How To Air Check Radio Shows: Structure, The Show’s DNA

Architects design buildings with a solid foundation so they are structurally solid. Your show needs structure so it makes sense to listeners. Without a solid base, each feature lacks context. This makes it very difficult to get traction.

In this technique, listen beyond how each break sounds. Instead, we’re evaluating what listeners take away from a full show each day.

This approach takes time. For best results, take a day off. Provide each stake-holder (talent, PD, etc.) with a full show, unedited.

Each should turn on the show when they wake up and listen in real-time. Turn it on while running errands, getting stuck in traffic. Stop for coffee. Take your kids to school. There’ll be a lot of tune-in and tune-out.  That’s how your audience is hearing it, too.

This can be an effective way to reveal structural weaknesses in the foundation of the show.

After the show is over, meet and discuss what you learned from the experience. Specifically:

  • Does the show flow well? Is it consistent in each tune-in occasion?
  • What surprised you or stood out in this listening experience?
  • Is it easy to understand? If you knew nothing about this show, would you be able to identify the personalities? Features? Benchmarks?
  • What songs played? Were they important? Did they stand out?
  • Is the show focused? Does it provide everything needed to get through the morning? What is missing? IS anything on that should or could be eliminated?
  • What made you want to tune out (aside from commercials)? Did the show bog down? Was it too slow or too long anywhere? Where? What caused that?
  • Is there a bridge that connects elements so that the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts?
  • Is it consistent? Does it make sense to listeners no matter when they tune in and out?
  • Is each break structured for understanding, clarity and connection?
  • Is there enough promotion and teasing to encourage more quarter hours? Do we make appointment tune in times important? Are they enticing enough to work?

This last question may be the most important:  Are you regularly resetting your content so they aren’t lost or confused?

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