Monday, May 22, 2017

Episode #029

Life After Radio...(sorta)
Bobby Rich

Bobby Rich is the epitome of “AWARD-WINNING BROADCASTER”,
and in this episode, you’ll hear why!

He's been elected to the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame, named R&R AC Personality of the Year and honored locally as Best Of Tucson by The Weekly. His 94.9 Morning MIX named “Best Of The City” by Tucson Lifestyle magazine and "Best Local Radio Show" in Arizona Daily Star Readers Poll. Greater Tucson Leadership gave Bobby their "Community Leadership Award" and Tucson Advertising Federation chose him for the prestigious “Golden Mic Award". And his under his leadership,Mix 94-9 was named R&R’s Station of the Year.

Although Tucson has been home for over 25 years, Bobby is perhaps most highly regarded as the original creator of HOT AC, as PD of San Diego’s KFMB-FM/B-100. There he also herded the market-dominant and equally award-winning “Rich Brothers” morning show.

Proudly stating that radio was his first love, and will be his last love, he now is channeling that passion to his online station B100-dot-FM, "the station so bitchin’, it’s not even a dot-com, it's B100 dot-FM"!

He shares the ONE thing separating winning shows and stations from those that aren’t, and reveals secrets that have made ALL of his stations so successful. He also reveals his thoughts on where radio is headed next.

Show Prep #1

“The key is not the will to win, everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” Those words from legendary coach Bobby Knight are worth writing down, remembering and putting into daily practice.

A few show prep tips for programmers, the leaders that set the stage and tone for great performances.

Empathy is critical. Programmers must be able to understand their target audience, their talent, their boss and the competition.

Know what your target audience is talking, thinking, and concerned about. What’s captured their interest today? Establish systems to ensure your team gets this.

The great programmers agree, you need to support and encourage talent for them to win. To bring out their best, first show talent that you care. Do this by catching them doing something right and providing honest, positive feedback. Communicate with talent daily. Phone, email, text, one-on-one, the manner of contact is less important than the contact. Be responsive, show respect and appreciation.

Expectations need to be crystal clear. What do you expect to hear and see from your team? What are the standards? Are you certain they understand? Does everyone know what “par” is? That predetermined number of things that must happen in their air, social and digital work. Make it simple for team members to score themselves.

What’s the role of talent at your radio stations? You and your boss need to have a deep understanding of the part talent plays in your strategy. Lead with a “no surprises” philosophy. Keep your boss dialed-in to your plans and what’s happening on and off the air with each talent and team member.

What’s happening across the street? While your demo competitor(s) may not share your programming philosophy – they may even suck – it’s important you grasp what they are trying to do.

The single most important activity which deserves to be on your daily to-do list is listening and watching. Listen to your station, to your market, to your boss and especially to your talent. Watch what’s going on in social and digital. Listen, watch, reflect, decide, and take action.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Episode #028

Emmy Award Winner KEN LEVINE
Tips on Keeping the "SHOW" in Show Biz

Ken Levine holds the distinction of being the first (and perhaps ONLY) Emmy Award winner to be our guest.

He was a top on-air radio DJ using the air name "Beaver Cleaver" on some great heritage CHR stations in markets like San Diego and LA. With Ken's success, this moniker was later adopted by countless copycats.

Later, he moved to TV and Film, both as writer and director, advisor and director for top hits like M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frazier, Everybody Loves Raymond, the Simpsons, Dharma and Greg and many others. 

Then, he was able to fulfill a lifetime dream, doing play-by-play for Major League Baseball teams including the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres.  
He’s also written a number of laugh-out-loud boo

Just when we thought it was safe to go back to the radio, he returned to radio as co-host of KABC’s Dodger Talk radio ─ along with other Sports Talk shows.

Now, as an instructor at UCLA, Ken has a perspective on media today like few others ─ and hosts a hilarious new podcast, Hollywood and Levine

With Ken's wit and wisdom, you'll find this episode as entertaining as it is informative.

One-minute Martinizing

“To create suspense provide the audience with information,” so said the legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock. To illustrate, he often used this scenario. You show the audience a bomb, an explosive device, under a table. You then show them a couple seated at that table unaware of the bomb. Now the audience has information. They know the unknowing couple is in danger. What’s going to happen? Suspense is created.

The best Radio is performance art. In cases of live or real-time delivery, the challenge is to take advantage of the moment. It’s an opportunity to get the audience involved in the moment. To get the audience interested in what’s going on now and what’s going to happen next.

Steve Goldstein, the programming ace now a rising star in the podcasting space, has suggested a unique difference in podcasting and broadcasting from the listener point of view. In podcasting, or any on demand audio, tune in or listening happens from a beginning. Contrast this with broadcast which is linear and “joined in progress.” Steve’s suggestion is spot-on. Think about it.

Broadcasters need to be mindful of what’s happening on the listener side of the radio. You’re driving a bus, one which people are constantly getting on (and getting off). Give those on the bus reasons to stay on and make those getting on feel good about their choice. Give those getting off a reason to get on again. Provide the riders – your audience - with information which encourages interest, promotes engagement (continued listening).

The well-crafted tease is an excellent solution in promoting a critical element of great Radio - forward momentum. The best teases are arresting, they capture audience attention and interest. They involve the listener getting them to think “what’s going to happen next?”

Here’s the test. Would the tease get your attention? Would the tease keep you tuned in? “Coming up, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran” would likely fail that test. Write teases from this frame of mind. You are taking the audience behind the scenes and giving them the inside on what’s coming to your stage next. Engage their imagination. Tease.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Episode #027:
The NEWS on Today's Mediascape
NBC Radio's Crys Quimby

Crys Quinby is the highly regarded broadcast journalist, News Director and PD, who is currently National Director of Programming for NBC Radio News and the 24/7 News Service. She has also served as anchor for such market leading brands as Fox News Radio, CNN and rne of America’s consistently top-rated and top-billing stations 1010 WINS in New York. Notably, she was Program Director at sister station WCBS Newsradio after a successful run in Los Angeles programming CBS owned KFWB and anchoring on KNX.

Now that she works with HUNDREDS of stations, Crys shares advice for anyone seeking to advance their career, or just starting out in the industry. She outlines the that TRAITS are most valuable to radio teams today. In a rare glimpse into the hiring decision-making process, she reveals what makes one stand out candidate stand out, when faced with two seemingly equally qualified candidates. 

Crys offers a unique perspective on the industry, and shares some RARE observations and offers 'thee ONE WORD' of advice for anyone wanting to advance within a good operation.

One-minute Martinizing:


What separates the great performers and market leading stations from the average? It’s a short list of attributes which the winners have mastered. Among them is creating a strong sense of place, an ability to relate, connecting with local needs, interests and sensibilities.

The most successful shows and stations fit their market, play an active role in their community, and come to be known as a trusted source of what’s happening. The most successful shows and stations become a habit, a part of their listener’s daily life. Listeners are taught to feel if they didn’t listen today they missed something and they’re not in touch.

Radio’s real-time delivery sets the stage for being in the moment – it’s an opportunity created fresh every hour. The key is to make the show/station sound like your market in the moment. The A students are masters of target listener vocabulary, they ensure local vernacular is always dominant.

The first step is being preoccupied with what your target is talking about and getting into the conversation. Shows and stations at the top of their game lead the conversation, their targets are talking about them (what’s on the show/station).

Let me suggest something should happen on the air at least once every twenty minutes which clearly indicates a sense of place and a sensitivity to the moment

You can localize everything. WCCO weather guy Mike Lynch doesn’t just tell listeners the conditions in Anoka, Minnesota, instead he name drops a local landmark and says “Sunny and 76 degrees at Sparky’s CafĂ© in Anoka.”

Homework: What’s truly unique about your market? Discover the essence of your market. The objective is to reflect the local flavor and celebrate local differences.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Episode #026:
How Does My Station REALLY Stack Up?
Andrew Curran

President & COO, DMR Interactive

Okay, so you have a radio station. Beyond "on-air", where ELSE should you be engaging with current and potential listeners to get their attention TODAY? Smart broadcasters know their best advertisers by name, but what about their most valuable listeners?

In this episode, you’ll get the inside scoop on the POWER OF P1’s…and the best ways to earn their loyalty, from someone who has studied them like few others. Andrew Curran is President and COO of DMR/Interactive, who is also in demand as a frequent panelist and presenter at broadcast events, including CRS, RAIN, Morning Show Boot Camp and the WorldWide Radio Summit.

Andrew also shares practical ideas for how you can enhance listener engagement by using info you already have, to better understand WHO and WHERE your listeners are ─ and what REALLY interests them. All without breaking your budget!

His insights and experiences, tips and insights will help you understand how to WIN by working smarter, not harder - whether you’re in PPM, diary or even an unrated market.

Connect with Andrew:

One-minute Martinizing:
In your quest to build a great brand whether it be a show or a station here’s a question to ask often. Is every element now on the air pulling its weight, making a contribution which makes our sound unique, remarkable?

Every hour, we all have the same sixty minutes of canvas. The most successful audio packs a punch in each one of those minutes. Sometimes it’s what you don’t put on or take off the air that makes the most important difference in your sound. My suggestion is you should always under-program your show/station.

It’s easy to get into the trap of putting things on and forgetting to revisit the ongoing value of those things. Here’s an example from the day job. A popular morning show staged five benchmark features every weekday. Two of those had been on the air for over three years. All sounded relevant, contemporary and good brand fits. Our question was were they still working to enhance the brand? Was each the best use of minutes used?

We decided on a test. Without saying anything about it we dropped one of the longest running benchmarks.

The response? Three messages before the end of the show. 1 call, 1 text and 1 email. We ran the next two days without the benchmark. Total messages after three days? Five. We never brought it back or talked about it and used less clock time to stage a new benchmark in its place. We knew the new element was connecting when listeners sent us unsolicited positive messages about it and a client asked about sponsorship. Dare to delete!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Episode #25:
17 Survival Tips for 2017

There are some who say radio can be hell, but it’s a dry heat!

No question, the mediascape continues to evolve in ways foreign to many people. However, there are any number of clues as to ways in which things are likely to move, and importantly, ways in which YOU can prepare to success.

In this 15 minute episode, we’ve compiled some of the best CAREER ADVICE from top radio performers, managers, and media thought leaders to help you sharpen your career survival skills.

We’ve also created a cheat sheet of “17 Career Survival Tips”, inspired by these guests.

Insights from:

(Click "PREVIOUS EPISODES" link on lower right for their full episodes.)

One-minute Martinizing:
Hot Wash

Successful performance artists share a secret. They care enough about their craft, about their success, to carefully study each performance. The playbooks of great athletes, winning politicians and legendary broadcasters include a discipline and dedication to critical self-reviews. It’s an important part of the process of becoming and staying successful. The objective is to notice what’s working and what’s not. The goal is to make every performance great getting there one step at a time.

The military conducts what they call a hot wash or after-action evaluation immediately following a tactical or kinetic operation. It’s a formal review which produces a set of lessons learned. In the cases involving our military lives are saved, in broadcasting the hot wash can save and, more importantly, make careers.

Here’s the hard part. Listening to your show every day – no exceptions – is not fun. It’s a time suck and, after all, you were there, you’ve already heard it, right? No, not really. The concept is to put yourself on the listener side of the radio. You need to hear the entire performance. You should take notes on things you notice. What’s working? What’s not working? How does it feel? What could you change to make the show better?

In my experience, winners including Dave Letterman, NFL MVPs, and a bunch of very successful radio broadcasters, have all included a daily hot wash or after-action eval as part of their day. Give it a try for ninety days. You’re right, of course, that’s a big commitment but you’ll discover it produces big results. Go for greatness. Thank me later.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Episode 24:

Producing Better Radio
by producing radio BETTER


Radio's ONLY Hall of Fame Producer
The biggest challenge in presenting TOMMY SABLAN is where to start. Seems like his shows have been on top of the San Diego morning show heap forever ─ both on TV and radio. He’s perhaps most widely know as the ‘producer’s producer’ of the famous     Jeff & Jer Showgram in San Diego. There, his contributions to an uber-talented team have lead the ratings as the show has moved from station to station, time and again. Now, Jer has retired from radio and the show continues as Jeff and the Showgram, and Tommy reveals how he orchestrated the evolution without missing a beat! Tommy Sablan is the first-ever executive producer to be named to the National Radio Hall of Fame.

In this episode, Tommy shares ways ANY station or show can dominate in their market, larger or small. He also offers insights on doing the impossible: helping a show move from station to station, while GROWING the audience each time. He also has some interesting insights on this that have worked so well, the radio industry STOPPED doing them.



>>> Check the Jeff & the Showgram YOU TUBE channel:

>>> See Tommy working a Jeff & Jer Showgram event back in the day!


Expanded Play Interview:

One-minute Martinizing

You’ve Got Mail

One of the fun things about the day job is getting paid to be a student of advertising. Not a week goes by without learning something new or learning something again. The ongoing objective is discovering what seems to be working and what’s somehow failing to get it done. My preference is to keep a journal and make note of what’s happening, what’s interesting. As the cool kids at Field Notes say “I’m not writing it down to remember it later. I’m writing it down to remember it now.”

Before I offer a theory of the case, let’s agree we are in the business of changing behavior. Our intent is to get as many people listening as many times as possible for as long as possible at the lowest cost. We need to be included in what’s called “the evoked set”, that is, the choices which are top of mind when someone wants audio. Building an audio brand or franchise starts with getting into that evoked set and then growing share of ear to become the first preference of the set. Put simply, penetrate occasions then dominate those occasions.

The most cost effective marketing tool for this task? My suggestion is that nineties throwback – email. Email continues to be the dependable workhorse of smart marketers. From savvy single location Mom & Pop merchants to global enterprises, email gets the job done. To be effective it’s a careful mix of art and science. It starts with the opt-in list. Accomplished entrepreneur Seth Godin holds what is practically a daily clinic on using email to drive engagement. You begin granular. Target a specific audience, one with a particular interest. For music shows/stations it might be an artist now on tour or one with a hot upcoming release. It may be exclusive as a genre (e.g., metal). For spoken word stations it may be listeners interested in local politics or personal finances. What can you offer the audience in exchange for their opt-in? This is the first “ask” you must get right.

Mail Chimp and others offer cost effective solutions which will help you get your email marketing up and running. The key, as always, is ask for action to be taken. Provide the rationale, then, encourage to “click here to listen.” Drive tune-in!

P.S. Allow me to suggest you Google “theskimm” and check it out, subscribe to get a look at it. It’s a wonderful email based enterprise which targets women. These young entrepreneurs get it. They have a strong working knowledge of how email can produce amazing results. Is your morning or midday or afternoon or night talent offering a cool email like this? Why not? You've got mail too. Use it!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Episode 23:
VO Superstar Nick Michaels
The STORY behind great imaging!

Nick Michaels is a writer, narrator, and broadcaster whose voice has appeared on over a billion dollars of paid advertising for clients like Bristol-Myers, General Motors, Kellogg's, P&G, Gillette, Coca-Cola, and many others.

Nick can be heard on National Geographic Explorer episodes and many other TV projects. His writing, voice, and television commercials are helping to shape the image of some of the most influential stations and networks in the country including KSWD-FM in Los Angeles, WDRV-FM in Chicago, KCBS AM/FM in San Francisco and even CNN, among others.

Nick's syndicated radio program, 
The Deep End With Nick Michaels, can be heard across the country. 


Hear Nick's impact on writing and delivery, in helping unseat a longstanding heritage market leader!

One-minute Martinizing: 

Get Different

The mission at my day job is to help others change behavior. We believe …“All that matters is what’s coming out of the speakers and on the screens. Everything else is a footnote.” Nick Michaels delivered the goods in this episode. His take away – what’s important is what they’re hearing not what we’re saying – is spot-on. The magic happens, or not, on the listener side of the radio, in the listener’s mind. Nick’s success comes from a deep understanding of the true nature of great audio - it’s a performance art.

Writing on his blog, programming ace George Johns recently said “It’s time for radio to take the blinders off and get the hell out of the forest so they can breathe some fresh air. We need to start creating some new radio because I’ve heard all this stuff before. The radio industry needs to do something so compelling that it forces its listeners to tell their friends and co-workers all about it every day.” Right on the mark, as ever.

Nick and George share a passion for making exceptional audio, audio that strikes a responsive chord, audio which triggers an emotional response. Job 1 for radio is creating exceptional audio, doing the common uncommonly well and to a measureable effect. What are you doing on the air that “forces…(your) listeners to tell their friends and co-workers all about it”? Getting listeners to talk about you, your show, your radio station is one of those critical measureable effects. You’ll get into their conversations by first getting into their mind.

Let me suggest this – something that gets people talking will breakthrough because it’s fundamentally different, it’s something which captures attention and engages the imagination. The task at hand is putting the listener mind to work. Getting the listener involved in filling in the blank. My sense is this involves a focused effort to get different rather than continuing to invest precious time and resources in getting better. Get different!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Episode 022:

Paige Nienaber:
Promote THIS!

Radio's Evil Genius Speaks

If you look up Paige Nienabor in the Encyclopedia of Radio Promotions, you’ll see his picture. Largely because he WROTE that book among several others!

In this episode, Radio’s “Evil Genius” shares some of his favorite stunts and the results created.

After groundbreaking stints at stations in Portland, Minneapolis, Charlotte and San Francisco, for the past 20 years he’s been consulting stations around the world on Marketing and Promotions. His contests and campaigns that have made hundreds of thousands of dollars and guided both stations and shows to market-leading ratings and revenue numbers.

His CPR Promotions is the go-to resource for hundreds of AE’s and Programmers who need ideas FAST! And he loves it. Working with fun, talented and creative station teams, Paige has helped orchestrate attention-getting promotions that get press worldwide.

He also reveals where he gets inspiration for some of his wackiest concepts and offers great tips for people who are short on two things: TIME and BUDGET!

Learn from Paige:

including great imaging examples,
fun videos and photos and TONS of great ideas!

Connect with Paige:


One-minute Martinizing
Know Thyself

Self-awareness is one of the secrets to achieving sustainable success. It’s also a precious gift. All of the successful people I know are serious about self-awareness. They know where they stand, honest about what they need to work on. They know how to do the work that will make a difference and move them forward. They understand doing that work – after knowing what needs to be done and knowing how to get it done – is the critical step. Without actually doing the work nothing happens.

This secret became obvious to me when one of my mentors suggested a specific daily ritual would help me to be more successful. The legendary Paul Drew told me I should end each day by taking a moment to reflect on what happened and then give myself a grade on my performance. He said “Give yourself a grade, A to F, and ask yourself why you got that grade, how could you have gotten a better grade?” Most importantly he added, “What would have to happen for you to get an A tomorrow?”

Paul’s advice has served me well (and many others lucky enough to have worked for him or to have known him).

As part of this daily exercise I have adopted a process which still works for me.

Be brutally honest about the grade you give yourself and then think about why you got that grade. What happened? I believe in writing these thoughts down, making notes in a personal journal.

When you ask yourself that last question make a list of the five most important things you need to get done tomorrow. Prioritize that list of five – be real. The next day work on #1 until it’s done and only then move on to your #2 and so on. At the end of the day move any of your top five not done to tomorrow’s list. Try this for a month and you’ll notice your daily grades getting better. Bonus: you will feel better about yourself and your job.

We all have bad days; it’s understanding why and having a plan to crush it tomorrow that will move you forward. The ancient Greeks put this secret into two simple words – Know Thyself

Monday, February 20, 2017

Episode #021

Zach Sang

Radio's FUTURE is HERE!

If you’re wondering where radio’s future superstars will come from, here’s a hint: ZACH SANG!

At a time when most of his friends were exploring other creative outlets to express their talents, Zach believed in radio ─ but with a twist!

Like many people his age, Zach found an out-of-touch medium targeted more for his parents than his generation. Nonetheless, he got ‘bit by the radio bug’ but decided to create an entirely different take on what ‘his definitation’ of radio could be…including tons of engagement using other co-branded programs. In other words, the epitome of “Brandwidth”!

Now he’s one of the youngest broadcasters ever to head his own network radio show, the pop culture show Zach Sang and the Gang on Westwood One. 

In this episode, Zach identifies exactly what he -- as a listener -- saw missing, how that inspired him to ‘go for it’, and HOW he made his moves. He shares valuable tips on engaging the audience which ANY local host or station can put into use immediately for instant improvement!

More from Zach:

One-minute Martinizing 


Radio, the first tribe of wireless, continues to enjoy considerable advantages in the daily battle for consumer attention. The most successful talent and leaders in the trade are those who take nothing for granted putting those advantages to work.

Among Radio’s natural advantages are characteristics other media are trying to exploit or copy. These include wireless, mobile, local and real-time.

Thanks to wireless devices and networks, access to practically every media can now happen wirelessly. Moreover, these devices and networks have enabled the migration of internet based assets from fixed locations (e.g., desktops in the home and office) to mobile - almost any location with wireless connectivity.

Internet technology has created the opportunity for media to offer consumers content which is sensitive to location. While it may require consumer permission it is now possible for the new wireless media to create, deliver local content.

Radio’s major advantage continues to be its real-time or in the moment capability. This advantage – the incredible power of NOW - is truly unique since it plays an essential role in Radio’s ability to relate. Radio can be a real companion and talent using one-to-one communication skills are able to offer consumers remarkable experiences not always available from other media.

The challenge is to make something happen, to do work that, as Seth Godin says, “…people would miss if it were gone.” We are competing against ourselves. Zach Sang is spot-on when he talks about connecting with people and engaging the audience. Zach’s success is no accident. He’s a performer putting in the hard work to develop his craft and in that process he’s making a difference.

If you’re willing to play the game, serious about going to work every day dedicated to committing great Radio, then the only limitation is your imagination. Make something happen. Game on.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Episode #020:
Gabe Hobbs - Gabe Hobbs Media
Finding Your Inner SuperStar

Gabe Hobbs is a longtime award-winning radio leader, specializing in spoken word formats for the past 20-plus years.

As SVP Programming for Clear Channel Broadcasting, he oversaw 275 News, Talk and Sports stations, and served as in-house advisor to Premiere Radio Networks, where he worked with names you’ll know ranging from Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, to Dr. Laura, Bob Costas and even the President of the United States, Donald Trump

Now he heads Gabe Hobbs Media, featuring an impressive roster of top talent.

In this episode, Gabe reveals common threads to all of his successes, and offers tips you can implement immediately.

Gabe also shares insights on the 2017 Talk Show Boot Camp in Atlanta, where he'll unveil his latest 'HOBBS REPORT' on trends and performance of News/Talk stations and shows.  

He also shares tips that radio people of ANY format should be paying attention to moving forward!

You'll also want to check out the EXPANDED PLAY of Gabe's interview, with even more great insights trimmed for time!

One-minute Martinizing


It’s easy to forget the awesome power of Radio, the unmatched ability to create awareness and prompt action – to influence the local market.

At the best run stations, advertisers have an advocate – the sales department – which is preoccupied with their success. Putting the right creative to work in the right way improves the odds of client success and renewal. For sellers there are no stop sets only go sets.

Listeners also have an advocate – the programming team – which is obsessed with their wants, likes, preferences, interests, hopes, dreams, desires and latent fantasies. The mission, as Dr Roger Wimmer often says, is find out what the audience wants, give it to them and tell them you delivered.

My thought is the programming team should also lead a daily initiative to champion good things. Consider this three step process

1. Do your homework. Discover good work being done which deserves more attention. Be sensitive, attuned to those things which resonate with your target.

2. Create awareness. Provide the audience with what they need to know. The what and the why.

3. Encourage engagement. Sell listeners on what they can do. The how.

This week in your market there are people doing good work that deserve and need help to get the word out. Whether it’s a blood drive, a cup cake sale to raise money for school athletics, or a food bank which is failing to keep up with demand, local people doing good typically don’t get the media attention they should.

You can make a real difference. Be the change, help others to do good in your community. Give a damn. Become known as the relentless champion of locals doing good. Use your influence to get listeners involved in things that matter. It’s the rent we pay for the unique privilege of being a broadcaster.