Paige Nienaber’s Midweek Idea Dump: The Full Monty Hall


(By Paige Nienaber) I’ve written before about my job title when I was at Kiss 102 in Charlotte. I was the Director Of Fun ‘N Games. I liked it because it really wrapped up what the Promotions Department was all about. Fun. And games.

After a different column, someone asked me what the difference was between a game and a contest. I said that games were good and contests usually suck. Apparently, that was too vague for him so I explained that contests are kind of one-dimensional entities that usually just require an entry.

Games? Monty Hall, who we should all aspire to be, did games. Games often have TBD outcomes. Varying prizes. Audience participation. And losers. “Beat The Bomb” is a fantastic methodology and it offers what all great games offer: voyeuristic pleasure. It offers something compelling for the non-game players to listen along for. And it has losers. Yep. Games have winners and they have losers. And losers are usually way more interesting than the winners.

Secret Sound is a game. Match Game is a game. High/Low is a game. Musical Chairs is a game. Entering your email to win Taylor Swift tickets is a contest, and not a great one either.

Games are show biz. Contests are an entry box in the dairy aisle at Piggly Wiggly. Piggly Wiggly is a wonderful brand but Radio should do a better job with fun ‘n games than a grocery store. When in doubt, ask yourself, “What would Monty do?”

And now on with the Dumpage.

The Anker Nebula Projector

In the beginning, there was the Derksen USA batlight that could shoot your logo a couple of blocks and pretty much “take up” the entire side of a building.

And it was good.

And then you had products like Luma Play that will put your logo on the floor and allow people to stop and have fun with it.

Cry For The Camera, Honey

Looking beyond prom, when is your next opportunity to do a great warm and fuzzy for teens? (“Warm and fuzzy teens” is the ultimate filter tester) Graduations. It’s an Ode To Parenthood to throw a great party for your graduate. But with unemployment, this might not be possible. So play off Christmas Wish. Find a parent who would love to surprise their kid with something that the kid is not expecting: a big-ass grad bash.

Things You Pimp

Let’s see; street teamers? Texan polygamists? Cars? Grills? One of the stations can’t get away with the word “pimp.” So “Pimp Your Grill” could be “The Moment Of Tooth” (thank you to Kevin Callahan for that) and “Pimp Your Ride” could be “Carsmetic Surgery”.  It’s all semantics.

Dirtiest Job

It’s not around anymore but they milked it for 8 seasons and there is no question that it was big. It could be a one-and-out morning show contest. Field calls from listeners who think they have the dirtiest gig in town and pick one to go out and job share for a day.

Friday Night Live

This came up in an e-mail conversation with one of the CHR Night guys. Started doing this with Jo Jo when we launched Wild in SFO. Basically, in the Summer, he did his show from the streets on Friday night. Him, me, and a cell phone. Quick 20-30-minute hits all over the Bay Area. No Sales involvement. We went to where people were. And it, A. got him out meeting a lot of listeners and B. made us sound very very tapped into the vibe. Which is hard to do when you’re locked in a studio.

I was riding around with Albie Dee, doing this at ‘PGC in 1996. Stuck at a stoplight, there was a limo full of women out on a bachelorette party. Albie jumped in with them and I followed in the van. Two of the great breaks in Radio history. Real Radio. Not scripted canned crap you could hear anywhere. He returned, a changed man. Do this. It’s a great great bit.

Duct Tape

In reply to “How do you hang banners on fences in extreme heat,” one who should know is Cat Thomas at Beasley Las Vegas: you can put duct tape on the back of it (so it doesn’t show) and use a hole punch and zip ties on fences and stuff.

And from Annie Brooks at The Wolf in Portland concurs: The best way is to use gaffers tape on each corner then punch a hole through that to put the zip tie through. Works great for us.

Quick Money, Fast

The best Programming advice I think I ever got was from Greg Strassell who said, “It’s not payola if you don’t play the song.”


There are going to be occasions when you are going to want to raise a ton of money in a short period, and selling requests will do that. Plus, if I can hear “Do The Bartman,” that’s just a bonus. The most I ever saw raised was by Newcap in Edmonton post-Katrina when they raised $100,000 in just under three days. You could request a song for $97. But then they would announce that “Paige has called in and wants to hear ‘At 17’ by Janis Ian. If that song also makes YOU homicidal, you can block it for $197.”


They’re the Entertainment Universal. Test, “Movie That I Got Up And Walked Out Of” on Facebook. (Tank with James Garner and Shirley Jones).

You don’t have to have movie tix to have fun with films. They can be a methodology for other prizes. Amber & Tanner at Froggy 92.9 in Santa Rosa did Short Attention Span Cinema for fair passes: ID a film from a QUICK clip.

I heard two things on myTalk this weekend. The first was “Movie Conjugations” or, they’d lob out two plots and you had to combine them into a title. “A boy is held captive in a city while his life is shared with the world, and then enters a Corgi in a competition.” The answer? “The Best In Truman Show.”

They’re also doing “How Has It Aged?” and they all agreed that they hated Howard The Duck but were going to take another crack at it and see if decades later they like it.

Bad Lip Reading

It’s early enough in the season to add this as a feature.

Tax Day Imaging

(Station) Tax Tip #241: watching iCarly in your pajamas is not a valid deduction. Just thought we’d cut that horse off at the pass, so to speak.

(Station) Tax Tip #175: never take tax tips from people who have done time.

(Station) Tax Tip #353: when fleeing the country, don’t leave a forwarding address on your voicemail.

(Station) Tax Tip #396: a night at (local strip club) is NOT a business expense if you don’t have receipts. 

(Station) Tax Tip #438: giving money to charity is a good deduction… unless her full name is Charity Foster and you met her on Facebook Marketplace.

(Station) Tax Tip #412: Grab a pad of paper and write down every artist and title that we play for the next two days. Then, make copies, store one in a safe place, and attach the other to your income tax filing. It’s not deductible; we just thought the IRS should know about this great radio station in (market).

(Station) Tax Tip #585: when getting audited, always start the meeting by complimenting the IRS agent’s hair.

(Station) Tax Tip #547: No, again, for the 1,000th time, a gerbil is not a valid deduction.

(Station) Tax Tip #619: You had until 5pm yesterday to declare that Russian mail-order bride from 2011 as a dependent. Sorry. Better check the warranty.

The average US one-dollar bill in circulation has been touched by over 3000 people. Happy Tax Day to all the germophobes listening to (station).

(If you’re doing any kind of Commercial Free Monday feature) (Station) is required to inform you that we’re taking Commercial Free Monday as a business loss. 

(Station) Tx Tip #460: Falling on the dance floor at your nephew’s wedding is not a workplace injury. 

(Station) Tax Tip #637: Trust us, they’ve heard “The dog ate my taxes.”

Kids, if you hear Mom and Dad yelling a lot this afternoon, maybe you want to go and sleep over at a friend’s house. Happy Tax Day from (station)

(Station) Tax Tip #178: For those of you wondering about maybe adding an extra “0” or not filing until they call and remind you, we have just two words for you. Willie. Nelson.

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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