We’ve had some rather major events in the last 10 days. How did you deal with them at your station? Let’s start with the major storms that hit much of the south. Were you able to get the word out that danger was on the way? Were you able to disperse info afterwards? Did you just let the syndicated programming continue on? If you are part of most major radio companies, you more then likely have at least two syndicated dayparts. It’s business as usual for them, your local situation is on you, so what did you do?
The people that I spoke with who have few or no staff members, had to make a choice. Many of them let the national programming go on, others did what I think is the right thing, take over locally. If you didn’t have a staff, did you use the receptionist, sales assistant, or anybody else that was around to help? You should have. When local emergencies happen, it’s best to have a plan. So next time, what’s your plan?
Situations like last week’s storms convince me more that local radio needs to be local. We know that the company saves money by using Syndication, but the problem with syndication with Urban stations young and old, is that in most cities, there may only be one Mainstream Urban and one Urban AC. There is a really good chance that both have syndicated morning shows, a fifty fifty chance that the UAC has syndication in Afternoon Drive and a 75% chance of a syndicated night show.
What does it all mean? It has several negative affects, but the biggest is the lack of a talent pool of younger talent. Where do they get their start if only the top 10 markets have full time positions? Will being a board op for a national show get you to the next level? No, and these days, there is no board operator required to run national shows. If a young African American wants to get into the biz, he or she may have to try a different format and we know the chances of getting a start in a non Urban format are small.
I hate to point out a problem without a possible solution, so here goes. If you have time, start a Radio Club at a local high school. You’ll wind up helping someone make a career decision and create your unpaid street team and maybe one day, the new morning host for your station, because one day, and you never know when, you may wind up needing a local show to replace that national show, hopefully.
Questions about programming, PPM, radio, corporations, the future of radio, changes etc? email me at [email protected]