Are You Ready For Your Brand-Making Moment?


(By Buzz Knight) All of the mania around yesterday’s eclipse got me thinking about how radio station brands and show brands excel the most when they capitalize on “drafting” from the noise and hysteria of a moment and make it theirs.

History has proven this fact time and time again.

In its heyday as a top 40 station, WABC made its mark when The Beatles came to our shores. They provided wall-to-wall coverage of the event.

WNEW had many moments that captured the fancy of its audience but one that stuck out was the tragic death of John Lennon, which was personal for the staff and the audience because of their deep connection with the iconic artist. The station provided comfort with its compelling grieving as it covered the moment.

I remember when I first became the program director of WZLX in Boston when we were trying to rebuild our brand and capture the attention of the market. A firefighter named Steven Minehan was killed in the line of duty, so we put together a request-a-thon fundraiser for his family, where listeners paid to hear their favorite songs. This moment stood out as we led with our heart, did what was right for a grieving community and ultimately the station became a force in the market.

Howard Stern has had many moments but one that certainly grew his legacy was his “in the moment” coverage of 9/11. It was real, raw and definitely stands the test of time today.

I remember the moment 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston catapulted to the top of the battle for mindshare in the Boston sports radio battle and when their afternoon show Felger and Mazz came into its own.

I was driving back from Logan Airport in Boston when the owner of The Boston Red Sox, John Henry decided to pay a visit to the afternoon show. It seems that Felger and Mazz had been ragging on the Red Sox and ownership for their handling of the franchise and Mr. Henry wanted to come in and defend himself.

What was even more astonishing about this was the fact that the Red Sox broadcast partner was and is WEEI, not 98.5. This was a dramatic, provocative, and intense broadcast moment that was radio you could not turn off. Sports Hub made the most of that moment and has never looked back.

You never know when your moment will occur, but you have to be ready to make the most of it when it arrives. Those moments have a way of making a brand stand out for years to come.

Buzz Knight can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]. Read Buzz’ Radio Ink archives here.


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