(SPORTS TALK) Teasing Equals Ratings
One of the most time consuming things in preparing for my radio show each and every single day, is writing good teasers. The tease is the most important thing a radio host can do on his show because it not only carries the audience from segment to segment but it also makes the transition bridge sound smoother as you go to commercial break.
I have always believed in trying to take my audience as close to the break as possible and sometimes even trying to "trick" my listeners with hard breaks so I maximize every second of a segment to try and get as many PPM meters and repeat visitors to the show I can. I'm a huge fan of the hard break because it allows me to take my listener to the edge and through the break. Remember, we are trying to break away from all the old Arbitron habits many hosts – and sometimes even program directors – have to this day.
I have an issue with some stations still using music going into breaks. We have been trained our entire lives as radio listeners to listen to radio "mechanisms." When I hear music, I know it's commercial time, so I'm going to change the station and look for either another sportstalk show or find a hit song.
Another bad habit for a host to say "coming up next" or "after the break." When a listener hears that, he or she is out of there. I hate to use the word "trick" because it sounds sneaky, as in trying to trick my audience but – but the truth is you are. The more you can maximize the segment, the more chance you have of getting better ratings.
I spend so much time every night writing teasers for my show – they are so important to a radio host's success today vis-a-vis how you carry your audience from segment to segment. I love watching all those TV magazine shows like "Entertainment Tonight" or "E" because the writers do such a great job of trying to keep their audience using amazing teasers. "Is Travolta Gay?" or "Lindsey Lohan is going to jail…NEXT" Those are awesome teases that I love to imitate: "Is Manti Teo Gay?" or "Does the NFL want more knee injuries over head injuries now?" Since those shows do a great job at teasing, I use them as guides to formulate my teasers each day.
Get with your PD and discuss ideas for teasers. This is an area that both host and PD can work together on. With both working on this part of the show, a great relationship will develop without the host feeling the PD is trying to influence the content. Joe Maddon, the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, told me that for him to be critical of a player's performance he has to be invested in the player with a constructive, not destructive, relationship. And that's how both will win the ratings wars in radio.
So remember....Teasing Equals Ratings!!
Footnote: My show on 640 AM SPORTS from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. here in Miami is going GREAT!
Dan Sileo, also known as "The Bonecrusher," is a sports talk show host who has worked at KGO & KNBR-WDAE and WQAM. He can be reached at Umiam93@yahoo.com and on Twitter at @dansileoshow
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