Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Show Prep -- How And Why

Jay Trachman, as anyone who has read my blog for very long knows, was an immense inspiration and a lifelong personal friend to me. As I tour Turkey and Greece on vacation right now, I am going to open some old Trachman tidbits in hopes it keeps his memory alive for you as well.

There's no way you can do a successful morning show "on the cheap." And I'm not talking about money.

I work with PD-morning hosts with the vague hope that they can learn how to do a better show just by talking with me.

As though all they lacked was a little knowledge;
"Trachman will tell me what's wrong and how to fix it, and that'll make everything great!"

Well, it ain't so.

90% of the time, one of the things I'm going to tell you is, you need to do more work. You need to do research; to prep your show.

The unprepped show is easy to spot, even when done by a very talented jock.

The give-away is that he or she will talk mainly about the weather, the music, and one or two bits pre-packaged from a service. He may chat amiably with a colleague on the air, but the raps are always too long, and often seem to go nowhere. Typically, the show lacks "substance," meaning relating to anything besides what's going on at that moment in the jock's little world, or what's been spoon-fed to him or her.

Here are just a few of the elements that should go into a morning show: Life Content, Local Content, Music Content, listener phone-ins, banter with colleagues, calendars, games and contests, and informational raps.

They all require time and effort to set up.

"But," says my typical student, "I work a 12-hour day already, between these two jobs! When am I supposed to find the time to prep my show?"

That's not a question I can answer in specifics.

Look for chores you can delegate as PD; look for times you can combine one job with another.

The fact that you're already over-burdened does not relieve you of the responsibility of a) keeping your listener entertained and informed and b) setting the pace for the rest of your air staff.

1 comment:

John Michaels said...

I program 2 of our country stations & oversee our News/Talk & Sports/Talk stations & run lead on a very active morning show. My show prep usually starts at 5 in the afternoon & continues off & on til 10pm.(Then last minute audio & Prep starting at 4 the next morning) I like to check out & get ideas from audio posted from several morning shows on-line, Go through our facebook friends to see what they are talking about, I also get alot of ideas from my family(Wife & 3 daughters). Our morning show is very listener active so whatever the topic, from local to national, the listeners usually wind up being the stars....I have found out that after doing this for sooooo long it is more of a lifestyle then a job.