Does your station need a talent coach? The answer is yes. Of course, you do. Okay, I’m biased. But everyone needs a coach.

Jacobs Media released the results of a national study that showed disturbing and shocking results.

59% of all personalities surveyed are air-checked less than 2 times per year.

And here’s something even more alarming:

40% of the sample reported that they are never given feedback.

Meanwhile, the appeal of personalities continues to grow.

Let that sink in. Radio’s most valuable assets aren’t being critiqued or inspired by management. That’s like owning a Ferrari but never taking it for a tune-up. Or raising a puppy with champion bloodlines and not taking it to the vet.

Talent Needs a Coach

Many broadcasters seem to think that highly talented personalities don’t need or want to be coached. But personalities don’t want to be left alone. They want to grow.

Jacobs’ study revealed that 55% of all personalities said they feel underappreciated. The same number (55%) reported angst and insecurity. To perform at a high level requires confidence. That’s true for any job, but especially those in the entertainment business.

This is a big problem because talent is the one thing that separates a radio station from all other sources of music and information.

This isn’t an infomercial for my services. It’s a plea to take immediate steps to help talent reach their potential. And that requires coaching.

It’s true for actors, singers, athletes, and executives. And it’s true for anyone who needs to be inspired.

Tom Hanks needs a coach. So do Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and James Corden.

Kristi Yamaguchi knows the value of her coach. The Olympic champion has natural talent but she didn’t become a famous athlete on talent alone. Her coach unlocked her talent:

[my coach] was great because she knew how to read me, and if i started to get frustrated, she knew how to turn it around or back off. I learned first-hand that there are no shortcuts. My coaches inspired me to strive for excellence every day.

Hiring a Talent Coach

So how can a broadcaster find a talent coach? Here are 6 criteria:

Loves Talent: Some consultants, and some talent coaches, don’t really love talent. Some are former personalities that are bitter, bordering on jealous. These coaches are harsh, almost mean. Look for a talent coach that loves working with talent and cheers for the personalities to succeed.

Focus on Your Needs, Not Theirs: Great coaches understand how to bring out the best in a personality. The relationship should be fun and open. Avoid cookie-cutter coaches who think they have it figured out. Great coaches find the right solution for each personality.

Informed Opinions: Personalities should challenge coaches and consultants. Most broadcasters establish rules as sacred words handed down by a radio god. It’s better to understand the thought process and philosophies behind the advice.

Confident and Honest: Personalities should be able to share ideas, ask questions, and seek solutions without fear. The coach should offer feedback honestly and with compassion. Performance is hard, and a gentle approach to correction and growth produces far greater results.

Positive Attitude: Look for a talent coach that builds on strengths and doesn’t obsess about weaknesses. Great coaches identify what personalities do well, then help them take advantage of those strengths.


There is no shortage of talent. Radio is filled with a wealth of amazing personalities. Most simply need the inspiration to flourish. 

I’ve spent three decades working with talent and management to produce winning talent.

Every personality needs a coach. You need outside help. Let’s talk.

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