Your Thursday Diary Blockbuster


(By Jeff McHugh) In a non-pandemic year, movie studios plan their blockbuster film releases for certain calendar dates.

For example, the newest James Bond film No Time to Die was scheduled for November 2019, delayed to November 2020, and delayed again to late October.

Why then? November is when more film fans are likely to buy tickets. Every November you see an onslaught of big stars and premieres.

November in the film business is like Thursday in diary-measurement radio. Each week in the Fall book, Thursday is the day when most Nielsen respondents write down what they were listening to.

If your show airs in a diary market, take lessons from Hollywood and plan to “premiere” your blockbuster content on Thursdays.

To be clear – that is content, not contests. Many stations already have plans for random text/call giveaways. Those are OK as long as they do not get in the way of a great show.

Most contests do not generate measurable rating gains, and none build P1 loyalty. The biggest wins come from killer content delivered by a talented host.

Planning is key to a successful blockbuster. Think of your big premiere as September 16. That is the first Thursday that listeners could write your name in a Fall diary.

The other Fall Nielsen Thursdays are:
September 23
September 30
October 7
October 14
October 21
October 28
November 4
November 11
November 18
November 25 (Thanksgiving)
December 2

There is not much one might do to affect ratings on Thanksgiving. The other Thursdays are cannot-miss opportunities.

All you have to do is plan the twelve most entertaining segments of your whole career for twelve great days of Thursday diary attribution. Simple!

Gather your most hilarious stories, the most dramatic relationship dilemmas, bring-backs and follow-ups of previous blockbuster segments, personal quests, and topics that can hold listener interest through two, three, four segments, or more.

Choose the optimal time on Thursdays for your A-game content. Dig into Nielsen and into your perceptual research, if you have it. What hours and quarter-hours offer the best shot to impress the largest number of diary holders?

Consider a competitive review. Study your competitor’s on-air content and what time they do it. Use your knockout punch ideas to attack their weaknesses and counter their strengths.

Once you have a Thursday attack plan, start writing promos. Count the number of promos airing for your Fall giveaway, then run at least that many to promote your Thursday content.

Planning content is tough. Most on-air hosts are juggling multiple responsibilities and many do well to plan a single day. We get it. Shows that do all they can to execute blockbuster content may find that a little extra effort is all they need to win this Fall.

Jeff McHugh is known for developing remarkable talent for both morning and afternoon drive. He brings an uncommon mix of positivity, creativity, and strategy to the shows that he coaches. He is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company. Reach Jeff at [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here