Paige Nienaber’s Midweek Idea Dump: The Holiday On The 31st


(By Paige Nienaber, obviously) One of my favorite Michael Martin lines was when a station missed Halloween. And when I say “missed,” I mean it in the sense that there was no imaging, no contesting, no prizing, no tweaking of the web graphic, no weekend theme, and no morning show topics or features. There was ONE Facebook post about “The best bars to go to for Halloween in Philadelphia!” The station was in Orlando. (And why do corporate auto-posts have exclamation marks? “Selena Gomez’s keto diet has people talking!”)

Michael said, “I can understand how that would happen. They keep moving the date every year. Last year it was the 29th. The year before it was November 2nd. I wish they’d just settle on a date and stick with it.”

I love Michael.

So, just so we’re clear on it, Christmas is on December 25th this year.

I bring this up because I think that everyone does something for Christmas. Christmas actually begins the morning after Thanksgiving and runs through midnight on the 25th, so it kind of behooves(™) you to have some way to acknowledge Christmas for that entire period of time. 

Don’t get caught up in “We need to give people stuff.” Helping with a toy drive?” Boom. There ya go. Doing a social media contest of kids in Santa hats? Boom. Some imaging. Maybe deck out your logo on the site and Facebook with lights? Double boom.

But here lies the challenge: morning shows taking their vacation. Since the Hallmark Holidays are usually driven by the AM shows, then Christmas will end on December 15th. Which as I pointed out, it doesn’t do. I’ve also heard a few stations where Christmas ends when they do their holiday concert on December 9th.

So, knowing that that could be an issue for you and you don’t want to be the Grinch who is devoid of the holidays, what could you fill the void with? Your comedic elements for Christmas are travel, Santa, snow, reindeer, shopping, trees, decorations, and Christmas music/TV/films.

  • You could do a bracket of Christmas movies. Digital. No DJs required.
  • You could do Ghosts Of Christmas Past and have listeners post about the toy that they never got. And then go spend $14 on eBay and buy them their Stretch Armstrong.
  • Office Party Horror stories on social media.
  • Imaging.
  • Have a list of streets that have great decorations.
  • Rate mall Santas
  • Do call-ins from Santa every hour as he circles the globe
  • If you’re a Kiss station, do Kissmas lights and have people decorate their garage doors and post the pics
  • You can overthink prizing. Seriously. Get a tree and give it away

That’s it. Christmas shouldn’t be hard. And now, on with the Midweek Idea Dump:


Obviously, as a Mennonite youth pastor, I forsake alcohol, but I know that there is a fringe segment of society that enjoys fermented grapes. I pray for them.

myTalk 107.1 hit Gold with a wine thermos that they’ve sold in their holiday pop-up shop.

myTalk Wine 1

Hot 99.1 in St. John’s held their first Wine On The Water event and debuted their branded glasses.

A station “somewhere” is going to use “Cloud Wine” as their name for monthly gatherings of their audience to drink and socialize.

KKLZ in Las Vegas had their first W.I.N.O.S. event at a screening of the new “Hocus Pocus” movie last year. It stands for Women In Need Of Sanity and they have Glasses On The Green as an upcoming theme: women putting around while sipping selected spirits.

Whose Rear End Is It?

This is kind of like getting on the air and announcing that someone is going to win a baby: it makes you want to stick around for the full explanation. At KSON in San Diego, they’re doing tickets to a really high-powered local Halloween attraction by having people ID the artist whose song they played the last few seconds of.

Why? What did you think it meant?

Veterans Day

Sadly, this is kind of missed by most stations. It’s on November 11th this year and I heard a Cumulus station where they are going to have every hour on Friday the 10th, jocked by a different vet.

There’s a great promotion that quite a few stations have done for July 4th. The week leading up to it call and record a shout and a dedication to someone who you know who is deployed. The station then will let you know when it will air but also will mp3 you a file of the break.

The other option, if you’re a CHR or Hot AC, is to focus in on vets who are women. You could honor moms, sisters, aunts, coworkers, friends, whatever.

For Halloweek

I lobbed this at one of the morning shows on Monday night and they’re already laying the groundwork for some guests: scary things that kids have said that creeped out their parents.

Halloween Imaging

Halloween is like Christmas; it’s a vibe you can wrap around everything the station does. Kiss in Dallas did Pay Your Bills imaging ala The Addams Family. Hot in DC used ghosts in their Bills imaging for a couple of years. And in the meantime, why not parody some television promos?

CSI:(Your Market) – There are only 1000 versions of CSI on TV. This could either stand for Costume Safety Inspector (with the promo being done by your mom) or Costume Sexiness Inspector. “Not slutty enough! Go home and lose the bra!”

Dancing With The Dead Stars – It’s inexplicable but huge. And tattooed on the gray matter of your listeners, so parody the TV spot and use your event as the after-party or, “Followed by an all-new (event) at 8!”

Halloween At The Kardashians, Transyvania’s Got Talent, The Big Boo Theory

And these

  • You definitely want the “I got a rock!” line from “The Great Pumpkin”
  • We’re not dead…we just smell that way. Happy Halloween from (station)
  • You’ll always be our boo…Happy Halloween from (station)
  • Halloween…not  just for people who like to dress up flamboyantly in makeup anymore
  • Halloween…costumes, bobbing for fruit, music…it’s a pageant!  
  • You know the guy from HR you caught stealing your food from the frig…rubber bat in his yogurt? It’s Halloween. All bets are off. Bats too.
  • (Station) #1 with Pagans and midnight pentagram burning devil worshippers. Without the rap.
  • Halloween 2021 is brought to you by Depends, for those moments when you just are too scared to look for the nearest restroom 
  • Trick or treat. Trick? As a verb? Cool. As a noun? A john. Because at (station) we know this stuff. 
  • At (station) we don’t think that Freddy Kreuger is evil…he’s just misunderstood. And potentially over-qualified to be a DJ. 
  • What part of “Bustin’ makes me feel good!” are you unclear about? Happy Halloween from (station)
  • Halloween: think of it as New Year’s Eve with some flair. Happy Flair News Een from (station) 
  • Pumpkins are to Halloween what turkeys are to Thanksgiving and trees are to Christmas. But turkeys and trees don’t smash really well on the hood of your neighbor’s car.
  • (Station): where scaring the (bleep) out of you is a 24/7 operation 
  • (Station), as a kid (morning guys) mom dressed him as a Tellatubby for Halloween. And that explains a LOT.  
  • “The Blair Witch Project”? No…we didn’t get it either.  
  • (Station’s) Halloween Tip #247: don’t say “Nice costume!”…until you’re sure that it IS a costume. 
  • (Station’s) Halloween Tip #315: When going as a biblical era leprosy victim, pepperoni slices are credible and yummy sores! 
  • (Station’s) Halloween Costume Tip #349: Ghosts? Cool. Floating orbs of gelatinous protoplasm? GOLD! 
  • (Station’s) Halloween Tip #741: When you are setting up to prank the neighbor kids, creating fake headstones with their names on them will get their attention. And the police’s too. 
  • (Station’s) Halloween Tip #684: Flaming bags of poop on the neighbor’s doorstep is SO 1984. Friending them with serial killers on Facebook?? GOLD.
  • Follow us this Halloween on Facebook Dead.
  • (Station) where we float…we all float down here Richy.
  • Matt in the (station) IT department is really tired of evil clown jokes, so please don’t knock at his door this Halloween.

Paige Nienaber insults/consults more than 100 radio stations on Fun ‘N Games (Marketing & Promotions). Find him at CPR Promotions. Read Paige’s Radio Ink archives here.


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