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Brian Wright
Audience Development Group

Great Radio Talent




One trait that is common among great radio talent is their ability to listen like a listener. Radio professionals tend to think from the inside out, concentrating on what we're broadcasting instead of what the listeners are hearing.  We're so close to what we're doing that sometimes we miss listenerís thought process.


Rarely will you ever hear a listener talk about the cool segways a station does, the fact that their favorite station plays an "A" at the top of the hour, that the music director can beat synchronize every night show, and so on.  Listeners don't see or consciously care about the details that we concentrate on. If you're listening like a listener, here are two statements you're likely to make about your favorite station:


1.  "They play my favorite music." Your listeners want to hear their favorite music...what they like and expect to hear on your station. This puts you in an unusual position, because it probably means you need to be playing fewer songs than you are.  Unless you have the misfortune of playing music for a handful of listeners (radio term-small cume) you'll need to focus on the consensus songs, the ones that the majority of your listeners like.  In an increasingly fragmented market that means there will be fewer songs that appeal to the majority of listeners.  Anything else is just "filler music." Remember, filler is a killer.


2.  "They talk to me about things I'm interested in".  It's called relevance.  All listeners have the same favorite station and itís called WII-FM, or What's In It For Me.  Listeners are human, and they want to be catered to, and have their attitudes, interests, and opinions reflected in their favorite radio stations.  Because life is so much more complicated, listeners want information that is useful or entertaining to them.  The fact that you got to go back stage and talk to a famous artist may be "interesting" but is it relevant, useful, or even entertaining for the listener?


When you listen like a listener to your station do you have a strong sense the entire station is pointed at you and talking to you?  Or do you hear lots of talk about things you're not interested in?  Can your air staff describe the interests and opinions of your specific seven-year core target? Do you hear other listeners like you on the air talking about the benefits of the station? Do you hear lots of audience interaction making the listener the focus of attention?


In todayís radio world your station needs to be about THEM not YOU.


Brian is a 30 year radio veteran who has successfully served many companies over the years as Program Director, Operations Manger and VP of programming. After many years of success working for individual radio stations and clusters, Brian Joined one of the most trusted consulting firms in the country, Audience Development Group. For the last 15 years Wright has enjoyed building alliances with scores of stations in the US & Canada helping them grow in ratings and revenue. Contact Brian at


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