I remember a few weeks ago when I booked my car in to have the tyres changed and rotated. My mechanic at the time asked me if I wanted to book the old girl in for a service while the car was in his workshop? I figured as the car was getting close to it’s service date I would take him up on his offer. My thinking was “why should I worry about the safety of the car’s tyres if i’m not thinking about what the rest of the car is doing?”
Radio is exactly the same!
Radio play out systems make no mistake are really good and have made the announcer’s job easier over the years but I have to be honest they have also made us very lazy too. The other day I was listening to a mornings announcer who really knew his craft, his show was loaded with callers, creative hooks and engaging links to keep me entertained for the 25 mins I was in the car. If you break it down he occupied about 2 and a half minutes of that 25 mins and the rest of the time was filled with songs and station imaging. I heard the tail end of one of the hottest songs on the radio right now and it suddenly faded off into the background triggering a Cold station promo that featured the breakfast team. There was nothing wrong with the Promo, it was a cold voiced Breakfast sell for what was coming up the next day, a Promo/sweeper clearly designed to be played over the intro of the next song, eventually when the next song did trigger I noticed it had a 17 second intro before the vocals kicked in. This told me only one thing! The On Air announcer at the time didn’t take the care needed to segue his log and make it sound like it was designed too.
If you are on the air across the day then make sure that you take care in your shift to make sure what happens outside of what YOU are doing is sounding good! You are On Air for 3 hours at a time and if the radio station sounds average in that time then guess who’s to blame for that?
Steps to Set up your show well:
Step 1: Make sure that you print off your music log before stepping into the studio and study where you talk breaks are going to fall.
Step 2: Check that you have everything you need to start your radio show. Phone numbers you may need for interviews, your little black book, research and information, Preparation and artist grabs you have retrieved & local traffic and weather conditions.
Step 3: Check that your production for the hour is in the right place Button Bar, Promos, Sweeps and your own created imaging (You get caught out on the fly and it could end in chaos)
Step 4: Go through your entire shift and “Segue” your imaging and songs. It’s best you do it before hand as radio shows can get busy and things get missed.
Step 5: make sure you test everything before you open up the Microphone for the very first time. There is nothing worse than working into a shift and suddenly realizing the phone system is down and you need to move studios. Believe me it’s the little stuff that tends to throw you off course.