free!

With Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to run small tests – throw a topic out with a question or hook, and engage your audience to see how they respond. Then, introduce the same topic a couple of hours later with a different angle, a different hook.

You can also try your hooks on friends, family and co-workers. Pay attention to how they respond. Do they ignore you or engage in the conversation? Use that information when crafting your on-air content.

See how that performs. If it strikes an emotional chord on social media, it’s likely to resonate on the air too. By A/B testing content, you can launch that break with confidence, know which direction to steer it and have insight in how to promote it.


New Year Resolutions: Measure Progress

Track Your Growth-and Celebrate It

In marketing, advertisers track their ROI. How are their commercials growing their business? In radio, it’s a little trickier. Ratings may not be the best measure of progress.

On-air growth is one of the most notoriously difficult things to measure, but also the key to unlocking career growth. So why not make it your New Year’s resolution?

Set up a system to save a show every week. Don’t pick just the best show, or the worst. Make it random. Archive it, save it as an Mp3 and label it clearly. Then, at least once a quarter, listen to how you sounded three months ago. Or six months ago. Or a year ago. or two years ago. How have you grown? Are you reaching your goals? Have you progressed? What were you doing well then that isn’t as sharp now?

Archiving and reviewing content regularly is a great way to chronicle your history and help you see the forest for the trees. I’m constantly amazed at how far shows I work with grow when reaching into the past to compare. And that’s reason to celebrate!


New Year Resolutions: Conclusion

Growth should be continuous, but the beginning of a new year is a great excuse to make new plans and establish goals. What are your New Year Resolutions?


The Stuph File Program – Episode #0385


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 #0385.

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.

New St. John’s Radio Application: Interventions & Replies



In November 2016, after receiving an application for a new radio station, the CRTC issued a call for comments on market capacity and the appropriateness of issuing a call for radio applications to serve St. John’s, NL. Deadlines for interventions and replies have passed, and now we’ll take a look at the results.

Unsurprisingly, all incumbent commercial broadcasters were opposed and made this known by submitting comments.

Newcap Inc, who currently has 4 commercial stations in the market (having special permission to hold the 4th license) with at least 1 other out-of-market signal bleeding in, believes the market cannot sustain a new radio station at this time. Newcap stated that the “radio market is flat, and the economic outlook is not indicative of a growing economy in St. John’s.” They also pointed out a decline in overall radio tuning in the market. Newcap concluded by saying a new entrant would “disrupt the market dynamic” and cause “undue harm” to existing operators.

Coast Broadcasting Ltd is the most recent entrant to the market, launching their independent station in 2004. Recently, Coast launched an out-of-market repeater to fill-in coverage. Despite making the case against a new license, Coast indicated that if a call for applications was issued they would submit an application anyway, and that an incumbent was best suited, rather than a new entrant.

Newfoundland Broadcasting Co. Ltd owns one FM license in the St. John’s market, with repeaters across the province. They also own a local TV station and magazine publication. Like Coast, they are independent and the only other existing commercial broadcaster eligible for an additional license. Although once having a stronghold on the market, CHOZ-FM has been struggling to find its identity in recent years and has been repeatedly faced with abysmal ratings. Newfoundland Broadcasting went into great detail regarding the poor economic conditions and stated that the local radio business is unhealthy. They believe the market is adequately served by existing stations. Still, despite Newfoundland Broadcasting’s failure to captivate a sizeable audience with their existing license, they believe that if a new license is issued, it should be theirs.

The doom and gloom went no further than the existing commercial broadcasters, with the general public submitting comments in support of a new license. Most cited lack of choice in the market and shared distaste with current offerings.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was a submission by Acadia Broadcasting who intervened in support of the call for applications and stated their intention to submit an application if it were to happen.

Acadia challenged the claims made by existing broadcasters, stating that most arguments made do not satisfy the Commission’s criteria for not issuing a call. Acadia said that short-term economic trends are not an appropriate indicator of market capacity, and provided data to support their belief that the market can support a new entrant. They also pointed out that, if a call for applications were issued, there would be at least 4 submissions, which is strong evidence of interest in serving the market.

In its expression of interest, Acadia Broadcasting said that the company had been watching this market for the past 5 years. They had been commissioning market assessments and found demand for a new station. Key takeaways were that a quarter of St. John’s radio listeners were dissatisfied with current stations and that there are clear underserved gaps in the market.

I am in favor of the call for applications. As has been said, it’s been 13 years since a new station has launched in the St. John’s market. Comments from the public echo my own opinion that the market lacks variety.

Personally, I don’t feel that either of the existing eligible broadcasters is deserving of an additional license, so it’s refreshing to see new entrants expressing interest, particularly an established company like Acadia.


Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-440





Joel is a voice talent and audio producer at East Coast Radio Creative.


The Stuph File Program – Episode #0384


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 #0384.

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

Featured in this episode:

  • Anson Williams, actor/author, The Perfect Portion Cookbook
  • Donny Most, actor/singer, Happy Days
  • Mike Wolfe, Calendhair
  • Allen Wittman & Andrew Masters, creators, Liquid Ass
  • Lainey Morse, Goat Yoga
  • Davy Rothbart, founder, Found Magazine
  • Leslee Udwin, filmmaker, India’s Daughter
  • Toni Tennille, singer/author, Toni Tennille: A Memoir
  • Peter James, author, Love You Dead (Roy Grace)

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.

5 Sources of Show Prep You Probably Don’t Use Yet

5 sourcs of show prep

Show prep sites are a great source of topics and content, and radio personalities should have at least one prep service in the tool chest. But if the service of choice isn’t available in your market or your budget just won’t allow it, there are ways to gather free data that can be adapted on the air. In fact, here are 5 radio show prep sources that you probably don’t have. And the great news is that your competition doesn’t either!

As with all show prep source, this is a place to start! Turn the topics into ideas and the ideas into entertainment. That’s the art of standing out!

So with that in mind, here are 5 radio show prep sources you may not have thought of.

Reddit Random and Trending

Reddit is known as the front page of the internet and is practically a show prep requirement for most shows, but the social news website’s content goes much, much deeper. By all means, use the main page as a resource, but don’t stop there.

Two more links to check out are Trending Subreddits and whatever comes up when you click Random.


Letters to the Editor  

The local newspaper may be losing subscriptions, but you should still get it every day. There may not be radio gold in the stories, but  the Letters to the Editor section can be a great resource. It’s a great way to see what people in your local community find important.

National stories like a political scandal, a terrorist attack or even a box office blockbuster can and are important to many of your listeners, but those topics are easy to discover — every news website is covering them. The Letters to the Editor section provides a daily snapshot of what’s important to the people in your community.


For me, free time is podcast time. While riding my bike, walking the dog or doing household chores I’m listening to podcasts that make me more well-rounded person.

When I’m well-informed, my listeners respond!

Some of the most interesting, useful podcasts I use are:

Freakonomics Radio

TED Radio Hour

On the Media

Science Vs.


Community Bulletin Boards

Did you know you can take a yoga class with your dog? The next time you’re waiting for your latte macchiato take a look at the community bulletin board at your local coffee shop. They’re filled with business cards and flyers for things you didn’t know existed in your town. Some strange, some just interesting.



Show Prep Service Archives

Hopefully your radio show prep service gives you full access to its archives. Going back one, two or five years ago this week can provide some great “hey, remember when…” content.

Bonus Tip

If you archive your best phone calls, one or two from a year ago will sound fresh to most listeners and can be used to re-launch a topic.

What are your favorite sources of content that most personalities haven’t thought of?

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0383: The Meshach & Malik Christmas Special


Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program. A very special Christmas event. A Christmas show unlike any you’ve heard before!

For a program list of the songs included 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 #0383.

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

Featured in this episode:

  • The Meschach & Malik Christmas Special. Probably the most irreverent children’s show you’ve ever heard! It features the kind of holiday tunes that make kids laugh, and probably some adults cringe, and it’s hosted by a nine year old and a five year old! Destined to become a holiday perennial. Feel free to download it and play it over and over for years to come!

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.

That’s the Stuph – the way I see it.

20 Ways to Use Twitter’s #FollowFriday Meme to Engage Your Radio Station’s Community


By Seth Resler Jacobs Media

Follow Friday is a Twitter meme. Today, Twitter has over 300 million active users, but when it first launched, they weren’t a lot people using the service. What do you do when you join a new social network and none of your friends are on it yet? You look for other interesting people to follow. This is the situation Twitter’s early adopters found themselves in. So in January of 2009, one of those early adopters, Micah Brown, posted this tweet:

I am starting Follow Fridays. Every Friday, suggest a person to follow, and everyone follow him/her. Today its @fancyjeffrey & @w1redone.

— Micah Baldwin (@micah) January 16, 2009

Before long, others on Twitter began adopting the hashtag #FollowFriday, using it to spotlight interesting people worth following. Today, it’s a popular way to “give a shout out” to other people on Twitter.

How do you do it? Easy…

Check your calendar to see if it’s Friday.*
Write a tweet with the hashtag #FollowFriday or #FF in it.
Include the Twitter handles of other interesting people.

Example: #FF @jacobsmedia @fnjacobs @pauljacobsmedia

(*If it’s not Friday, use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule your tweets in advance.)

#FollowFriday is a great way to catch somebody’s attention on Twitter. There’s a good chance that the people you include in your tweet will respond or even follow you back. It’s a very easy way to build rapport with people in your local community.

20 Simple #FollowFriday Formulas for Radio Stations

Celebrate the artists you added to the playlist: “#FF New music on WKRP: @LinkinPark @Cher @SammyDavisJr”

Thank anybody that you interviewed: “#FF Thanks for chatting with us! @MovieStar @Comedian @HockeyPlayer”

Congratulate the people who won prizes from your station during the week: “#FF Big winners on WKRP this week: @LongTimeListener @FirstTimeCaller @PrizePig”

Tease upcoming contests: “#FF Win tickets this week! @Singer @MusicFestival @BaseballGame @Musical”

Mention upcoming events in town: “#FF Coming to town this weekend: @TheCircus @RockBand @FoodFestival”

Plug your station events: “#FF Find us here this weekend: @AmusementPark @Nightclub @CarDealership”

Welcome new advertisers: “#FF Welcome aboard! @MattressStore @LaserHairRemoval @LocalNightclub”

Warm up your sales prospects: “#FF Have a great weekend! @LocalBusiness @LocalAgency”

Call attention to your airstaff: “#FF Shoutout to our staff! @MorningShow @MiddayJock @AfternoonJock @NightJock”

Show appreciation for your colleagues: “#FF Thanks for support! @MajorLabelLocal @IndieLabelRep @IndependentPromoter”

Spotlight local bands: “#FF Check out these bands: @BabyBand @UpAndComers

Connect with local celebrities: “#FF Have a great weekend! @Quarterback @LocalWeatherman @Mayor”

Reach out to local bloggers: “#FF Keep writing! @FoodBlogger @MovieBlogger @SportsBlogger”

Toast local hotspots: “#FF Here’s to the weekend! @Nightclub @DiveBar @Restaurant”

Mention the movies that are opening: “#FF In theaters this weekend: @SummerBlockbuster @ArthouseFlick @KidsMovie”

Welcome stand up comedians performing in town: “#FF Excited to see you on stage! @HeadliningComic @OpeningComedian @Emcee”

Comment on pop culture: “#FF Congrats on the Emmy nods! @HBOShow @NetflixSeries @TelevisionStar”

Support local charities: “#FF Thanks for all you do! @LocalFoodBank @BloodBank”

Applaud local graduates: “#FF Congrats to the class of 2019! @College @HighSchool”

Congratulate local schools with winning teams: “#FF Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose! @DylanPanthers @SunnydaleHighSchool”

#FollowFriday gives you a great way to embrace the local community without adding more talk to your airwaves.

Erin Davis CHFI Toronto Says Goodbye December 15th


Erin Davis announces retirement after nearly 30 years as CHFI host. Davis’ final show December 15th. t.co/NWFw7zUtK6 @981CHFI

— Airchecker (@Airchecker) December 16, 2016

Cityline says goodbye to radio legend, Erin Davis. @erindavis t.co/0eVSft5b28 Enjoy your time away Erin. Peace & Happiness ^AC xx.

— Airchecker (@Airchecker) December 16, 2016

I had NO idea @981CHFI was going to do this. Thanks for spreading the journal love (and mine returns Jan. 9 at t.co/RCs7j5CXs6). xox t.co/DnsLdzenW7

— Erin Davis CHFI (@erindavis) December 15, 2016