Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rocket Surgery Pt. 2

Back in the late 1980’s I was living in Chicago and had a pretty heavy tobacco addiction. Running out of cigarettes was the worst possible thing that could happen to me. I had a giant pack on my back.

One day when I found myself without any cigs, I jumped in the car and began racing to a convenience store to satisfy my habit. While driving, a song came on my car radio that I really liked, but had no idea who the artist was. I figured that I must have spaced each time that it had been identified on the air. This time I decided that I was going to make sure I listened for the back announcement and find out who the artist was. Now I had two things that I needed to accomplish, CIGARETTES and the answer to who the mystery artist was that I liked so much.

I got to the store as the song was ending. PERFECT. But no, the station segued into the next song. I was on a mission. I wasn’t going to get out of the car until I found out who it was. I sat there for another four or five minutes waiting for the song to end. I was going to finally find out. Believe me, it wasn’t easy sitting there, in need of a cigarette fix, but I wasn’t going to miss it this time. Who was that song by?

The second song finally ended after what seemed like an eternity. The Jock came on, gave the call letters and went into a spot cluster. NO SONG IDENTIFICATION!!! I went ballistic. I started yelling and cursing at the radio. I pounded on the dashboard a couple times and got out of the car, SLAMMING the door.

I ran in and got my cigarettes and came back to the car. I ripped open the pack and lit one up, sat back and came to an epiphany.


Don’t ever fail to deliver the basic information that a music station should deliver. If music is the main product that you are selling, you must let the listener have the information he requires.

Now I’m not suggesting long, information laden back sells that bring the forward momentum of the station to a screeching halt. Just a quick identification of the two or three songs that just played. Pearl Jam, Nickleback and Seether on 92Rock. See, that didn’t take but 2 seconds and did not stop the forward movement at all. And no one ended up yelling at his or her Radio. That’s a good thing.


Anonymous DonBeno said...

This is Radio Basics 101. But it is something so many jocks/PD's don't think much about anymore.

Sometimes they have a mandate to only ID the new adds. But depending on your format, even a song that has been in a recurrent rotation for a year on an AC station needs identification. I couldn't even count the amount of times someone would call the studio line and ask "who sings this?" I give my answer and the next question "did it just come out?" ....no...it's been out for almost 2 years now and we've been playing it at least twice a day since!

12:09 PM  

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