Monday, January 16, 2017

Episode #017 - WZPL, Indy's Dave Smiley:
Confessions of a Morning Maniac

When it comes to top-rated morning shows, most managers will agree that it takes a little bit of ‘crazy’ to create the chemistry, commitment and contagious enthusiasm that keeps a show at the top of the ratings.

Few local hosts exemplify this trait than DAVE SMILEY, captain of the dominant “Smiley in the Morning Show” at Indianapolis CHR mainstay WZPL. In his multi-faceted roles as quarterback, coach and cheerleader, he has demonstrated that there is far more to making 
great morning radio than meets the ear, and maintains a crucial focus to create the seemingly free-styling morning powerhouse.

In a great story, Dave shares the story of how his first radio gig happened on a 'wing and a prayer'...literally!

He also reveals some of his biggest surprises since moving into large-market radio with a leading broadcast company and the journey behind creating such a high-profile, top rated morning show.

PD's or those who would like to be will gain insights on what a developed show hungers for, and some things NOT to do!

We also asked Dave about things he knows NOW, he wishes he'd know "THEN". His response may surprise you!

See The Smiley Show You Tube Channel

Please NOTE

         These first 10 Episodes will be available in their entirety ONLY through the end of January, 2017. Then,they’ll be tucked away in the Brandwidth Archives, so if you missed any previous episode, please  feel free to download them now.


Hear the EXPANDED PLAY, including items trimmed for time:

One-minute Martinizing: 

What’s missing?

Audience development deserves a place on your weekly agenda. Developing programming which attracts new audiences or persuades existing audiences to listen longer (new occasions or more time per occasion) is essential.

One approach in development which is particularly effective is to listen for what’s missing. This requires you to listen to the market and carefully note what’s now on the air. Whether this study involves a daypart, a specific day, or the market overall, the goal is to put yourself on the listener side of the radio and take notice of what’s being done. Once you know what’s on the air you can begin asking, what’s not being done, what’s not there – what’s missing?

Two examples of this approach in practice.

The Great American Dream Machine was a weekly magazine show on public television. A mix of short features, sketches and song, it was both satire and documentary. It’s acknowledged as seminal work, a precursor to Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show.

The show runners planned to launch the show with rotating weekly hosts rather than the traditional regular show host. It was the brilliant Sheila Nevins who had the better, original idea. Since every show has a host or two, we’ll go without any host. Using images and animation as bridges to connect the show’s segments, Nevins’ fresh concept proved to be a masterstroke. She was watching for something that wasn’t there.

Bill Drake and Ron Jacobs noticed the music stations in LA were playing commercials in what seemed to be a cluttered, random way. The way commercials were played varied by the hour and by the show. Drake and Jacobs decided to program commercials like they programmed music – they used a formal structure. Clutter was cut, commercials were limited and played in clusters creating music sweeps. They had invented KHJ’s now famous game-changer, the More Music strategy. They listened for what was not there.

To grow audience for your show or your stations one of the secrets is to stop trying to get better and start trying to get different.