Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Fine Line Between Relevant and Ridiculous

We could be polite and say it was just one of those embarrassing moments. 

But the truth is, many listeners this morning probably judged the quarter-hour a lot more harshly.

As they should have.

It had already been snowing for an hour. And for the past 30 minutes it was coming down pretty good. And it was sticking on the roads. 

That was when the live talent informed us that the snowfall would begin later today. 

This of course sounded beyond ridiculous to those of us in our cars, navigating through the snow that was now coming down hard enough to make it obvious - even to fellow lead-footers - that driving conditions were rapidly deteriorating. 

Surely, I’m thinking, the next time the talent came on there would be a correction, an update, a ‘report’ – something to save face.

I waited through a song, a commercial set, a discussion on an unrelated topic, and a phoner, but there was to be no face saving this break. 

So I hit a button. 

This show on this morning was clueless (side note: How many times would I put up with this before I removed them from my morning station "buying set?").

That the show originates from a remote studio is no excuse in the mind of listeners. Without a plan (or with a plan but with a failure to execute said plan) the talent sounded foolish.

That snow (or name your local event) is coming is fairly predictable. When it will start is probably less so.  Which is all the more reason to have a plan that covers common contingencies.

Everyone looks bad when this sort of preventable thing happens: the talent, the station and radio.  It supplies more fodder for our critics.

Situations like this usually have only two outcomes: your talent and station come off as relevant or ridiculous.

Have you reviewed your response and information plans recently?


Albright and O'Malley said...

It's amazing that today's radio honchos don't appear to learn from the lessons of the past.

Gerry House had a very successful run at morning show syndication back in the early 90's cleared by Premiere Radio Networks.

They put together a long list of impressive markets and I was privileged to consult them at the largest market that carried it - Denver.

The end of the syndication came during a Nashville ice storm which Gerry attempted to mention in the short cutins available for localization. The Winter book Nashville ratings came out and WSIX was down for the first time in many years.

They pulled the plug on syndication and went back to 100% live and local for Music City and immediately went back up to #1 in the Spring ARB ratings.

Get Gerry's new book at CRS or at It was a terrific ride and he has lots of lessons to teach us all as he continues to be the funny along the way, as usual.

-Jaye Albright

Anonymous said...

Mike I completely apologize for that. I was filling in for FITZ that morning and I was hung over!! :)
(good read BTW!)

Mike O'Malley said...

Ha! Thanks, Wing. It feels good to come clean. ;-> (of course it wasn't you though the comment was too funny not to post)