“Why, is there air?” And Other Important Questions

21 May

Bill Cosby’s routine is a classic. I’ve always loved the question, “why is there air?”

The answer of course is to fill basketballs and footballs.

It reminds me of a question I’ve heard in radio.

Several years ago, while working as Group Program Director in Australia we launched a new FM station in Brisbane, Queensland.

A new station is big deal in a market which at that time had two, yes I said TWO, commercial FM stations.

We would be the third on 97.3 FM.

The others, B105 and Triple M were top 40 and rock and owned by Austereo.

Our station would be Hot AC.

The launch would be one of the most successful in Australian Radio History.

Ok, it’s hard not to succeed with those odds in your favor.

We rolled out with 10,000 songs in a row. I know, that’s pretty standard, hackneyed stuff in the US.

It had never been done in Australia. Suddenly I was a creative genius!

As the station launch progressed into the third day of playing music, a common question arose.

“When are you going to put DJs on?”

I heard it over and over.

“What are these DJs going to do?” I asked.

“You know, DJ things”, they’d say.

“What is that exactly?”

No one could tell me.

Now I was intrigued, so I asked, “Why do we need DJ’s at all?”

From the responses you’d think I questioned the existence of God.

So now let me ask you, since many of the readers of this blog are radio program directors. What is the job of your DJs? Why do you have them at all?

Have you clearly outlined the reason for their existence?

Do all of the jocks know the mission?

DJs were a great idea in 1954. Does the concept of a person introducing songs hold up today?

I think it’s a valid question.

“So why do you have DJ’s?”

It’s worth thinking about and answering by outlining the role talent plays on your station.

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Posted by on May 21, 2008 in Radio programming


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