by Tracy Johnson
Attention, Air Checkers! It’s time to raise your game. For some, that means you have to start playing the game. Either way, the time is now.
Program directors have more responsibility than ever before. They’re overwhelmed with managing programming for multiple radio stations. Then there’s scheduling promotions. And keeping up with digital. Most PD’s are also on the air. Sometimes on two or three stations.
Many programmers are relatively new to management. They’re promoted from a music director position. Or maybe they’re just the personality that has been on the station longest.
Being in charge of a station with real personalities for the first time is hard.
And it’s a problem.
Companies give little thought about training program directors how to work with highly talented personalities. A PD position is not just to make sure the commercials run as they’re supposed to.
Without training, how will air checkers learn to air check?
Jacobs Media’s annual research on air talent revealed that the majority of personalities receive 0-2 air check sessions per year. An alarming percentage gets no feedback at all.
Personalities cannot grow, evolve, expand and develop if nobody works with them.
Programmers often avoid working with them because they don’t know how to inspire performance. It’s not their fault. They’ve never been taught how to do it.
This is a big deal. The future of radio depends on personalities building and leading an active, loyal fan base. Each radio personality, no matter how experienced or talented, needs help as much as an athlete needs a coach.
Here’s another part of the problem. Even good programmers with experience in training talent don’t have time. Broadcasters have trimmed support teams to the point that programmers are overwhelmed with daily tasks. They have little time for creative thought, even if they have the expertise to inspire and lead air check sessions.
The solution is simple. Program Directors need to learn techniques to critique and grow talent.
Every PD is a little intimidated when they begin air checking talent. It’s not easy. Sometimes a difficult conversation is necessary. And that’s awkward.
Coaching air talent is a tall task. One of the toughest challenges is directing talent without destroying confidence. Performing on the air requires a fearless personality. On the other hand, many personalities are over-confident. Some just don’t want feedback.
It’s complicated. That’s why it’s easy to put off.
Talent coaching is key to growth. Without feedback, the best case is personalities will stall. In a fast-moving competitive media world, saying the same is going backwards.
Training program directors to work with talent should be a top priority for every management team,
That’s why we have created solutions and resources to help.
All TJMG services are set up to help programmers. We seek to help air checkers learn to air check. Working together, the PD will understand how to get the most from their team.
Plus, programmers receive provide tools and resources to continue building a Personality Success Path, which can be applied to every personality they work with.
It’s highly effective for programmers to learn the skills to develop air personalities.
Note: We can also schedule a private coaching session for Program Directors to study and understand how to coach talent.
Learn to manage and coach talent effectively. The time is now. Nothing is more important to the success of your station now and in the future.
Need help? No problem. Contact us about consulting or talent coaching. Need resources and tools for your PD? No problem. Sign up for Insiders Radio Network. Want a private, one-hour meeting with a TJMG talent coach for an air check session? Just click here.
Start now. Each day that passes is a lost opportunity to build a stronger future with high profile radio personalities.
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