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(TALENT) Planning Now For Maximum Fall Ratings


Its time to look ahead, beyond tomorrows show, and plot out some memorable morning show content for fall ratings. Schedule a meeting with the morning show program/brand director and any other key creative personnel (marketing, imaging, music directors, for example, if they are part of your creative brain trust).

Conducting The Quarterly Planning Meeting

Like all brainstorming meetings, these meetings are easier and more productive if the attendees do some preliminary brainstorming on their own. Have everyone bring as many ideas as possible from the following categories:

-- A quest or mission idea
Tie in with a concert tour or local sports team. Campaign for a major act to make a stop in your town. Write an anthem for a local sports team and try to get them to adopt it.

-- Promotion/stunt idea
Is there a big local news story you can build a stunt around?

-- New benchmarks
Some benchmarks and games are evergreen; others run their course. Are there benchmarks youve been wanting to try? A new characterizing platform for a secondary player?

-- Listener party
Do you have plans to get the show out as a team to meet and mingle with listeners? It can be as big as a station Halloween club event or as small as a happy hour meet-and-greet with live cut-ins. The point is to find ways to get face time with your biggest fans.

-- Personal storylines
Take stock of each characters personal storylines to find serial content. Is someone trying to quit smoking? Getting married? Build a story arc that listeners will get interested in.

-- Production pieces (song parody, etc.)
What big song of the summer can be transformed into a parody about a big story? What viral video or photo can you seize and make your own?

-- Something new (TV show, movie, YouTube video, book, app, game, etc.)
What show/book/movie is your show fascinated by? How can you build an entertaining benchmark around it?

-- Guests/interviews
Who can the show score an interview with? Create a wish list.

-- Heartstring Pullers
Unlike Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day, and summer holidays, the fall holidays -- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Remembrance/Veterans Day -- lend themselves to kindness, generosity and compassion. What can your show do, that fits your personality, to tie in with the general audience sentiment of taking care of other people in your community?

If each meeting participant brings in at least five ideas, think about the starting list youll have! Pare down the list to the best ideas -- ideas that will help you either strategically in building your brand, tactically in getting more listening occasions, or both -- and get serious delegating responsibilities and setting deadlines to hold one another accountable.

Having some major anchor points solidified on a shows content calendar well in advance makes it much easier and natural to push forward momentum from show to show once the rating period starts.

Angela Perelli is a SVP at the The Randy Lane Company ( She can be reached at

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