Monday, November 19, 2007


Back in 1971, Mike Lyons was my Music Director at Legendary AOR WORJ in Orlando. We worked together at 98Rock in Tampa and for a number of years he joined me here in Milwaukee as my Triple A specialist at Lee Arnold Marketing. Mike is one of the Great Minds in radio and an amazing social critic in the tradition of Gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. Did I mention he is a multiple winner of of the Miami Herald's Annual Best DJ in Miami Award During his years as DJ/MD at Zeta in Miami. He is a TRUE TALENT and a good friend. He writes a terrific weekly piece for TRIPLEARADIO.COM called "The Forest". A weekly MUST READ.
Here is preview of this weeks column:

I was lucky during my quarter century of radio. Along with the chance to program during the original free-form days and then the consultant driven days, I eventually segued into morning drive for the last few decades of my career. A few weeks back, my work schedule changed and I had a new opportunity to check out several AAA morning shows streaming on the Web. I checked out a few commercial veterans along with a couple of non-commercial veterans and after listening I came away with one impression.
Don't overwhelm your audience with instructions.
Overall, the stations delivering a AAA format in the morning were very topical, interesting and played great music.
But every once in a while, AAA's participated in the new standard of on-air material that's swept the radio business. Constantly giving listeners instructions as the punchline/final topic in any break.
"Go to our Web site Type in Call Letters. Click the icon for Music News. Fill out the form. Enter the contest. Be at Doctor Midnight Motors tomorrow at 3PM. Wear the shirt. Present the blood sample. For Christ's sake BE THERE before the AE drives me nuts."
This isn't terminal yet for AAA's but it IS definitely getting annoying on the majority of music radio stations in the USA since the industry started to self destruct after deregulation in 1996.
We used to billboard the next artist. Now we suggest folks DO stuff.
Sometimes I hear it on AAA's that could present the information better.
In the current radio age when talent has been either eliminated or ground down to a safe, generic standard, AAA has to be aware of the possibility of becoming just as soulless and irrelevant to daily life as the rest of the radio stations across the street from them.
Of course contests and promotions and station news can be relevant as presented on a AAA station. But be sure that one presents the information with an appropriate tone of voice and sincerity. A pulse perhaps.
Because in today's world, I'm busy. I have plenty to do. And when I turn to my radio station, I want them to gave me something. Besides the music, tell me when the Radiohead album is coming out. Hell, tell me who did that last song. Explain why this Interstate is crawling. Dow up or down today?
In 2007, I'm looking for radio to provide something for ME.
I don't need to be given instructions on what radio wants ME to do.


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