Monday, December 18, 2017

Episode #50:
Chicago Rock Radio Renegade

Mitch Michaels has been on the air in the Chicago market for several decades, and worked at just about every rock station in town! He is perhaps best known for helping start WXRT-FM, and for his work at WKQX-FM, “The Loop” WLUP-FM, WCKG-FM, and others.

He is currently ‘Doin’ the Cruise” from 3p-7p at 95.9 “The
River” WERV-FM
in suburban Chicago, and has recently released a book of the same name: “Doin’ the Cruise: Memories From A Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll".

With his longstanding run in the same major market, Mitch digs into how his job has evolved and reveals the ONE THING he feels is most important today for ANY on-air talent to remain relevant tomorrow. His insights might surprise you.

Smart Radio YouTube:

All it takes is a little initiative and imagination to create an engaging micro-targeted memory for members of your audience. Previous podguest Jeff McCarthy (SVP/P of Midwest Communications) shows how a quick visit (lead by WIXX, Green Bay PD Corey Carter) can both create goodwill and revenue while creating buzz in a station hot zip code.

by David Martin


Size matters when the objective is effective messaging. Whether it’s your rap in a set, a promo, a one-liner, or a tweet, bite-size is the right size. Ask yourself “What do I want the audience to understand? What’s the message?”

“News you can dance to” was the way radio news ace Jo Interrante described what her team delivered on music stations. Putting it another way, Jo’s advice was “Tell Mom about it.” How would you break down the news story, what would it sound like, if you were telling your Mom about it. It boils down to headline news delivered in plain, simple, and easy to understand English. The dated pop culture version would be Joe Friday’s “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

In the last century, great programmers including Buzz Bennett preached “One thought per set.” Clear and concise. Get to the point. Perhaps the greatest lesson the late great Buzzy gave us was connecting with the street. The language you find out there, the way people really talk, is essential in crafting effective messages. Always use target listener vocabulary. To relate, sound like your audience.

Pro tip: The best delivery is conversational, the one-on-one style of communication. Remember, you’re talking to one person. You’ve got to hit the responsive chord on the listener side of the radio.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Episode #049:
Karen Dalessandro - Making the Switch!

Ever have a radio station change their name for you?

That's exactly what 94.5 KTI Country did after revealing that Milwaukee country radio mainstay Karen Dalessandro was switching dial positions. Her new station is so happy to have her that they have renamed the station “94-5 KAREN COUNTRY” in a series of ads, including TV and outdoor.

Outdoor campain welcomes Karen!

Clearly, Karen is a modern-day renaissance pro. She’s done voice-over and on-camera work for advertising agencies, worked in theater and comedy improv, and was even a TV entertainment reporter for Milwaukee’s FOX-TV affiliate.

As longtime morning host at Milwaukee’s leading country radio station, she is now hosting afternoons on rival “KTI Country” and serving as WKTI Music Director.
In sharing her journey she offers some tips for deciding whether you're ready to lead a large market morning show, and importantly, what it takes to KEEP a show on top for almost two decades.

Having been in the enviable position of "hiring her next boss", Karen describes what are some of the traits (good and bad) which any talent should be aware of before signing on the line.

Karen's TV Spot

You Tube of the Week: Karen interviews Kelli Pickler

by David Martin


Never say never? There are exceptions to almost every rule and with good reason. Here are some exceptions to saying never.

There is never an excuse for bad manners.

Never confuse activity with progress.

Never lose money.

Never underestimate the competition.

Never give up.

Never hire anyone with a history of being unlucky.

Never stop learning.

Never forget the special days of others (e.g., birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day)

Never be afraid to do what’s right.

Never look back.

Never assume anything.

Never lose hope.

You’re never too old to dream a new dream.