Radio’s Election Dilemma


(By Randy Lane) A good friend told me she lost a longtime friend because of their different viewpoints on the presidential election. A recent article in Inc. warns managers about political tensions among coworkers who discuss politics. This unfortunate division is even happening among family members.

Unless you’re on a politically oriented talk station, it’s dangerous territory for a radio personality to take a side in the presidential election. The Catch-22 is there’s an unusually high degree of interest in the election. Jacobs Media’s latest Tech Survey just confirmed this point.

Another caveat: many listeners go to music stations and non-political radio personalities to escape politics. Does that preclude personalities from touching the biggest story on the planet? The answer is NO.


Voting ensures democracy functions effectively and accurately reflects the will of the people. Listeners are so passionate about their candidate and party that both sides want to make their voices heard through voting.

If radio is to remain relevant among all the media platforms, it can’t ignore what will be the biggest story on the planet. As an authentic personality brand, your show can connect with the election passion AND remain neutral. You can be a source for voter information.

Taylor Swift did not use her mega brand to influence people to vote one way or the other; rather, she encouraged people to register to vote, and over 35,000 people did so in one day. But you can also be an influencer and make a difference by helping listeners with voting information.

I acknowledge the movement to restrict voting to people who are U.S. citizens. You can include this point in your messaging when giving listeners voting information.

Five nonprofit and nonpartisan voting sources:

  1. is America’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan voting registration and get-out-the-vote technology platform. It’s an excellent source for all formats.
  2. Rock the Vote is focused on getting young people involved in the political process and voting. This source suits CHR, Rhythmic CHR, Alternative, and other young demo formats.
  3. HeadCount is visible at concerts, festivals, and community events, helping with voter information. Music artists involved in HeadCount include Billie Eilish, Dave Mathews Band, Harry Styles, and Paramore.
  4. When We All Vote is an organization headed by notables like Steph Curry and Selena Gomez. Its goal is to increase voter participation and close the age and race gap.
  5. The League of Women Voters and VOTE411 provide personalized, nonpartisan election information in English and Spanish for all 50 states and Washington, DC.

Randy Lane is the owner of the Randy Lane Company, which coaches and brands radio and television personalities, business professionals, sports personalities, entrepreneurs, and pop culture artists, helping them master communication skills to have an impact on their audiences. Read Randy’s Radio Ink archives here.


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