Major League Baseball will start soon(ish), bringing renewed hope to fans across North America. For players, the ultimate goal is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, a place for only the all-time great players. Much debate goes into whether players are worthy, but the difference between mediocre & legendary is small.

If a player hits .300 in his career, he will probably be inducted into the Hall of Fame and recognized as an elite player. A player that hits .280 is slightly above average. It doesn’t mean he won’t make the Hall of Fame, but he will have to be elite in other areas to make the Hall. That’s how thin the line is between mediocre & legendary.

A 20 point gap in batting average sounds like a lot, but is it?


  • A full-time major league batter comes to the plate about 600 times in a season.
  • The batting average is the number of hits divided by at-bats.
  • So, a .280 hitter gets 168 hits in a season (168/600).
  • To hit .300, that player must collect 180 hits (180/600).
  • That’s a difference of just 12 hits a season.
  • Put another way: The difference between being mediocre & legendary is one hit every 50 tries.

Let’s go further. An average batter hits about .250, enough to keep their job but it’s not too hard to find a suitable replacement. To hit .250, a player needs 150 hits in 600 at-bats. That’s just 30 fewer hits per season than an all-time great.

  • 30 hits in 600 at-bats is equal to one hit every 20 at-bats.
  • Based on 6 games per week and 4 at-bats per game, a player needs just over one hit per week to bat .300.
  • The difference between average (replaceable) and an elite performer is razor-thin.

Mediocre & Legendary Radio

Let’s apply that to a radio show. Ratings research proves that the margin between average shows and market leaders is even smaller. The very best listeners spend little time with a show. Get details here. But here are relevant facts:

  • The average length per tune-in occasion is about 7 minutes.
  • The average number of tune-in occasions per day = 3.
  • And the average number of days tuned in per week = 2.

Do the math. The average P1 contributes 6 quarter hours per week (2 days x 3 quarter hours). Just 1.5 hours per week. Now think about how much you’re on. Typically, that’s about 20 hours (5 days x 4 hours per day). The best listeners are hearing just 7.5% of your show.

But here’s the good news. Like baseball, modest improvements yield dramatic growth.

  • Gaining a single quarter-hour per day increases ratings by 33% (from 6 quarter hours per week to 8).
  • Add one more day per week to gain a 50% increase (6 quarter hours to 9).
  • Add one more day and one more quarter-hour and ratings double (6 quarter hours become 12).

That’s how simple it is to Double Your Ratings. Imagine a show mired in the middle of the pack with a 4.3 share rising to an 8.6 share simply by attracting one more tune-in occasion per day and earning one more day of listening per week.

But Wait, There’s More

Still not convinced? There’s more evidence of the thin line between mediocre & legendary.

  • Most radio shows convert less than 30% of the station’s total cume audience to their show. Increasing that to 60% would Double Your Ratings yet again. It would be a ratings quadruple.
  • But what about this? Many morning shows attract less than 25% of the station’s cume. I’ve seen some reaching only 15%. Opportunity knocks.
  • The average non P1 listener spends only 2.5 minutes per day with a radio show. That’s about 12 minutes a week. What if you could get casual listeners to listen a few more minutes or a couple more occasions?

Further ratings research indicates that the difference between the top-rated show and the #5 show is as slim as the difference between an average .250 hitter and an elite player.

There’s almost no difference in time spent listening per occasion. The difference is the number of listening occasions. Top shows get far more tune-in occasions than average shows. They collect more “hits”. Winning shows simply do a better job with compelling appointment listening times. And they do it consistently. That’s why branded features are so important.


There’s one other factor, too. Baseball and radio are hard games. The slimmest of margins can be the difference between being in the middle of the pack and an all-star. In baseball and radio, winners who get big contracts are the ones that combine talent with a dedication to outwork and out-prepare everyone else.

There’s a thin line between winning and losing. But the rewards are dramatic. Are you prepared to do what it takes to win?

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