Have you ever wondered what difference you make each day? The role of air personalities should not be underestimated, no matter how strange your job seems to others! Radio personalities work strange hours locked in a darkened room for several hours a day talking to themself. And what does it mean to the audience? A lot.

A study reveals a unique bond between radio personalities and listeners. Yes, radio has a great impact on listeners, when the radio is driven by air talent. 

That’s great news for the future of stations developing and nurturing talent. Difference-making personalities hold the keys to the kingdom. Read the full report if you have time, but here are five key things you need to know and what it means to you:

The Role of Air Personalities Starts with Friendship

60% of all respondents said radio hosts are “like a friend.” 60%! That’s huge. A separate study by Westwood One is even more encouraging.


Check it out: 52% say air personalities are the main reason they listen. It’s easy to replace a station that plays the most music or has the most accurate traffic and weather. Those utilities are fine, but I can get music and information anywhere.

It’s not easy to replace a friend.

Endorsement Ads Work! The primary role of air personalities isn’t to drive advertising results, but it sure helps.

Here’s more good news: Listeners value air personality endorsements as they would a friend’s recommendation. It’s more effective than Facebook posts, sponsored tweets or television commercials. More than half (yes, over 50%) agreed that they trust brands, products, and services a favorite personality recommends.



More than half of all respondents are influenced by a personality endorsement. That’s powerful but brings great responsibility with it.  Don’t recommend or endorse products or services you don’t believe in. The audience can feel tell.

Just Like Me: 7 of 10 respondents say they consider their favorite radio personalities to be regular people just like themselves. In Dallas, we knew we were on the way to a wildly successful radio show when a focus group respondent said this about Dede (DeDe In the Morning on K104):

I want to be just like (personality) because she is a lot like me.

This may be the greatest compliment a personality can get.

Interaction: 80% of the respondents have had interaction with radio personalities. Nice. The study also showed that 6 of 10 listeners have engaged with radio through social media. There’s no doubt that making a personal impact at appearances, on the phone, and on social media is a tremendous opportunity.


There’s much more in the study. For example, more than 60% of listeners are likely to talk about things air personalities have said on the air. This often takes place through social networks, further extending the reach and impact of your personality brand.

And 6 of 10 have a favorite personality they look forward to hearing about in the morning, and many have remained loyal for years. It’s hard to become a favorite. And here’s even better news for those with a strong fan base: It’s even harder to persuade listeners to switch from a favorite to a new show.

The research results were from a study conducted in conjunction with the University of Southern California, which surveyed 2,700 folks. The report also includes insights from an online survey of over 1,000 respondents, and live focus groups, listening logs, digital assignments, and conversations with air personalities across the country.

Yes, you make a difference. The role of air personalities is profound if you are truly a radio personality, not just a DJ or announcer.

If you’d like to get on a Personality Success Path, we can help. Contact us for details.

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