Posts Tagged ‘LarryGifford’


February 25, 2015 1 comment

elvis-duran1Elvis Duran, one of America’s most popular radio personalities, is a headliner at this year’s Radiodays Europe in Milan, Italy (March 15-17, 2015). Duran will take the stage and pull back the curtain on the Z-100 Morning Show which is based in New York and heard in 70 markets across the country.

Duran is excited for the opportunity, “I’m honored to be participating in this event. This is a great chance to show how connected we all are through the power of radio.”

Joining him on stage is the Vice President of Talent Development for iHeartMedia, Dennis Clark. Dennis’ role is to nurture the best and most talented radio people in the industry and he works directly with key radio personalities, such as Duran and Ryan Seacrest. They’ll discuss how to create a show that consistently delivers huge audiences, and will reveal the ingredients that makes Elvis Duran the most listened to Top 40 Morning Show in the states.


In a much lower-profile billing, I will be a workshop leader on Sunday (“Fast & Furious”) and co-presenting a session on Tuesday (“30 Ideas in 45 Minutes”). In addition, I be blogging here and on, filing exclusive reporters for, recording the Radio Stuff podcast in Milan, tweeting whenever possible @giffordtweet, @theradiostuff and facebooking on the Larry Gifford Media page.

RELATED: Radiodays Europe founder and manager Rolf Brandrud featured on the Radio Stuff Podcast


I’m excited that the U.S. radio industry will be well represented this year’s. Here are just some of the other notable U.S. presenters and workshop leaders making the pilgrimage to Milan March 15-17.

  • Anna Sale, producer at WNYC, is leading a session on “Death, Sex and Money; How to Start and Succeed with Podcasting.”
  • David G. Hall, media strategist, is presenting a session titled, “Five Simple Tools to Make Your Show Better.”
  • John Vorhaus, creative consultant, is leading a workshop on “Your Radio Brand” and presenting a session on “How to be Funny When You’re Not.”
  • Steve Jones, music industry veteran, is hosting the session, “Be Like a Rock Star!”
  • Larry Rosin, Edison Research, is diving deep into the “Stream Battle.”
  • Marty Garrison, VP Technology for NPR, is co-presenting “What if Technology Was Your Best Friend After All.”
  • Joel Sucherman, Sr. Dir. Digital Developments for NPR, will discuss “Mobile Apps; More Than Just Live Radio.”
  • Dennis Clark, VP Talent Development for iHeartMedia, is presenting a session on “Making Radio Personalities Relevant in 2015.”
  • Warren Kurtzman, President & COO of Coleman Insights, is discussing, “Aristotelian Dramaturgy – How to Create Compelling Personality-Driven Content.”
  • Bryce Clemmer, CEO of Vadio, is co-presenting a session on “Radio Worth Watching.”
  • Rob Green, VP of Streaming for WideOrbit, is presenting “From Linear to Digital.”

The complete list of sessions and speakers and ticket information for Radiodays Europe is available at
Radiodays Europe

Launched in 2010, Radiodays Europe is the largest and most important international radio conference in the world. It is also considered to be the best with high quality content, great speakers and a huge program with over 100 speakers in 55 sessions over 2½ days. In 2014, it attracted 1300 delegates from over 60 countries.

Ask Larry! Episode 14

November 10, 2014 2 comments

Larry Gifford answers three questions about radio: What do you listen for on an air check? How perfect should a pre recorded show be? How do I become the next “Colin Cowherd?”

Radio Odds and Ends

November 5, 2014 2 comments

I drove a total of about 10 hours yesterday to catch up with radio friends and listen to the radio. It also gives you time to think, come up with new ideas and dream a bit. I have a renewed focus and a more positive attitude starting my day today. Here are some things I heard, saw and thought that may be of interest to you.


I heard a bunch of a election coverage. There was no greater test for my brain than flipping between NPR and Fox News Radio coverage of the midterm elections; different tone, different language, different storylines. Both were biased. Both served their audiences. Neither was misleading.

Non-stop election coverage is rewarding for anchors and reporters, but hard work. I heard national anchors and local reporters all lose their thoughts, get choked up by dry mouth, and fumble through names and issues they weren’t prepped to discuss. You can’t over prepare for a night like this.

I didn’t hear anyone fumble and most of the coverage was informative and timely with the right level of excitement and urgency.


I saw this on the 405-South heading out of Los Angeles. I had to turn around and drive by again to snap this photo going 60 miles an hour (not recommended).


TAKEAWAY: I think KFI is threatening me.

Two points here. It’s hard to be funny and I think they’re trying to be funny. Humor is tough and extremely subjective. Use it with caution. Secondly, how is “stay connected” any different of a benefit from most other radio stations? Keeping listeners connected (to news, community, music, etc.) is really the goal of most stations regardless of format. It doesn’t provide a differentiation point


“Best advice (I’ve received) is to go through life with an “F— it!” attitude. Nothing is as bad as you think it is at the time. You can survive practically anything. And the best way get through things is to realize that it’s all going  to pass.”  – Perry Michael Simon,, on the Hermosa Beach Pier Plaza.


A note to the country morning show host who opens each break with the double time check (11 minutes after 7, 7-11 on your home for…) stop it. The 80’s called and it want’s the analog time check back please. Stick with the digital read out. It’s shorter, simpler, and easier to understand. Rule of thumb: never have listeners do math in their head when you’re just trying to tell them the time.


“The Mayor joins us next to talk about the election” is a programming note not a tease. Find a way to make me want to listen. Instead of WHO you’re going to have on think of the WHY you WANT him on and WHAT he’s going to provide that’s worth sticking around for.


“There are some really good 40 second ads out there (in Los Angeles) that have been padded into a minute. If you could sell ads in multiples of :10 instead of :30s or :60s could the creative be rather better than it currently is? Because the creative of some of the ads I was hearing was not quite as high as I was hoping it would be.” – Radio Futurologist James Cridland on the shores of Laguna Beach


Bring a gift. I feel both special and inadequate meeting with James Cridland. He arrived with a thoughtful gift for me and all I brought was a camera so we could take our picture together. His was more useful to me than mine to him. 🙂

bookJames Cridland and Larry Gifford

Ask Larry! Episode 12

This week, Larry Gifford answers three questions about radio; When I’m interviewing a guest YOU say I switch roles from outputter to inputter, but I’m still the host right? Why isn’t talk radio more commercially viable in UK? and what’s the rule of thumb for length of interviews on a demo?

Lead, Inspire, Empower, Motivate

March 12, 2012 1 comment

ImageI had the pleasure of attending the a leadership conference last week. It’s especially cool to know that people are still encouraging radio to take risks, think big, and change the world. I know sometimes bosses go off-site to these conferences and you never hear what they did or learned. So, I would like to share a few ideas, quotes and inspirations that I took away from the day.

The following are notes I jotted down during a series of presentations. Regardless of your position, you can incorporate some or all of the concepts below to make a positive impact.

 Ask more interesting questions. Ask what hasn’t been asked before in order to get different answers. 

This is  a simple concept that applies to everyone. Whether you are trying to develop a story, find an angle to explore, solve a work efficiency issue, or having trouble working with a colleague – asking a more interesting question about whatever is in front of you will lead to a more interesting answer. This reminds me of a line from motivational speaker Tim Sanders, “Stop asking how people are doing and start asking what they are excited about.” Same concept; ask a different question, get a different answer.

 We need more crazy, off-the-wall, ridiculous ideas. Inspired from the Albert Einstein quote, “If at first an idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.”

Wild ideas lead to interesting conversations about “what’s possible” and “What if…” This doesn’t mean you starting acting crazy, off-the-wall and ridiculous. Use your IDEAS as a launching pad to obtain more creative results on and off the air.

This reminds of what it must have been like for the first man to suggest and then eat a raw oyster. I can only imagine there wasn’t an overwhelming reaction of support and congratulations. But, depending on your tastes, it turned into a pretty good idea.

 Get out of your comfort zone. We need more interesting people in our lives. Expose yourself to new people and new experiences to challenge yourself and expand your reference points. Stop thinking so narrowly about the things you think about.

We all have our routines, favorite spots, people we interact with on a regular basis. Make a point to go new places, talk to new people and change your regular way of doing things. Collaborate with someone new.

 Take Risks. Be prepared to fail. Learn from mistakes. Focus on what needs to be better. Commit to perfection.

Risk-taking is not easy, but the key is to learn from failures, adjust, improve, and try again. Thomas Edison experimented thousands of times before perfecting the light bulb and is known for saying, “we know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb.”  

No one wins by working twice as hard. You win by fractions, inches, and moments. If you work 15 minutes extra per day on developing a skill… that’s 91 hours over the course of a year.

It’s the little things and small changes that can make all the difference. For you, this can apply to clock management, spending an extra five minutes reading the whole article to make sure you extract all the dazzling details, or spending a couple extra minutes with a listener or client when you’d rather be somewhere else.

We need more innovation. Stop watching the other guy. Stop playing catch up. New doesn’t have to mean revolutionary.

Innovation can come from you. Start innovating by asking, “I wonder if ____ is possible?” There are enough smart people in our business that if we all start trying to answer new, different and big questions innovation will be inevitable.


The Local Radio Remote – A Hot (Sauce) Mess

March 14, 2011 4 comments

See hot sauce spillage on the ground near the table.

I was at Jiffy Lube with my son over the weekend getting an oil change. It just happened to be the day 104.3 MY FM was doing a station appearance. The “appearance” was a 10×10 tent, a back drop, a bannered table and two chairs from the lobby. There was no other signage in or around the Jiffy Lube. The tent was set up away from the flow of customer traffic, so to see what was going on you had to wander outside and around the side of the building.

I took this picture after the station representative (assuming promotions assistant) came racing into the lobby, captured the eye of a Jiffy  Lube worker and said, “one of your customers just spilled hot sauce all over the place including me.” And then he disappeared into the bathroom for ten minutes.

The whole time I was there the guy from MY FM never appeared again, he never offered a bumper sticker, invited anyone outside for any reason (do you have games, giveaways or something?), and never explained to the customers what MY FM is by offering a handout, coupon or anything. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Here are some things to think about before your station’s next outing….

Look at your station remote / appearance set up. Is that how you want fans and potential listeners to see you? What would you / could you change to better reflect your brand?

What’s the payoff?  There should be four: one each for the station, the listener, the potential listener and the client? 

Be a star. Radio is show business. No matter what happens on a remote or appearance, remain calm and smile. No matter your role in the radio station, if you are the guy behind the card board table, you are the star of the show and the show must go on.

Client customers = potential listeners. Treat them as if your ratings depend on them. This is an opportunity to make your case to listen to your station to live bodies. What’s your elevator pitch?

Keep the remote / appearance area clean. Hide the equipment and supplies as best you can. Your area is a stage and no one wants to see the prop box.

 Have fun, be engaged, and be engaging. When I pulled up the MY FM guy was lounging in his chair reading the paper, while customers were sitting inside the lounge directly behind the wall his back was against.

The Secret Ingredient to Tasty Talk Radio

If you were a baker that sold cake, would you put a sign on your door that just said, “We sell cake!?” Probably not. You may have 57 varieties of cake, all made with personal touches that you, as the baker, have included. The cakes are a reflection of you, your experiences, your tastes, your lifestyle, and your creativity. You will also consider your consumer and potential consumer – your cake evangelists – the people who you want to buy your cakes and tell your friends about it. So you put a sign up, “Gluten-free, fat-free cheese cake” or “Grandma’s secret recipe Spice Cake.” Both tell a story much different than just “cake.” So, I wonder why so many talk hosts are busy selling “cake?”

Here’s the deal. No one is going to become an evangelist or super-fan of your show because of the topics you choose, but they will tell friends about your show based on your treatment those topics. 

People who listen to spoken word radio want to be entertained, informed, challenged, educated, and offered insight and perspective. Your job as a host is to make them think about a story or issue differently, even if it’s just for a second.

Too often I hear hosts yammering on about the big story of the day, because it’s the big story of the day. They hit all the hot buttons, they’ve read the stories, and they describe it well enough. But they don’t take the listener anywhere unique. There is no payoff. They are just filling time. It’s as if the host is saying, “Well, there’s that story. What do you think?” Instead of, “Here’s this story and here’s what I think.” In the cake analogy it would be like going to a bakery and the baker saying, “Here are the eggs, flour, baking soda and chocolate. Build your own cake.”

As the host, your perspective of the topic is more important than the topic itself. When your fans wake up in the morning they already know, for the most part, what is happening in the World. What they really want to know is what you think of it, how you process it, how you perceive it, and why you believe it’s relatable and relevant.

Stop ‘hosting’ your show — unveiling topics like Bob Barker reveals a showcase showdown — and start being a personality. Drive your show with your compelling stories, perspective, and opinions. “YOU” are the secret ingredient that makes your show worth listening to and talking about.