Part Two: Shoboy in the Morning, Positively Fun!

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In Part Two of our conversation, Shoboy, AMP 923 New York, shares his views on serial content, how to talk about the election, and how he covers current event tragedies on Top 40 radio.


R: Your show is getting listeners to come back with some innovative storylines that run over multiple shows. What’s a recent example?

S: We teased for a few days that there’s going to be a new addition to the Shoboy Show family, and listeners will be able to hear him or her at 7:40 AM on a specific date. We didn’t tell anyone on the show. Our listeners and the team found out on the air live and on FB Live.

The day before, call-in listeners were guessing people like Khloe Kardashian, or Justin Bieber would be the new addition. At 7:40 I said, “Here’s the new addition to the show!” My wife Janet walked in. The cast said, “What!?” My wife sat down and announced, “I’m pregnant!!”

My co-host, Nina, freaked out and was in tears. Producer Kristen was in tears. I was in tears. Since I promised listeners they’d hear the new team member, we played the baby’s heartbeat. It was magical.

R: How did the storyline continue?

S: Once a week, at the same time, we have the Shoboy Baby Update. My wife comes on the air and tells stories about that’s happened in the last week. We also share everything on social media – pictures, the ultra-sound, etc. We do it in a cool and fun way that appeals to our Top 40 audience.

Next, we created a mystery about the sex of the baby. We set up a poll online for the audience to vote.

We posted audio of people on the street, and listeners called in with different ways that they determine the sex of a baby from cultural traditions. One woman spun my wife around, grabbed her butt and said, “Your butt hasn’t spread, so it’s going to be a boy.”

Again, we revealed the sex of the baby at 7:40 for those audience members who stayed with us on the storyline and on FB Live. We popped a black balloon to reveal the sex of the baby. We showed it on FB Live. My culture is Mexican and so is my wife’s. Our listeners could hear the audio of one of two songs the Mariachi band would play once the balloon popped. One was a boy song and one was, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” The band played the Cindy Lauper song mariachi style, which was super fun and cool.

R. You mentioned your Mexican culture, what adjustments did you have to make going from Spanish to English radio?

S: My PD, Rick Thomas, and you, Randy, helped me tremendously with one of my biggest adjustments, and that was in delivery. In Spanish radio, and especially in the regional Mexican format, it’s very high energy, very announcer style. In English radio, it’s a different delivery; it’s more conversational, more hanging out.

R: How does a Top 40 morning show address the most talked about and polarized presidential elections in our lifetime?

S: Our show slogan is Positively Fun, so we look for the positive twist. One of our interns does a great Trump and Obama voice. We ask intern Obama about stories in the news, and he quotes lyrics from songs. When Obama hugged Hillary at the Democratic Convention, our intern had him quote lyrics from ”Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child.

R: Unfortunately, we’ve been experiencing a lot of tragedies in the world that are not positively fun. How does the show address these stories?

S: We talk about those stories the way we’d talk to a friend. Typically, media would report that “five officers died yesterday; one was wounded.”  We would say something like, “Hey, this is terrible! Some officers died yesterday. This is just unreal. I woke up and saw it on my phone alert.” And we always find a way to end on a positive note.

No matter what the event, we tie it back to our brand and say, “If one evil person can create this kind of impact, imagine how together we can impact the world by being positive and kindhearted.

NEXT WEEK: In Part Three, Shoboy talks about how the team brainstorms new ideas, how to resolve team conflict,and the future of radio.

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