We work with a lot of companies and radio shows. Many share the common belief that to improve a show one must constantly be adding something new. Over time, stations become jam-packed and full of stuff. It’s human nature to feel that the more you offer, the greater chance everyone will find something to like. But that’s not how it works. And it’s not how Gordon Ramsay would do it.

You’re familiar with Gordon Ramsay, right? He’s the celebrity chef that built an empire on television. Ramsay is direct, honest, and confrontational. He’s brought in to work with owners of struggling restaurants. And he has an amazing track record of turning failing restaurants into successful businesses.

The Ramsay approach works for most radio shows.

How Gordon Ramsay Would Improve Your Radio Show

When Ramsay works with restaurants, his first recommendation is almost always the same.

Menus at failing restaurants offer too many dishes. The owners think offering more variety (more stuff) will broaden the restaurant’s appeal. But it doesn’t. It makes for crappy food and inventory headaches. The chef can’t specialize. The staff is stretched thin, and the restaurant doesn’t stand out for anything.

Most successful restaurants don’t start that way. They start with a few specialties, allowing the staff to build a client base by concentrating their resources.

Clutter accumulates over time when they add a side dish here and a new entree there. A customer says, “You should serve grilled cheese.” That’s easy, so why not? Soon, they lose their focus and brand identity.

The restaurant is no longer known for something special and the qualities that once attracted a customer base are diluted.

Ramsay’s first step is trimming the menu, usually from thirty-plus dishes to around ten. By specializing in fewer things, they’re able to excel with better focus.

Your Radio Show

Most radio shows are doing too many things, or trying to do too many. Some of those things are good, but only a few have the potential to become great. As a result, the audience doesn’t recognize the show for anything specific and often stops listening because the primary reason they come to the station is interrupted by clutter.

We call our approach Zero-Based Programming. Here’s how to do it:

  • Imagine the show is brand new and you’re starting from scratch.
  • What would you put on to make an impact on the audience?
  • Now evaluate every detail on the show against that model. Does it fit?
  • Either keep the element because it’s truly great¬†or removed it because it isn’t.
  • Program the great content more often and promote it aggressively.

Almost instantly, the show is easier to listen to, stands out more, and attracts more attention. The team has more time to specialize in fewer things. And listeners respond.


Zero-Based Programming is a powerful tool. Try it or contact us for help. We specialize in fixing radio shows that need help. Oh, and we may use Gordon Ramsay’s methods, but we won’t yell at you as Gordon yells at his clients!

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