How to ignite your passion on the radio by Steve Kowch



Steve Kowch

September 19th, 2014

To be successful on the radio, you need three things to chase your dream:

Passion | Be a compelling story teller | Have an entertaining personality

These three things and a great voice may get you in the door to the radio station. But you have to work hard and have a positive attitude to advance your career and boost your ratings.

It is so important to have passion because it makes you an exciting personality on the radio. When you’re a compelling story teller, you captivate an audience who will continue to listen and that will boost your ratings.

These three things will make you a star. It doesn’t matter what format – music or talk. A study about how listeners bond with radio hosts conducted by The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism shows listeners relate to announcers because of what they talk about on air. Not just because of the music they play on their shows.


Finally a study that backs up what I’ve been saying for years. Give music deejays a voice between songs on the radio!

It is interesting how in the United States, programmers are starting to believe music radio has to be more than an iPod. That’s it’s time to give deejays more time to speak between songs. Time for radio to bring back personality music radio. And how do they intend to do this? Well a headline in the American music radio trade publicationRadioInfo reads: Taking a Page from the book of Talk Radio.

More Music Less Talk formats created a generation of DJs who rarely standout between songs Duane Doobie, Editor of RadioInfo

“As many RadioInfo readers know, this publication’s sister trade is TALKERS magazine – journal that covers the talk radio and spoken word side of the media. Even though my role at this operation is on the music end of things, I can’t help but notice (across the hall) the sheer vibrancy of broadcast talent in the news/talk and sports talk radio arena … especially when compared to the voice tracked/liner card-reading facelessness and plasticity of so many of the voices barely holding together the elements on the air in the world of today’s music radio. Future of music radio may be in taking a page from the book of talk radio to teach deejays a new delivery and presentation style between songs.”

Doobie, like me, is a passionate advocate of bringing the disc jockey back as a major component of music radio to compete against emerging digital competition, satellite radio and online music channels. I have been on the record for a long time saying the more music less talk formats are not the way to go to compete against the iPod, Pandora in the States, satellite radio and internet music stations.

More Music Less Talk formats created a generation of DJs who rarely standout between songs

Doobie says it has become obvious that “music radio – through the use of confident, knowledgeable and aggressive personalities – must reclaim the ownership of the music scene it had back in the days when the synergy between music and radio broadcasting was so powerful.”

The question Doobie is asking in the article is how?

“What should the deejay of this new era sound like? Obviously we cannot go back to the days of screamers, pukers, cartoon characters and stoners that constituted the stereotypical model of the disc jockey of old (it worked very well then, but probably not today). The answer is obvious: we should look at successful examples of talk radio for the delivery and presentation style of the deejay for the potentially emerging modern era.”

“Talk radio with music – disciplined and carefully executed – might just be what the doctor ordered.”  Duane Doobie, editor of RadioInfo

I believe, that while the radio industry might be thinking about giving hosts more of a voice between the songs, this is still something music jocks will have to fight for in this era of more music and less talk. The only way to win this battle is to prove to your Program Director, Operations Manager and General Manager that you have what it takes to be given the chance. That you have the passion, and talent to be a compelling story teller. That you’re the entertaining personality they’re looking for to have more air time on the radio between songs..

At kowchmedia, we have been advocating a return to allowing on air hosts to have more time to speak between the songs. Not just in the morning show or afternoon drive. But every time the music stops, the DJ needs to be a star. They need to have a voice.

It’s time to put personality back into music radio!

But before that can be done, music radio has to make sure they have the right people in studio who can do the talking. The problem is music radio management has beaten the talk out of music radio hosts. Telling them to shut up and just play the music. Just read the liners, back sell the songs and promote the latest station giveaway by reading a written promo.

The emerging music radio talent doesn’t have the experience to be compelling on air between songs. When I taught talk radio at Seneca College in Toronto, 90 per cent of the students didn’t want to do talk radio. They wanted to be music deejays. But they quickly realized that learning how to do talk radio would help them in their music radio career.

They learned that it’s not how long you have to speak on the radio. It’s what you do with the time you have on air.

We do the same thing at kowchmedia by helping deejays find their voice and have something to say of interest to bond with the listeners while at the same time, not get in the way of the music. Call us today at 647 521-6397 or emailst***@ko********.com"> st***@ko********.com to set up a free consultation on how to advance your career and boost your ratings by having more time to talk on the radio between songs.





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