by Tracy Johnson
Broadway Bill Lee is the master of brevity, and one of the most engaging air personalities of all time. But just because he crafts his breaks in short bursts over song intros doesn’t mean he sacrifices entertainment value.
If you’ve ever heard his show (now on WCBS-New York), you know Lee as a quick, but not out-of-control personality. And he packs amazing content into tight windows, always showcasing the music in a way that gains attention because of the way he presents it.
Most air personalities believe they are restricted from entertaining the audience because they’re not given enough time to perform. Some even thing the music is their competitor, preventing them from having a larger canvas on which to perform. Or they blame a programmer or format clock.
Lee demonstrates that great air talent can entertain in short segments without sounding rushed or frantic.
An artist… and yes, you are an artist… is always restricted by the canvas on which they paint or the format clock in which they perform.
He’s always used phone calls as his co-host, which helps him connect with listeners. He told Adweek:
The more I can put listeners on the air, the better,” Lee admits. “It really makes them, not only feel like they are part of the show, but it makes me much more approachable.
[It’s] the need for quick interaction between records so that it doesn’t interfere with the music, yet gets a real interaction between listener and disc jockey, almost eavesdropping on the conversation.
Your job is to entertain on the canvas you’re provided. As you create amazing art on small canvases, you’re likely to get more freedom. Or not. Broadway Bill is still performing his art with the same basics he has for years.
Enjoy Broadway Bill Lee in this WCBS/New York air check and learn how to add to your entertainment value with an economy of time and words.
Don’t you love the way he balances entertainment with the music? This is why the songs sound better on the radio with a a great personality framing them properly.
I understand that everything has to be done very quickly. Whatever I do has got to be pieced together with the music, but not so much that I interfere with the song. As long as I keep that in mind, people love me.
Lee has been on WCBS-FM in New York since 2007, but he’s been one of radio’s great personalities for over 40 years.
He was part of an all-star lineup of terrific talent on KFRC/San Francisco in he late 80s.
The staff, led by PD Gerry Cagle, also included morning legend Dr. Don Rose, Mike Novak (now President EMF Broadcasting), Rick Shaw, Mark McKay and Candy.
In case you’re thinking that Lee is one of those nostalgic throwbacks just biding his time to ride out the string on his career, think again.
He’s just as relevant and fresh as ever. In fact, in many ways, he’s even better.
Check out what he’s doing on social media, especially his Twitter feed, featuring Broadway Bill Lee’s Break Of The Day on video-every day! @BroadwayBillLee
Want to hear more of Lee? Here’s a great interview conducted by Game Changers Radio. In it, he shares his insights and the keys behind his success:
Broadway Bill is one of the all-time greats. Study his style, technique and content.
Then apply those lessons to your personality, show and station. And never complain about not having enough time to entertain the audience over a song intro.
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