Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In CMA CloseUp: "Just Be Yourself"

Michaels: We’ve been doing a team show for 20 years. We’ve been married for 17 of those. So it’s really easy for us to know what the other one is thinking and read each other really well.

We try not to have any secrets … well, maybe some secrets. We try not to hold back from our listeners and just let them have our day-to-day life. Surprisingly, we learned many years ago, our life parallels theirs. So it’s just being real and living in the real world. It’s reality radio.

Pierce: It is so easy to go in over-prepped every day. I go in with enough stuff to do six shows every day. you’ve got to be ready to throw it all out and do something better if it comes up and is in the moment. I’m doing a break at 6:10 in the morning that I can’t do at 8:10. It wouldn’t work at 9 and it wouldn’t work at 7.

If you’re riding that crest of the moment, right here, right now, it’s a lot easier to connect with people. That means coming in with fantastic material that you might sit on for two weeks.

Pierce: Radio people need to drive the car. The radio station is the car. It’s so easy for us to put that sucker in auto and walk away. But I can do any segue, drop or anything better manually than a computer, every time. you can’t put your finger on it, but why does this guy sound better than that guy? Because he’s driving the car.

Michaels: We get a lot of artist (interviews), but we don’t do them all. We’re selective. Sometimes we pass them down to the midday show. We’re on morning drive, so it’s tough to fit in interviewing someone. And we never do live. I did live once — bad idea. Don’t do it. Sometimes you have to work to get them where you need them to be if they’re not in the live frame of mind. Schedule artist interviews in the 9 o’clock hour and play them the next day.

Pierce: The biggest thing we’ve done is a Christmas in a Box program. It started quite organically. Kellie went on the radio quite innocently 10 years ago, with something as simple as, “Boy, wouldn’t it be great if we could get some boxes and send them to the troops overseas?”

We literally mentioned it on the air one time and the phone rang. The caller said, “Can I bring some things by the radio station?” We said, “Well, sure. We’ll put them in a box, we’ll pay and send ‘em over.” A half-hour later, we told that story. People heard it, one thing led to another and — this is no exaggeration — four breaks on the radio filled a bedroom in my house.

- Kellie Michaels and Brian Pierce of “Mornings with Brian and Kellie,” KFDI, Wichita (Medium Market Broadcast Personality of the Year) to Brad Schmitt with insights from the CMA Broadcast Award winners on what it takes to score a national award

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