“I’ve got a book now, I’ve got a twitter account. I’ve got a radio show. I’ve got podcasts. I do a TV show on Sunday.”
“I realize at this point and time in 2013 I’m not going to be your only source of information, I just want to be one of them. And so I’ve got to give you as many opportunities to find me as I can. We live in a multi-layered world of media. So, I’ve got to be on Facebook and twitter and radio and podcasts and TV and at different times of the day; morning-drive and afternoon. People are busy. My job is to find other avenues to connect with the public. And that’s what the book is and that’s what my Sunday morning show is.”
“I think, more than ever, now it is important — even Rush Limbaugh just came out with one (a book.) I mean Rush is making so much money it doesn’t matter, but he has the tea brand and the book. I look at twitter and I post a couple times a day. If I can get you to think about me once-a-day, when I’m off the air, that’s not a bad thing. I’ve got a book now, you’ll think about me during the holidays.”
So how does a guy like Colin have time to do it all?
“It seems like I put in these infinite, bizarre hours, but no more than an attorney, a doctor, or an executive. I’m very time efficient with things I do. I come in and grind my radio show and then I have time for a good 90 minutes a day to talk to radio stations and talk to advertisers. I think we all have time in our day; you just have to be more efficient.”
50 years ago today the news of JFK’s assassination spread throughout the world by young radio reporters covering a once-in-a-life-time event. What they didn’t know is the impact covering that story would have for the rest of their lives. Asked to retell what they did, how they felt, what they knew and when they knew it each November 22 for the next five decades.
Gary Delaune is one of those guys. He was a 30-year-old anchor preparing for the one o’clock news at KLIF in Dallas with plans to rush out to see the President’s speech immediately after.
“I was in the studio by myself at the time. I had just done the Noon news. That’s when I got a phone tip asking me what I knew about the shots being fired at the motorcade and both Kennedy and Connelly being hit.”
Delaune was a guest on the Radio Stuff podcast.
“I signaled the DJ and at about 12:36:55 during a song called the Chiffon’s “I Have a Boyfriend,” 1:38 deep into the 45 r.p.m., the old-style record, we broke in and had the bulletin and of course at that point on it was almost incessant.”
Now, 80-years-old, Delaune remembers every detail, every character, everything except Saturday. He reported all day long, but doesn’t remember doing any of it. Sunday, was different. He was witness to the Lee Harvey Oswald perp walk and assassination by Jack Ruby.
“He was on one side of the cameraman and I was on the other with Bob Baxley, the Pulitzer Prize winning photographer. As Oswald came out Jack took a step and a half from the crowd of newsmen and pumped him full right into Oswald’s gut.”
Jack was no stranger to Dulaune and was even hanging around the day of JFK’s shooting.
“Jack Ruby was at the Dallas Morning News and he serpentined his way through the streets and got to KLIF. He was a groupie. You know, one of those guys who is a hanger on. He wanted to be somebody and hung around KLIF and radio stations. And he started answering the phone, ‘Jack Ruby, KLIF News’ – anything he could.”
Delaune’s full account and complete retrospective of radio’s role in covering the events that weekend are explored in this week’s Radio Stuff podcast.
There have been so many great radio conferences this year focusing on the future of our industry; Dash, Hivio and NextRadio to name a few. (Both Hivio and NextRadio have free videos of sessions to watch and share if interested.) The future – the idea of what’s next? and what’s to come? – is a fascinating topic to me. Which is why a speech by Oscar winner Kevin Spacey at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival caught my eye and ear. Use your imagination and watch this speech replacing references to television with radio.
“Kids aren’t growing up that TV (radio) is the aspirational place to be.”
“Culture is not a luxury item, it’s a necessity”
(consumers want) “…a multi-layer story with complex characters that plays out over the course of time.”
“The audience wants the control. The freedom. They want to binge.”
“Give people what they want, when they want it, how they want it, at a reasonable price.”
We all want the same things…“Quality, artistic freedom, to be innovative, to make money.”
“Challenge: Can we create an environment where executives are emboldened and empowered to support the creative.”
“We need to surprise. Break boundaries. Take viewers to new places.”
“Put talent at the center of everything we do.”
“Patience. A much overlooked quality.”
“Shows should be treated as assets and protected.”
“It requires guts to stick with a show when the numbers don’t come.”
“The more we try things the more we learn. The more doors open creativity and business wise”
“Myth: Nobody knows anything…that making good programming is just a crap shoot. Frankly, that’s just Bullshit! We do know how this works. And it’s always been about empowering artists. It’s always been about total abandon. The only thing we don’t know is why it’s so hard to find the executives with the fortitude, the wisdom and the balls to do it.”
98.5 The Sports Hub hosts Toucher and Rich interviewed Rick Pitino today. Listen.
It was a brief but memorable conversation.
Toucher: We are joined by Rick Pitino, former coach of the Celtics, current coach of the Louisville Cardinals who won the national championship. Rick Pitino, hello!
Pitino: Morning, guys.
Toucher: You stink. You ruined the Celtics.
Toucher then hung up
Here’s the deal. Yes, it went super viral. Yes, they’re getting a lot of attention. Yes, ratings may even go up. But that doesn’t mean YOU should start insulting and hanging up on guests.
- The first show to do it gets the attention. The second show to do this will be seen as wannabe-jerks… or not seen at all, because no one will care that it happened again.
- There are very few sports radio stations that have brands to support such on-air antics; The Hub, The Ticket in Dallas, who else?
- It’s not a great way to build relationships in the business (and this business is about relationships and access) and chances are Toucher and Rich will find some guests they want to interview who are Pitino sympathizers who refused to join them. I’m sure they don’t care. But, that’s their brand, their show, their swagger.
The lesson here is be yourself, be passionate, spontaneous, unpredictable, unique and compelling. Create moments on your show that resonate with your fans.
During my career, I’ve anchored local and network news and sports reports, coached and managed dozens of anchors and worked with really smart people who shared great advice along the way. Recently, going through my notes for a client, I came across seven tips that you might find helpful whether your writing and deliver sports or news updates.
1. What’s New
Provide up to the minute information that is relevant to the core audience. Reports should help highlight for listeners things that will impact their life (or their team, their city, their neighbors, etc.) The news should be credible, honest, dependable, and factual.
The cast is about the news of the moment: What is happening right now? What is trending? What are people are talking about? And what have you learned that is new and relevant?
2. Be Local
Yes, this can be about your local area, but it is less today about location or reporting on events in the neighborhood and more about finding stories that resonate with listeners in their hearts and minds. Look at life and news through the eyes of listeners — process it and present it in a personal way.
Casts should be brief and succinct.
Updates should be written and delivered with a sense of immediacy.
Help listeners connect the dots. Provide context, perspective, and a sense of understanding.
Casts are not the same as the headlines on the TV news tickers, casts are what’s going on behind the headlines on the ticker.
5. Tell a Story
Storytelling is the #1 thing that resonates with listeners.
Instead of unloading a bag of facts during a report, specifically choose facts and details that help tell the story in a compelling, unique way.
Explore interesting people, issues, trends and changes. Pique my curiosity about my world, my city, and my neighborhood. The news should keep my juices flowing.
Be the entry point to broader discussions about the human condition and moral/ethical dilemmas. Reporters can help set up, explore, investigate, or add context and perspective to these stories during talk shows.
6. Use Audio
Let audio advance the story
Do not parrot the audio with your script
All audio should enhance not detract from your cast.
7. Write, Re-Write, Edit
Writing news is a process. Continually write, re-write and edit your scripts. Keep them up to the moment.
Look for new angles, new phrases, new words to capture the essence of each story.
Be real. Using news-speak to gloss over facts, issues, or to present ideas is the hallmark of mediocrity. Read your script aloud, edit what doesn’t come out naturally.
“Whew! What a party.” - what nobody said after International Radio Day on August 20th.
Yep, you missed it. No worries, seemingly everyone did.
There was barely a blink of a mention on twitter, except relief from one host who made it through another day without being pink-slipped.
Well, they didn’t fire me so that’s good enough for me! RT @Airchecker: What did your station do for “International Radio Day?”
— Jennifer Thomson (@jtradiogal) August 20, 2013
Others were more blunt.
— Wes and The Goat (@wesandgoat) August 20, 2013
And then there was the vitriol.
Today is international radio day… Fuck the radio. Don’t wanna hear all dem damn commercials 😒
— Numinous Enterprises (@ohmanitsdinh) August 20, 2013
So, International Radio Day comes and goes. Again. I didn’t do anything either. But it does seem like a wasted opportunity. A little like being sooo busy saving the true meaning of Christmas that December 25th comes and goes and you don’t notice.
I’m not sure what the answer is, but it seems to me that if there’s already a day carved in the calendars radio ought to do something with it. In fact, there are two days; World Radio Day is in February.
Maybe we can pick a spot to set up a 10×10 tent or have the world spin a wheel.