On Vacation? Who’s Minding the Station?

 In Blog

One morning, Randy woke up in San Diego and began listening to KSON in preparation for his workshop with morning hosts Tony and Kris.

Randy was an hour into listening to the show when he noticed an overlooked email.

Tony and Kris were both sick. They were not going to work that day and had to cancel the workshop.

Randy was listening to a recorded “best of” show! It was so well produced that even the world’s most respected guru of coaching media talent could not tell. Randy said, “That was embarrassing… but it was an excellent show.”

As your team prepares for vacation season. Here is on what to do on the air while you are on the beach.

Run best-of. No question about it, established shows over two years old should run best-of.  Fans love hearing awesome moments of the show a second time. It may not perform as well as the regular show, but it is proven the best option (other than never taking a vacation!)

Do not use MP3 audio files in PPM markets. Nielsen is apparently “deaf” to MP3, as one of our highest-performing major market shows found out when they dropped to a zero share using MP3. They used .wav files on the next best-of show, and the numbers went up significantly.

Management support for vacation time. Best-of is a lot of work to produce and execute well. Station management should provide as much production help and support as possible. If the staff has to work 80 hours to have one 40-hour week off, something is wrong.

Plan for vacation 365 days a year: If you have not being doing so already, begin cataloging audio of your best segments throughout the year so you can find them easily when vacation time arrives.

Minimize listener disruption. Understand that listeners love your show and your vacation is a major disruption in their routine. Produce the show so it sounds as much like the regular show as possible. Eliminate “best of” identifications so that listeners are not aware that it’s pre-recorded. The majority of listeners will not notice.

Time and date references: Review each segment carefully for any news, weather, time checks or pop cultures mentions that will be outdated and remove them. You can also look for segments that are calendar-relevant and rebroadcast them around that time.

Celebrate heritage: On an established show it can be fun to play very old segments from the show’s early days.

Coordinate vacations on new shows: For the first couple of years, everyone should vacation at the same time. If there are two people on your show and you each get two weeks vacation, that can either be two weeks where the show is not at it’s best, or four weeks. You decide. Also: and new music-based shows should play more music during vacations.

Benchmarks + best-of on established shows: When only one of the primary hosts is missing, replay a lot of familiar benchmarks and games and intersperse them with new content from the hosts on duty.

Use caution with fill-in hosts:  Regular listeners will be unlikely to accept an unfamiliar host. However, if it is a multiple person show and someone fills in, that can temporarily add a fun dynamic to an existing chemistry.

Test and experiment:  Vacation can be a time to try a potential future show host, still relying heavily on benchmarks and best-of segments.

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/gadjodilo974/

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.