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Tag Archives: Jack Bogut

“Tell Me A Story Daddy”

We love stories.

“Tell me a story daddy” is one of the first sentences a child says to the parent.

We want stories from the beginning and we never loose that desire as adults.

Radio is stories.

Bob Prince the longtime Pittsburgh Pirate broadcaster was a great story teller.

Prince would be in the middle of a story, you’d hear the crack of the bat, crowd roar, and Bob would finish his story and casually mention “Stargell hit a three run homer to right”.

The stories were often more interesting than the game.

Story telling has helped baseball survive on radio when every game is available on television.

All of the great radio baseball broadcasters are story tellers. Phil Rizzuto was one, Ernie Harwell, and the forever young Vin Scully are others.

Baseball broadcast teams are much like great morning teams. Two characters playing off each other’s stories and weaving the game commentary into the broadcast.

Take a hard look at the ratings in your market. My bet is NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ do extremely well. They are all about story telling.

Think about your morning show. What kind of stories are they telling?

When you interview for morning talent are you listening to how they tell a story? Do they engage your attention with the simplest things?

KDKA’s Jack Bogut featured his ‘Home Movies’ segment. He told simple five minute lifestyle stories, and had a great way of painting the picture.

Bogut would keep you in the car until he finished.

Is your morning show doing ‘driveway stories’, the kind that hold you in the car until the end?

Sometimes listeners are better story tellers than your talent. Find people who can contribute to the show and engage an audience with their tales.

Great stories turn into great ratings stories.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2008 in Radio programming

 

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Big Ron O’Brien and Great Talent

Ron O’Brien’s passing last week caused a flurry of activity on the web from people looking for information about him.

Ron was a brilliant talent. My favorite memories of him were from his shows on WCFL.

Radio is missing that kind of exciting talent today.

Granted we’re in a completely different era of radio programming than the great top 40 years of the sixties and seventies. There are few truely original talents on today’s radio.

In the ‘old days’, radio was full of characters and innovators.

Frankie Crocker was an early radio hero of mine. I first noticed him on WMCA and never heard his work on WWRL. But after hearing him on WMCA, I decided to see what RL was all about.

WWRL had an incredible talent line-up that included morning man Gregory, Jeff Troy, Jerry B, Al G, Hank Spann and the amazing Gary Byrd. In fact that might be one of the top five best talent line-ups of the era.

Gary Byrd was extremely innovative. He did rap, before anyone knew what it was.

There were so many others in that period.

Jackson Armstrong was a powerhouse jock on WKBW in a line-up that included Danny Nevrith and Sandy Beach to name just two greats heard there.

Armstrong’s fast pace was unlike any other fast talking jock at the time and he was very funny.

Dr. Don Rose combined funny and corny on WFIL. He was an excellent morning man for the time. WFIL had all-stars in every day part. It was the tightest top 40 station with amazing song to song production.

Bill Bailey at WAKY was another who could not be copied. His grumpy rants were hysterical. WAKY’s afternoon guy Gary Burbank was pretty incredible too. ‘Hall Of Fame’ talent on one station in little ol’ Louisville.

There were great jocks in lots of smaller and medium markets.

WARM Scranton was an outstanding station. Harry West did mornings and their whole line-up was solid.

WDRC Hartford, WNHC New Haven, WAEB Allentown and WEEX Easton all had excellent talent.

Almost every town had at least one outstanding station.

Top 40 didn’t have all the talent.

WNEW had an outstanding MOR line-up including the very funny Gene Klavin in mornings.

Jean Shepherd’s late night talk show on WOR got more buzz around Roxbury High School than Cousin Bruce did on WABC. Shep was different. He talked to you like the conversation was just between you and him.

Think about it.

These were high school kids listening to a talk show on WOR. It was your grandmother’s station, except between 10:15 and 11 each night.

KDKA had Jack Bogut in mornings who had a knack for keeping you sitting in the car until his ‘home movie’ was finished. Bogut was as warm and relatable a talent as you’ve ever heard.

Radio encouraged innovation in those days, because it had to.

The era of great radio personalities began as television was stealing the big stars from radio. That’s when Alan Freed, Mad Daddy and Jack Sterling became important. It was a new style, and total departure from radio of the 1940s.

We need that again.

I don’t mean we must find the next Alan Freed. We need the next era of innovation that will capture the imagination of the audience.

Maverick owners like Todd Storz and Gordon McClendon encouraged innovation. They loved big promotions, big talent, lots of excitement and loved taking chances.

I’m not sure either Storz or McLendon could tell you much about accounting.

They sure understood the audience.

No one sitting in the ‘big chair’ at any major radio group can make that claim today.

 
 

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