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Pardon the Produced Interruption

I was in the back of a Lyft from LAX, the driver had KDAY on terrestrial FM and I was grooving to Snoop Dogg, enjoying the warm sunshine.

The song ended and a slick station ID began:

“…Yo yo LA what is up… KDAY is 90’s hip hop …K-D-A-Y…we coolin’ on 935 KDAY all day…you already know… 90’s hip hop…”


Lightning fast, the driver switched to 947 The Wave.

As a radio geek, I wanted to hear the great production! Jeez, if she could have waited another 8 seconds…

Your in-car listeners are hair-trigger channel-switchers like that. Almost any delay in launching entertainment content or music will cause tune out. Consider these guidelines for handling these on-air transitions on your show.

Imaging is frosting, not cake.

During music sweeps, keep IDs short or over the intro. The great music kept my Lyft driver with KDAY through about 25 minutes of short 3-4 second IDs but the 8-second one was too much. Longer-form imaging is a great way launch you back into music with pizazz after commercial sets.

And you know what is better than any production? You! Provide companionship while identifying the station with your familiar voice.

Win first few seconds.

Smart talk show hosts skip the usual, “Hey welcome to Tuesday, thanks for listening…” in favor of starting segments with an attention-grabbing hook headline.

Compelling music show hosts will front-sell songs instead of back-selling, and their first sentence will be about the entertainment content, saving their second sentence for the station name, frequency, slogan and other mechanics.

Entertainment first, information second.

Here is a harsh truth: hype about your station concert festival is a commercial designed to sell tickets, and commercials cause tune-out.  Deliver some great comedy or storytelling before delivering any information, including weather, traffic, station promotions, events, time checks, website or social media plugs.

Hype the fun, not the prize.

For giveaways, keep in mind that 99% of listeners never call or text to win but most listeners love to mentally play along with interactive games.

The next time you tease your show’s entertaining trivia face-off, talk up how fun it is to listen to. Some shows do not even mention the prize until after they award it to the winner.

Look at prime time TV right now: interactive games are a great way for Americans to escape ugly divisiveness from Washington. Prizes go to a single person, but an interactive game is enjoyed by tens of thousands.