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Beth Bacall
WAWZ New York Star 99.1

Connect The Dots

 

 

 

 

                                

 

 My friend Anthony is a cast member in the Broadway production of Wicked. When he gave me a backstage tour I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing and loving every minute, while trying hard not to be overly geeky by taking too many pictures. This must be how listeners feel when they get a tour of our radio station. Maybe it's not on the same scale as a Broadway production but it's still not the norm and definitely cool.

It's important we continue to remember how we connect the dots with and for our listeners, and to continually embrace how popular the radio medium is.
Let me tell you about Kate, a 45 year old artist married to Greg, a Physics Professor at Princeton (yes, you can literally see the cogs turn inside this guys head). They have one spoiled dog, no kids.

Two years ago, Kate was a listener who heard me mention my open-heart surgery story on the air, thanks to Star 99.1's on air involvement with the American Heart Association’s "Go Red for Women" campaign. This community outreach has brought many women with heart issues my way to encourage and pray for. Seriously, Heart Disease is the number one killer among women, it’s a “dot connector.”

Kate actively sought me out because she too was going to have this surgery. Long story short, I had the privilege of supporting Kate through this most challenging process on and off the air. Musically, The Newsboys were "her group", as their ministry touched her deeply. She and her husband bought tickets to numerous shows, and to celebrate their birthdays they attended the Revelation Generation Festival, complete with passes to an exclusive talkback with Peter Furler.

Kate is a fan, not just of Peter and the radio station, but of God and all things that connect her to him. When I called Kate to tell her Peter Furler was coming to the station to pump his new solo CD with “Johnny Stone in the Morning” she exclaimed, "I'm getting heart palpitations!"

She was graciously allowed to hang in the studio during the interview. Really, talk about a kid in a candy store (or me at a coffee bar), this was "it" for her, and it was really refreshing to see her response to the station, the studio, the live broadcast, the artists, the morning show and the music. This was similar to my feelings when I saw where Elphaba sing “Defining Gravity” along with Glenda's bubble contraption at The Gershwin Theater.

I'm not telling you to go out and personally befriend all your listeners; what I'm asking is that you check your on-air perspective. Ask yourself: am I doing all I can to make the air sound excellent, or am I just "getting it all done?" Start counting how many dots you are connecting.

Most stations have people wearing so many hats you can’t fit all their job titles on one line of a business card. Because of this, the on air product tends to take a hit as the voice tracking option gets chosen over doing a live show. This happens more often than naught because that same air talent is also the music director/promotion assistant and needs to run logs and get to an event, or because the PD/Morning man has three meetings that day. Our on air product should not suffer, in fact it should be given more attention, not looked upon with the "option to voice-track" because another duty takes precedence. There is a time and a place for voice-tracking but not when the ability or expectation to be live is available.Personality radio is what it’s all about,what stands out and what works. Regular air checking and taking time to really listen to your station is critical to connecting the dots, to staying relevant and in sync.

Okay, I'm getting off my soap box; I'll push it over to my friend in Wicked where he'll use it in the third act when he plays Bog, an unusually tall Munchkin.

  

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Beth Bacall Is an air personality at WAWZ New York Start 99.1. Reach her at bethbacall@aol.com