I don’t know why radio keeps on dumbing itself down. Broadway continues to come up with new plays or at least do an exciting new version of an old one. Singers are still singing new songs every day and Hollywood comes out with new blockbusters just so they can compete with Cable Companies. What if HBO, Showtime, Netflix and others had radio’s attitude, would they have created addictive shows like the Sopranos, Game Of Thrones or House Of Cards? Hey, and who haven’t seen Breaking Bad?
It’s time for radio to take the blinders off and get the hell out of the forest so they can breathe some fresh air. We need to begin creating some new radio. All the stuff I’m hearing on the radio today, I’ve heard before. The radio industry needs create something so new and compelling that its listeners can’t resist telling their friends and co-workers all about it. Well, that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it!
HOLD ON, IM NOT OFF MY SOAPBOX YET, HERE’S A FEW OTHER RADIO THINGS THAT POPPED INTO MY HEAD
Here’s the secret radio formula used by Howard Stern, Delilah, Jeff & Jer, Ron Chapman, Scott Shannon, Jim Harper, Craig Walker, Loren & Wally and a few other Hall of Famers to make millions.
“T + S= A + (p+i x t+ee) x P + I =$.”
In order For a radio station to be great it must show us a little love, put some joy on-the-air, throw a surprise or two at us, get angry at things now and then, add a touch of sadness, and then even scare us a time or two. In other words, emote baby!
Most successful radio personalities have a lot of character in their voices which adds to their charm and makes us wonder where they’ve been spending their nights.
Everybody sounds much better working with a script.
A lot of people hear the radio, but many of them aren’t listening.
The three steps to stardom begin with your being professional first and then try to become interesting. Then and only then would I ever attempt trying to be entertaining. Good luck!
The four most disliked words used in radio station are the words that radio can’t survive without … Show Prep & Cold Calls!
The first rule of Showbiz is “Be Noticed.”
Every radio station needs to be first, best, or different. If you can be all three, syndicate!
Great radio personalities stand for all things that are good and are against all things that are bad.
Successful morning show hosts are great storytellers, and their fans love to tell stories about them.
Fear is a great motivator, but inspiration is much better.
As I’ve written before, I know of only two-morning show concepts that work. The Jack Benny approach used by Johnny Carson and the Laurel & Hardy concept used by John Madden and Pat Summerall.
Everything on the radio needs an attention-getting open, a little drama in the middle, and a killer close. If that’s too difficult to come up with, just have the killer close ready. Hell, even Sir Paul doesn’t fade “Hey Jude” when he does it live!
Every great radio station has three types of people. The Dreamer, The Business Man and The Son of a Bitch!
Your off the air job is to explore what’s unique about your community and then exploit the shit out of it.
The more gifted you are, the less local you need to be. However, if you’re both, you’re unbeatable.
Morning hosts should use the people around them including their callers to say the things that their image won’t allow them to say, but the show needs the content.
Evolution is the way to go; revolution scares owners, management, clients, the staff and the listeners.
USA Today isn’t even close to being the most read newspaper in your town. If I were you, I would get my stuff out of the local rag.
Great actors cannot save a bad script, but bad actors can sure kill a good one.
“Alpha” types are good morning show hosts, others not so much.
Like the old song says, “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t mess with Mr. In-between.”
An air personality’s job is to observe life and then comment on it.
Most successful radio stations start with some a “cause,” but making a buck, ain’t one of them.
Even a bad plan, well executed, has a decent shot at succeeding.
On-air people should spend some prep time writing down the five topics that they think the people are talking about today. Here’s a clue, they’re not talking about radio or music, only radio people do that.
You should do radio for the people who don’t give a damn about radio.
What the two themes that always work in the movies and will work on the radio are, “An unfamiliar path leading to a familiar ending and a familiar path leading to an unfamiliar ending.”
All the greats know how to make me see what they’re saying.
Most humor comes from the dark side.
Every manufactured bit needs to be 5 sensed before being put on the air.
If you don’t bring a little science to your performance, you’ll die penniless like Mozart did.
Humor without boundaries ain’t that funny.
You can’t force chemistry, I know, ’cause I’ve tried.
As Shakespeare said long ago, “The radio station is the thing.”
“Exaggerated Emotion” works really well on the radio.
If you can fake sincerity you’re wasting your time on the radio, Hollywood pays a lot more.
The secret words you need to know to have a great morning show will also work later that night in bed. Passion & Imagination!
Successful on-air people are great interviewers.
You’re already halfway there if there is something unique about your voice.
Gifted and creative people all sound the same. Thankfully, unlike gifted, creativity can be taught.
People listen to radio one person at a time.
Great morning show hosts, marry and make love to the city that they live in.
The responsibility of the GM is to bring good news to the sales department; everything else pales in comparison.
No matter how softly you praise an air personality, they always hear it.
The best music system in the world is also the easiest. Simply play the tunes the folks like more often than the ones that they don’t.
If you force your program director to stay home and listen to your radio station once a week, I guarantee the ratings will go up.
How come broadcasters still aren’t upset about the fact that the PPM device misses at least 30 minutes of listening every morning?
Music is either up, or it’s not!
Everything great has a secret about it, including radio.
It takes courage to be different on the radio.
The selling of radio begins at home.
There are no small parts in radio, only small minded players.
When you substitute “You” for “I” the ratings always go up.
The folks know what they like and like what they know.
The world used to look to America for the new radio formats, but now it tries to sell us theirs.
Being normal on the radio buys you a ticket to nowhere.
Listening to advice requires a lot more wisdom than giving it does.
Much more @ GeorgeJohns.com and on Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Feel free to share and comment.