It’s All About The Premise

 In Blog

by Jeff McHugh 

As you plan a segment or topic, assess if you are setting yourself up to get “A” level content before you go down that road. 

A-level premises lead to:

Stories: “I can’t believe I was hit on at (fill in the blank) ” from Jeff and Melissa at B985 Atlanta.

Conflict: “A celebrity has declared certain topics off limits – in five minutes, we’re going to ask anyway!”

Drama: The equation is Drama = Character + what he wants + why he can’t have it. 

B-level premises lead to: 

The listener/guest/host performing:  Example: Jimmy Kimmel asks celebs to read disparaging tweets about themselves.  Or, listeners mimicking what they think their dog would say and sound like if they could talk from Daria And Mitch on KRSK.

Contests based in content: it’s not about the prize and not caller ten.  Drunk Smarts from The AJ show in San Diego, where contestants win prizes based on drunk people’s responses. 

C-level premises should be avoided.  They lead to: 

A yes or no answer: have you fantasized about a co-worker before?  Yes or no? Better – how did your crush on a co-worker lead to trouble or love?

Lists: places that Katy Perry should visit while in town.

Stuff: what three things would you take from your house if it were on fire?

Irrelevant information with no story: celebrity birthdays – ugh!

Implausible premises: “Who would win in a fight; Obama or Boehner?”

Politics, race and religion: a road leading to trouble and boredom. 

Generating more A-level content consistently gets back to precision planning and asking the right questions. Does the premise lead to stories, conflict, drama or character reveals? 


Jeff McHugh is an RLC talent consultant. 

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