Please Show Your ID

28 Oct

There were many nights in 70s I’d turn on WCFL just to hear Ron O’Brien and the top of the hour ID.

“Nine O’Clock in the night time, Ron O’Brien on The Voice Of Labor”, followed by W-C-F-L Chicago…sung with pride and lots of energy.

WFIL used a produced image voice smacking the ID against the vocal of a song.

“Rocking In The Cradle Of Liberty…W-F-I-L Philadelphia…Non Stop Music!”

The flow was seamless.  The ID was huge and made the record to record production sound so tight.

Legal IDs could be sung as in “93 K-H-J Los Angeles” and could be  changed to the occasional “Boss Angeles” when KHJ was Boss Radio.

CKLW never actually said they were in Windsor Ontario.  Canada didn’t require a ‘legal ID’ and I guess that made it easier to compete in Detroit.

“Ladies and Gentlemen You’re listening to a Million Dollar Weekend with Walt Baby Love…..C-K-L-W…..The Motor City….”

The ‘Ape’ WAPE Jacksonville had the ‘Ape Call’ and Ernie Anderson did the now famous Z100 “From The Top of The Empire State Building” IDs

The ID should be an event and make your station bigger than life.

Somewhere along the way IDs became buried in the last stop set of the hour.  A quick ID, like W-V-W-A Pound Ridge, spoken so quickly you can barely hear it.

This was usually done when the station was licensed to an outlying community and attempting to be a player in the bigger metro market.

Mexican stations have great IDs that go on and on and on.  The city of license, station name, ownership, phone number…. well not quite.  But close.

The ID should be a moment of pride on every station.  The Mexicans take the ID seriously and most sound huge even on small stations.

And the ID is a way for your station to sound tuned into ‘today’.

News talk stations should use it to really sell the station.  Many like WLW and WFLA have a fresh legal ID recorded each day.

WSYR Syracuse is counting down the number of days til the election in their current ID.  As a News Talk station election information is key to the station’s success.

Tie the ID to what your station is focused on at the moment.  This week it’s the election, next week could be the economy, next spring the opening of baseball season.

It takes daily work to update the ID, but it gives the station a very current sound.

I should stop to point out I’m not promoting the PD of WSYR, although he claims that we have a family relationship which my wife (his mother) confirms.

He’s far better at the imaging stuff than me.  That’s were I get most of my ideas, the good ones at least.

The objections to creating a topical ID daily will be things like “my voice guy only gives me two pages a month”.

Please.  Get serious.  And creative.

Perhaps all your topical ID needs are updated news clips from the daily news makers. The standard language can remain the same.

The ID says a lot about your station, your community and the world around you.  Don’t miss the opportunity to do something that really stands out and if it’s memorable all the better.

The ID is ‘you’ afterall.

It’s your station.

It should say the right things all of the time.

1 Comment

Posted by on October 28, 2008 in Radio programming


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One response to “Please Show Your ID

  1. Mark Tyler

    May 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Tom Tyler did those station IDs at WFIL. He’s my Dad. Unfortunately I do not have copies of those IDs but I do have copies of earlier ones, It brings back a lot of great memories from my childhood. I always loved going to the station and meeting the other “Jocks” and watching my Dad do his magic.

    W-F-I-L Philadelphia.. Non-stop Music!


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