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John Frost

Stand in my place and ask “Why do I care?”





Yesterday was my brother’s birthday. It’s funny that no matter how old my brother and I get, not matter how often we see each other, or no matter how busy life gets I always remember how old my brother is.

It’s simple. He’s nine years older than me. I do the math.

Do you frame everything your station does from the perspective of what’s important to your listener? In essence, do we match up the station’s benefits with the listeners’ needs?

When I was 23 years old I was hired at my first BIG station. It was obvious that every air talent on that station was better than I was. Frankly, I began to question whether or not they had hired the wrong guy. When the ink on the deal was dry I asked the program director why he hired me. He said it was because of one break that I did on my audition tape. In what I considered to be a throwaway PSA I said that “you might want to write the number down on the dust on your dashboard”. My PD told me that if I, at my young age, was thinking while I was on the air about what the listener was doing at that moment, that I was someone who was ready to be taught the other stuff.

Recently I heard a radio station that positions itself as “local and independent”. I realize those terms may be a really big deal to the radio station management team who is competing with the big radio conglomerates across the street, but I have to really wonder whether a typical listener would possibly care about the radio station’s zip code or the name on the FCC license or whether they own and operate any other radio stations in town. My friend Mark Ramsey has said that listeners don’t care about where you are, they just care that you know where they are. But that’s a discussion for another time.

I often begin seminars with the words, “For people to see things in the same way, it is helpful for them to be standing in the same place looking in the same direction at the same thing.”

Recommended task: Listen to your station for one hour and evaluate whether the people on your station are talking about things from the perspective that will most resonate with your listeners.

And Happy Birthday, big brother!


John is a partner in Goodratings Strategic Services, and has been a successful major market disc jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Sandusky, Gannett, and Alliance during his 38 year broadcast career.  John joined Goodratings’ partner Alan Mason in 1999.