(By Jeff McHugh) When I was a 20-year-old novice DJ at WMTY-AM in tiny Greenwood, South Carolina, they said, “Never play two female artists back-to-back. It causes tune out.” Of course, that is not true and it never was. Surprising superstitions like that still persist in radio. Here are the most common myths that Randy and I bust at stations across the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
- The show must be live. Truth: Many successful local and national shows include some — if not all — pre-production. Today’s short attention span audiences prefer content with the fat and dead spots edited out. Consider that podcasts are a growing part of your future and none of those are live.
2. Giveaways drive listenership. Truth: Unless it is a prize that money cannot buy — like a chance to meet Beyonce — most listeners do not go out of their way for random entry contests. However, great interactive games, like Stupid Easy Trivia from Todd and Jayde at WPLJ New York or a storyline game like Howard Stern’s Saddest Virgin at Sirius XM can add to TSL.
3. Service elements are crucial. Truth: There’s an app for that. Time, temperature, weather and traffic can waste precious seconds of your listener’s time with information they already have.
4. More music — or — more talk. Truth: There is no one right answer. It depends on the show’s progress, your competitive landscape and other factors that may vary your song count from year to year. When the show outperforms the station in ratings share, consider expanding content.
5. Recycled content is lazy. Truth: Most listeners hear your show for just a few minutes a day and will appreciate a replay of A+ content from an hour outside of their normal commute. Just be sure to recycle great, not good.