Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Time Again For The Answer Man (Talk Radio Edition)...

Here's one for my pals in the spoken-word radio biz...

The following question came up on one of the industry message board sites: If you were programming a talk station with a tight budget in a market where all the first-tier syndicated talent was already taken, what would you do?

Some thoughts...

At the very least, I would want AM and PM drive to be live and local, with traffic and weather throughout.

Forget about political agenda; find the most entertaining local or syndicated talent you can. Also, forget about who the most "popular" hosts are. Much that is just industry politics; a lot of the "talent" on the bird is only there because 1) economy of scale (an economist's way of saying they're cheap); 2) name recognition ("so-and-so is a former speech writer for the president" - who cares? 3) Ego (at least one prominent second-tier host I know bankrolls his show out of his own pocket, and is only on the air to satisfy his need to hear his own voice on the radio every day. Talent-wise, he's lucky to be considered second tier). Go according to your gut and the specific needs of your market.

Look for jocks with content who want to break into talk. Ditto talented folks from outside the biz. Make it a priotity to find people who are hungry and will take direction. Yes, they will eventually leave for greener pastures, but you can make that a good thing. Become a station with a rep for honing "the stars of tomorrow"; that way you'll always have hungry talent knocking at the door.

By the way, in case any suits are reading this...I would LOVE to get my programming hands on such a station...

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