Female Hosts: Debunking the Myths

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Myth #1Women don’t like hearing other women on radio.

Jamie White dispelled that myth twenty years ago. She was the lead of Jamie, Frosty and Frank and later Jamie and Danny Bonaduce at Star 98.7 Los Angeles.
Jamie had huge female ratings by being authentic about her love and sex life, along with a sharp point of view. Today, there is not only wide acceptance of female personalities, the number of female hosts and cohosts continue to increase.

The Me Too movement has ignited a cultural shift. The paternalistic male dominance in the workplace, including radio, is waning, and opportunities will continue to open for female air talent.

Radio morning shows have evolved from giggle girl sidekicks to prominent female host/leads. However, we still lag behind other mediums in embracing female-led shows.

Smart show hosts like Bert Weiss (The Bert Show) and Dave Ryan know that success will be restricted without female hosts. Women on morning shows are the microphone for all female listeners. They expect female personalities to be confident, yet vulnerable, and to stand up to their male cohosts.

Myth  #2: Never have female hosts on two back-to-back dayparts.

Music programmers will remember when the rule was to never have two female artists back-to-back. That rule was thrown out years ago with the rise of more female music artists.

There are now plenty of radio stations with female personalities on middays and afternoons or afternoons and evenings. It comes down to talent and the ability to connect with an audience, not gender.

Myth #3: Two female hosts cannot succeed on a morning show.

It is true that all-female morning shows have a poor track record. Although, we see two female hosts and one male host morning shows work well. Two Girls and a Guy at Mix 95.9 Charleston, SC is a great example.

What are the challenges for female talent to move from sidekick to cohost to host? Radio management and show hosts are still male and ego dominated. The move up from sidekick to a main cohost comes down to performance and taking advantage of the limited mic time you have. It helps to be confident and to be your own advocate.

The move from the main cohost to host is the same issue as with male cohosts. You can be the creative driver and lead of a show without opening content segments and handling the mechanics. That’s a matter of whether you’re a generator or reactor. 

Photo credit: Flickr.com/photos/skohlmann/

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