NY Radio Owes Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter’s final days as a Yankee boosted Sports Talk Ratings in New York. There’s not conclusive evidence in the article linked that it was entirely a Jeter phenomenon, but media aren’t allowed to post daily ratings and I suspect you can track the listening patterns directly to his farewell tour. Sure, no doubt NFL is helping these stations too.
But, taking the idea that Jeter’s final days drove ratings increases at face value; what are the lessons for radio here? That was the first question issued in Tuesday night’s sports radio twitter chat (#srchat). Refreshingly, there are many.
Play the hits. That was my first reaction along with @TimFisherOnAir. But there’s more to this than that.
— Tim Fisher (@TimFisherOnAir) October 29, 2014
Connecting with your community is paramount to success. Radio hosts must capture the passion, imagination, and conversation of the listeners and reflect it back to them. The “hit” is knowing WHAT to talk about, knowing HOW to talk about — the context — is what makes it resonate and stick with your listeners.
A1: Most will say it means "play the hits." That's not the lesson here. People like compelling stories. EVERYONE has a Jeter story. #srchat
— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) October 29, 2014
I agree with @bksportstalk that stories are powerful tools to drive listening especially when a community has a common or shared experience. Few hosts are telling great, compelling stories instead they just skip from fact to fact to fact leaving out the emotion, the details, and the arc of the story which are the most compelling parts.
A1: Personalities drive ratings… Jeter, ARod, Kobe, Tiger, Favre. Fans respond to conversation about people, not just teams #srchat
— Chadd Scott (@ChaddScott) October 29, 2014
@ChaddScott makes a great point here. Personalities drive ratings. Find the WHO in your stories and start from there. I used to work with a host who insisted all stories be pitched to him with this opening line, “There is this guy/gal who…” Stories about people are more engaging than stories about things. Stories about famous people provide a quick hook.
I’ll also add that the Derek Jeter story is one of legacy, celebration and at the very core; heroes and villains. Everybody enjoys a story about a hero or a villain. And Jeter filled both roles for New York baseball fans.
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