Tried and True

We broadcasters drive our family members crazy by constantly scanning the car radio or surfing at home, listening to find out who is doing what and how they sound.  With the wonders of the web, we’re able to listen to quality audio from stations hundreds or thousands of miles away.  A DXer’s dream!

When you listen to many stations at a time the bottom line question is “what is it that makes a station rise above and avoid a predictable ho-hum sound?”  Sometimes it’s the tried and true basics that make a station shine.  Consider what I enjoyed recently on a non-comm Christian music station:

The host was focused, knowledgeable and prepared.  When the mic came on, he knew where he was going.  But at the same time, his presentation was comfortable and relaxed.  There was a smile in his voice.  He was glad to be there and sounded like he was talking to a friend right there in the studio.  And he wasn’t trying to impress.

The content between songs was relevant to the music – with a bit of info about where the artist that just played is doing a concert in the area.  Then, in front of the next song, some background  about the artist’s reason for writing it.  This announcer knew his audience and their level of interest in the music.  All under 40 seconds, including station i.d.

The station’s mission was evident.  The next break included the host briefly and convincingly affirming the message of the song, which was on the topic of redemption.  He didn’t talk down to his audience, but simply shared that it is only Christ who holds the power to save – and that had been his personal experience.  Again, stated in only a few seconds and with a tone of reverence.

The pacing was progressive but not anxious.  Two songs and a segue later, the host briefly live promo’d a short feature coming up in a few minutes, telling the topic and how the program could make a difference in the listener’s day.  Then, a live read (that did not sound like it was being read) of an underwriting announcement, expressing appreciation for the support of a local business. Less than thirty seconds.

And so it went for the 40 minutes I was able to listen.  Delivery and execution were flawless, professional and natural.  In old radio terminology – this guy “ran a tight board.”  One negative – I never caught the announcer’s name and am not sure that he ever did say who he was.  That happens when the jock has been doing the same shift for a long time, as I suspect is the case here.  My sense is that the regular listener feels a kinship with this gentleman, as if he is a longtime friend.

Live, local, unique and engaging content communicated with authenticity – radio doesn’t get much better than that.