Sunday, July 30, 2017

Episode 38:
The GUY with a MILLION Quarter Hours
(at the same station!)

Guy Phillips is undeniably an institution in the St. Louis area. After over a MILLION Quarter Hours on CBS owned Y98 (KYKY), he continuously reinvents his show, and makes St. Louis laugh every morning. Hundreds of thousands of listeners prove this every book.
For Guy, he says “ “I’ve been one of the luckiest guys to ever work in radio. I have had steady employment over five decades in St. Louis and I haven’t once failed to laugh, on the air and off, on any of those days. I work with a crew that is not only passionate about their jobs but have compassion for one another.

As an amateur photographer, obsessed golfer, avid traveler and licensed pilot, Guy is what one might consider busy.  Still he finds time for significant local charitable work, and is one of the most sought-after event emcees in the market.  Earlier this year he was named to the St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame and nominated to the National Radio hall of fame.

In this episode, he offers some great tips on people who would like to enjoy the same longevity and success, shares insights on what he’s done to evolve with the changing mediascape and his audience and reveals what he knows NOW that he WISHES he’d know ‘back then’!

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VIDEO of the Week:

by David Martin


Being #1 is not an accident. It takes hard work to get there and more hard work to stay there. Being #1 you become the #1 target. Being the incumbent provides no guarantee of security, in fact, your only guarantee is more competition, more work.

Having done a bunch of startups and turnarounds, and enjoyed more than my fair share of #1 stations and market leading shows, allow me to share some lessons learned.

In show business who you know is not important, what’s important is who knows you. As the great George Johns said “If you do your radio show exclusively for people who don’t know who you are, they soon will.”

Listeners have choices. Choices in the stations they choose and choices in the shows they spend time with. In my experience, the best marketing for your station and your shows is your station and your shows. The programming is what gets people to listen and gives them reasons to listen again. Unless the programming sucks.

The daily goal is to capture attention, to get noticed. In the words of the legendary Gordon McLendon, the mission every day is “Get people to talk about your radio station.” The most effective way to do this is to give them something to talk about. Do something on the air and off the air that gets people talking, texting, posting, messaging, etc.

Back in the last century when radio stations were powered by firewood I was working at a Chicago station. One day our US Senator, Chuck Percy, showed up to tape a public affairs show. I’ll never forget meeting him. He walked into the radio station and owned it.

Cheerful, smiling, introducing himself to every single person as he was guided through the station to the studio. Later that day I went to the newsroom and asked if the Senator was usually that friendly. The news guys said “He works every room he walks into the same way. He’s always on and makes people feel good.”

Chuck had the job but he was focused on keeping the job. He was running for US Senate with the election years away. He made interactions memorable, he engaged, he took advantage of every opportunity. He got people to talk about him.

In startups, turnarounds and in every other competitive situation you should always be running for US Senate. When you get to #1, stay focused on staying there and keep running.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Episode #037:
Dave Van Dyke
Founder/President, Bridge Ratings
Bridging the Audience Gap

Dave Van Dyke
Is your audience moving away from you?

The attacks are not just online anymore.  Media reseach sherpa Dave Van Dyke offers a look at the ‘audience gap’ between listener usage pattenrs, where radio is and where it needs to go to remain competitive, if not dominant. Dave was raised in radio, showcasing talents on-air, in programming, sales, marketing and research. After over two decades with posts including VP /GM at KCBS/Los Angeles along with senior management positions at Westinghouse, Viacom, Infinity and the ABC Radio Networks, he started Bridge Ratings and Research.

Now he’s focused on every facet of radio, audio and Internet audience engagement and is widely recognized for his ability to forecast and gauge media Bridge Ratings conducts several studies annually to determine the impact of a variety of media which compete for consumers' time.  

All of this data is rolled into the annual “Bridge Ratings New Media Gauntlet” which we link to below.

This episode will help you bridge the growing audience gap, for survival of your station brand ─ and your career!

Dave's LinkedIn profile

Click HERE for the 
2017 Bridge Media Guantlet report

Bonus Content:

Video:  Is JohnJay Spiderman?

A great 'real life' moment gives the audience of previous Brandwidth guests
JohnJay and Rich 
an inside look at the show in action, and generates great multi-platform exposure.

by David Martin


Here’s a powerful trade secret. Keep in mind, it only works 100% of the time. Every market has its own unique characteristics. While it may be said that all markets adopt and integrate many of the same national brands (e.g., McDonalds, Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy), it is also true each market has its homegrown favorites. Having lived in Portland I still thirst for the taste of Burgerville product.

One audio trait homegrown in each market is the local accent, the local vernacular. In Dallas and Atlanta it’s common to hear “Y’all” used on everyday conversation. You won’t hear that in New York. In New York people stand not “in” line but “on” line. There have been national studies by beverage brands to determine what category their liquid competes in. Is it “soda” or “pop” or “cola”? You get the idea. Every market has a “sound.”

Allow me to dare a guess that you have been told more than once “You have a radio voice.” It’s because having worked in audio you have developed a certain discipline in your speech. You have likely reached the point that you no longer notice your practiced pronunciations. You have, in fact, created a professional voice which is different from the voices people normally hear in their conversations.

Radio stations are heavy with professional voices. From the on-air talent, to promos and commercials smooth and often remarkably distinct voices fill the air. What is usually not heard are everyday voices of the locals. On the listener side of the radio these voices “pop” or jump out when they hit the air. The listener ear detects or notices these voices, a degree of dissonance is created.

Getting the sound of your market on your air should always be a priority. Beyond your use of local vernacular, find creative ways to get the voices of locals on your air. It’s no accident that many successful talk shows and morning shows on music stations have a “cast” of contributing listeners. The legendary Fred Winston had a great ear for finding colorful listeners, including ones with the strong Chicago “dese, dem and dose” accents, via the request lines. He would often record them asking an obvious question to set up a set element “Hey, Fred are you ever gonna tell us if it’s going to snow today or not, jeeeze?”

Does your station have an accent (or three)? It needs to and should.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Episode #036:
JASON CAGE, Mix 96.5/Houston
Serious FUN = Serious Success!

Jason Cage
Admittedly, radio isn’t always fun. But Jason Cage proves that a big part of it is how you deal with situations that come your way.  And for him, more often than not, that’s been FUN!

After exiting CBS Radio at the end of 2016 when CHR “96.5 Amp Radio” WZMP Philadelphia changed formats, Jason rejoined the company to host afternoon drive at Adult CHR Mix 96.5/KHMX Houston.

From his hometown station in Huntsville, AL, to Chicago (B96-FM), to Philly, and now Houston, Jason has learned the secret to having fun along the way, and sharing it with his audience.  All while maintaining some semblance of family life (as you'll hear!)

Not only is he a prominent major market host, but Jason has also been a devotee to all aspects of online engagement, too. (Please see links below).

In this episode, he offers tips on getting to know a new market and the realities of working every virtually every daypart.

He also shares some compelling advice for those who’d like to follow in his footsteps along with things he knows NOW that he WISHES he’d known ‘back then’.


(click for video)

MORE good thoughts from Jason:

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To give yourself the best chance of achieving success you need a plan. Having a plan not only improves your odds it also provides focus. Here’s a popular framework which you can use to create a solid plan. SMART is an mnemonic acronym for the framework.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound

Putting your plan in writing is an important part of the process. Behavioral scientists involved in the study of cognition have proven there are real and significant advantages in putting your thoughts in writing.

Keep in mind, planning is a process not an event. All plans become obsolete when they meet the real world. Effective plans are “live” - informed by real-time feedback, study and reflection. The most productive plans are fine-tuned, changed up, adjusted as circumstances demand and opportunities present.

I’m not a fan of having a plan B. Having a killer plan A and tweaking it as needed has delivered the goods for the teams I’ve played on.

Beware: don’t confuse activity with progress. It’s very important to measure impact. Activity which is not measured can be a resource and time wasting trap.

In my experience, every successful plan includes serious consideration of contingencies. After you’ve developed your plan ask “What could go wrong?” Next, develop your responses. If X happens our best options are Y and Z. The $100 name for this is scenario planning. No matter what you call it – it works. You want to think through issues and responses before you become influenced by the emotions usually present in the moment things go wrong.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Episode #035:

Chio in the Morning
Proves Perseverance Pays!

CHIO IN THE MORNING is a Philly radio legend, and proof positive that perseverance DOES pay off. He’s been part of winning stations LITERALLY from coast to coast (Z100/New York to KHTS and XHRM/San Diego). Through all of that, Chio is marking over 16 years hosting mornings in America’s 9th largest market, at stations like Q102, WIRED 96.5, and now at IHeart’s MIX 106-1.
There he starts Philly’s day with fun games and benchmark features like “Battle of the Sexes, “Truth or Trash” and “Chi-aoke”, his version of “karaoke” on the radio. He’s also known for helping local families in need with charities like the “Yo Cuz” foundation, “Big Brothers and Sisters of the Independence Region” the “Philadelphia Sunday Love Project” which helps feed the homeless.

Never shy about unveiling his personal life on the air, he is a proud Dad of four children, and recently got re-married to his ex-wife, live on local TV! 

By David Martin


Thanks to some incredible mentors my career and life have been changed for the better. Truth be told, I’ve been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time a great number of times.
Allow me to share a few lessons from one of those mentors. He was a musician turned band leader and concert promoter which is to say he was an entrepreneur. At the top of his game he left it all behind for a job in radio. Starting as a disc jockey he went on to become a successful bigger-than-life music radio personality. He was an original, a nonconformist, a great showman and my dad.

Have fun.

When leaving for work he was fond of saying “It’s time to go play radio.” Like many, I had a bedroom radio station growing up and enjoyed playing radio. Dad taught me a job wasn’t worth doing if you didn’t have fun. He truly did have fun playing radio. Many who worked with him later told me it was infectious.

People tune in to be entertained or informed.

He preached - when you crack the mic it’s showtime. No matter what kind of day you’re having or the week you’ve had the show must go on. The audience expects something added to their day, they expect a performance and you’re paid to deliver one. Be positive, cheerful and enthusiastic. Make a difference in their day.

Long after people have forgotten what you said they’ll remember how you made them feel.

He became known as a companion and he suggested it was an important role to play. He often said audio has a magic power to stir the emotions. Radio is a personal medium, use it to communicate and relate in a personal (i.e., one-on-one) way. Make listeners feel they made a good choice listening to you.

Understand it’s a business of shows.

As a guy who started his professional life singing for his supper he was always acutely sensitive to the business success of the show.  His advice was get involved; make meaningful and memorable contributions to the sales process. Go out of your way to create a killer commercial experience for the client, the listener and the sales person.