Everyone reading this was inspired by a radio personality at some point. Everyone. The voices that sparked a chain reaction influenced how you arrived at this moment in your career. Think about that. Think of the magical moments when a voice on the radio changed your life forever. Now consider this. You are now one of those voices that influence others. What’s your legacy?
This is the start of a new series of stories inspired by my friend Don Anthony (Oh, by the way…you ARE going to Morning Show Boot Camp, right?) about a one-in-a-million meeting with a listener:
One of my neighbors is from New Orleans. They had a weekend guest from the old neighborhood. She was around 60 and I joined them for a few cocktails. My friend Steve introduced me by my legal name, Don Spedale and told her that I used to be on the radio in New Orleans. She broke out a huge smile, leaned forward, and said, “When I was a teenager, I used to listen to a DJ in New Orleans named Don Anthony. He was funny and so personable. And he was nice to people when they called his show and when he talked to a celebrity. He always made everyone feel so special. I wonder what happened to him.” I had a smile wider than Nicki Minaj’s ass. I put my hand up, halting her memories, and said, “That DJ moved to LA, but now he lives in Atlanta. And you’re looking at him.”
Don inspired a teenage listener with an impression that has lasted more than 40 years. Wow. How cool is that?
What’s Your Legacy?
Everyone has a legacy. Some, like Howard Stern, Jeff and Jer, Kidd Kraddick, and The Bert Show are more memorable than others. But every personality has a story. I want to hear yours and share them. So I’m starting The Legacy Project as a series of stories about the legacy of radio personalities.
There are several goals:
- Remind you of the magic of radio. Maybe these stories will rekindle excitement for an industry that has become more of a job than a passion.
- Honor talent that made a difference in your career and life. Even the most accomplished radio legends don’t know or appreciate their impact unless they’re told. I’ll make sure they know how you appreciate them.
- Recognize how today’s personalities make a difference to others. And they usually don’t know it. Other radio pros look up to you. They respect you. And I want you to hear their stories.
- Inspire ideas that have a long-lasting impact on listeners. The Legacy stories will include airchecks and examples.
The Legacy Project
The Legacy Project will be diverse and take on many forms. For example:
- Who left a legacy that influenced your life and career? How? Why? How has it affected your show today?
- How did you impact a listener’s life the way a New Orleans teenager remembers Don Anthony to this day? Be proud of it. Share the story that adds to your personal legacy.
- Tell us how you are a positive influence in another personality’s career. Maybe it’s by example (how you inspired them). Or you mentored a kid that became a radio star. Maybe it was simply taking time to be nice to someone that motivated them to keep them pushing forward.
- What do you want your legacy to be? What do you aspire to? Stories are being written every single day. How do you want to be remembered?
- Who is building a legacy today that future personalities will remember? Tell the story, even if it’s a name we won’t recognize. In fact, especially if it’s someone industry followers won’t know. Explain how they are changing lives by what they do on the radio.
- How have you (or another personality) changed listeners’ lives? Perhaps it was a charity event or adopting a cause. Tell the story that demonstrates how radio personalities matter.
Send Your Stories
I want all your stories and will share them with the industry. Send a story and include your name, backstory, current position, a photo (or video), audio (if available) and as many details as possible.
You can choose any of these ways to share the story:
- Write the whole story. It doesn’t have to be formal or polished. I’ll dress it up and publish it.
- Send bullet points and I’ll write the story for you. Be as thorough as possible.
- Record a video telling the story.
Include as much audio and video as possible. Email [email protected] or use this form:
I think being memorable is a special thing, don’t you? I hope to get hundreds of stories. No, thousands. And I will share them all. What’s your legacy? Some will have a hard time identifying which story to share. Don’t limit it. Send them all. Others may have to dig deep to find one.
But please find one. Or two. Or ten. And send them.
Perhaps it will start a ripple that becomes a lasting part of your story.