Create an Action-Packed Show

Imagine that you are weeding through a stack of content ideas for your newscast, podcast or radio show. Aside from newsworthiness and relevance, what content filter do you use in determining what is A, B or C material? Go with stories involving action. If someone is doing something interesting, that gets priority over content involving … Read more

Listening While On Air

The Lyft driver noticed my WKQX hat and asked if I was in broadcasting. I said I was and noted that he was listening to Bryan, Ali and Justin, a Chicago show that we coach. The driver then began talking about his own radio career. On the drive from the Loop to O’Hare airport I … Read more

It’s Your Ear More Than Your Eye

“It’s your ear more than your eye,” said CBS 60 Minutes producer Don Hewitt. Broadcasters sometimes overlook the importance of audio. In television, what audiences hear is more important than what they see. Radio and podcast presenters have only sound to work with, but many leave its potential unexplored. Here are some secrets on effective … Read more

Five Secrets For Welcoming New Audience

Remember the opening crawl in Star Wars? “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” Making the audience read was an effective way of bringing even non-science fiction fans up to speed on the fantastical storyline. Like a movie, your show needs explanation. In storytelling, this is called exposition. Clarity and detail are … Read more

Five Tips For Meetings With Media Talent

If you are leading meetings with on-air talent, keep in mind that you are entertaining for entertainers and communicating with expert communicators. Talk about a tough room! In many meetings with broadcasters over the years, I have learned a lot through tough trial and error. Here are some of my favorite hacks for more effective, … Read more

Bad Advice for Young Broadcasters

Starting out, I was grateful to receive guidance from wise broadcasters willing to share their experience and advice. I also learned some things that sounded correct but turned out to be totally wrong: “Follow your passion and the money will follow.” Instead, follow what you are good at. You find what you are good at … Read more

Hiring People You Don’t Have To Fire Later

I’ve been fired. So I have a strong dislike for firing people. In business school, we were taught that the failure of an employee is usually a failure of management. Any time we cut ties with a media personality, I lose sleep on where it all went wrong. What I’ve realized is that more often … Read more

Starting Your Podcast With A Sponsor

Does your podcast begin with a commercial? How you handle ads in the opening moments of your show may determine if your listeners stay to the end. Podcasting is new, but it is amazingly similar to old-time radio. This 1939 episode of The Jello Program with Jack Benny starts with an advertisement. A minute and … Read more

3 Tips On Taking (Or Not Taking) A Job

Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud once said, “all behavior has meaning.” I wish I had kept that little nugget in mind as I once flew to an interview with the CEO of a large media company. After coordinating dates and times for our meeting, the CEO sent me this email; “There is a non stop Southwest flight … Read more

How To Not Get Eaten By The Bear

There is a joke is about two hikers in the woods who are surprised by a bear. The first hiker yanks running shoes out of her backpack, prompting the other hiker to say, “You cannot run faster than that bear.” The first hiker laces up saying, “I don’t have to be faster than the bear. … Read more