The ‘Definitive Content Directors check-list’

Staff Writer

Following Radio Today’s Top 10 Most Influential Program Directors in Australian Metro FM radio, Greg Smith a former Austereo Group Program Director, esp Founder and Radio Hall of Famer, has put together the definitive list of the “Rules of Programming”.

This check list provides everything a Content Director needs to know to ensure strong programming and results for your radio station.

Here it is, Greg Smith’s Content Directors check list.

Some programmers design the strategy & then expect the research to support their handywork.

It’s all about asking your target audience what they want & then airing creative content that supports the strategy.

Have we nailed the right target for maximum ratings success by segmentation analysis in determining the ideal music mix?

In other words find out what they want. Give it to them. Tell them that you gave it to them.


How do we scrub up in the key perceptual images?

Who’s getting in our way?

How do we take advantage of their weaknesses?

Concentration of force.

Who has momentum?    


As our product can be easily copied we have to augment the characteristics of the brand – Professor Peter Doyle.

What kind of defensive wall have we put around the brand?

What do we stand for?

How are we unique?

What word or phrase do we own?

Music Clocks are constructed using a “Spoke Theory“, that is every other song should be massively popular, not only with your core, but also with your potential core audience.


Song 1= Killer Core+ Killer Cume

Song 2 = Killer Core + Cume Friendly

Song 3= Killer Core+ Killer Cume

Song 4 = Killer Core + Cume Friendly

Means for your cumers that if they don’t hear one song they love they are guaranteed to hear one the next song…and the core always hears “killers”. This develops a powerful expectation in your listener that keeps them tuning back in.


A great breakfast show has to be cast with strong talent who are prepared to marry the market and build or already have a profile. 

They have to act like politicians working the market ‘shaking hands and kissing babies’, but, at the end of the day, it’s all about their content.

A great show will make listeners laugh, make them cry and make them think. 

Great breakfast shows and talent are topical, local and most  importantly relatable. 

Great shows and talent have to have an emotional connection with the audience. 

They have to be likeable, genuine, friendly, natural and outgoing. They can be fun or funny.

Great breakfast talent are people that listeners are interested in. They have a point of view. Something to say.

The best shows are the ones where listeners tune in every morning so they don’t miss anything.

If you win breakfast you usually win the ratings. A lot of a radio brands images and perceptions are driven via its breakfast show. 

The best Program Directors have to be able to monitor, coach and direct the breakfast show. 

A great breakfast show should create strong word of mouth and quotability in the market.


Do they work for the Disloyal Cume as well as the Core and is it in context?  Make sure they get what you’re doing every time.


How can we make it better?

Jeff Allis of Boost Juice fame says that Continuous Improvement was the most important thing that he learnt during his radio career. 

You have to be able to recognize a great idea whether it’s yours or not. 

Jeff said “Greg instilled many great things into the DNA of those who were lucky enough to work with him closely and listen.

Continuous Improvement has been his life mantra and his meaning of life reflection, the quest for knowledge is another.”


A lot of programmers talk too much. You have to be a great listener. Get into the habit of eavesdropping on your listeners’ conversations.


Nothing else matters. 

If what you’re doing right now is not improving one of the above, stop doing it.


A winning Content Director has to develop great judgement.

Your goal is to get the audience afraid to turn off because they might miss something.



Greg Smith identified, directed and guided many great radio programmers’ careers in Australian radio, many of whom went on to have great success and continue to hold key positions in radio.

He is indisputably the single most influential Programmer in Australian radio.







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