Imagine the director of a movie turning the actors loose to perform a role without direction. Or a basketball coach sending his team into a game without practices, plays, or a plan for success? How would that turn out? Yet air personalities are often unleashed without a clear vision. Managers and programmers can’t be afraid to direct the performers.

Okay, afraid may not apply to every situation. To be fair, in many cases, it’s a lack of time. For some, it’s a lack of management training or expertise. And some programmers may not have a clear vision to share!

But personalities need coaching. Here are some of the symptoms of a show that needs more coaching.

Warning Signs & Solutions

Content That Doesn’t Fit The Brand: Content that doesn’t appeal to the station’s audience is not a great recipe for success! When that happens, it’s usually because they don’t have a clear vision for the brand’s goals and boundaries. Or they don’t agree with it. Communicate the core station appeal to use as a guide for designing content that fits. Then hold talent accountable to deliver that content.

Too Much Talk: This common tug-of-war between management and talent usually happens when personalities don’t understand their relationship with the audience. Talking too much too soon pushes listeners away. That’s why it’s important to understand the stages of the Personality Success Path to inform the music/talk balance.

Executing The Basics: It drives programmers crazy when talent rushes through formatics and station basics. Most personalities think of these elements as a nuisance they have to do rather than an opportunity to impress listeners that they have something in common: the mutual love of the same things! Direct the performers to be brilliant at the basics and show them why it’s in their best interest.

Embracing The Features: Listeners first become attracted to a show (and station) because of the things you do. They never get to know the characters well enough to become fans until they first become frequent listeners. That often happens through high-profile, one-thing features. Personalities often take these features for granted. It’s up to management to keep them inspired to energize key features through performance.

Direct The Performers

Being an effective director, manager, or coach requires an investment of time and attention. A majority of air personalities have not had feedback on their performance in over a year.

Movie directors obsess about every detail of the film so they can coach great performances from the actors. Why should a broadcaster expect radio personalities to figure it out on their own?

That’s uncomfortable for many managers. They don’t like confrontation. Some find it awkward to engage in conversations that correct performers. And many are afraid to do it because it’s hard.

But that’s the job. And it’s going to become more and more important. Talented personalities should not be allowed to fail. That’s on management for failing to direct the performers.


This is important. No, I take that back. it’s critical. Talent is a difference-maker. Personalities are the key to radio’s future. No, I take that back again. They’re the key to radio’s present success.

We can help shows and stations develop winning personalities and shows and have a long track record to support that claim. But building great radio shows starts in-house, with management that cares enough to understand talent, communicate a success plan, and follow through with support and tools to win.

Would you like help to develop a plan, work with the programming team, and train personalities to be the face of your station? We’re here to help. Contact us.

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