He Had His Co-Host Pinned Against The Wall ...
January 27, 2015
Don't you love it when a problem takes care of itself and you didn't have to lift a finger to fix it? I loved situations like that because it made me look good and along with it came more autonomy as manager.
Putting out fires can go one of two ways -- and if it goes the wrong way, it's hell to pay with collateral damage potentially affecting other programming plans. It can cause a GM or owner to begin questioning everything you are doing. Matters could become even worse if the ratings simultaneously take a dip during the programming department dilemma. That is why I was glad to get this e-mail from a very relieved PD.
PD: I am happy to say I hired the right person to co-host my afternoon show. We have syndication in the mornings and I moved the jock to the afternoons. She was the co-host with a gentleman who left us for another opportunity. Unfortunately, I had to make a decision quickly and I went to syndication because my market manager was on me to find someone quickly. The young lady who co-hosted is very talented but not experienced enough to handle the load alone.
To tell you the truth, now with a syndicated morning show, our whole concept is to do a morning-type show in the afternoon. If this new guy had not fallen into our laps, I might have had to take a ready-made team from the outside and let this young lady go. As it turns out her new co-host is versatile and is teaching by example. He is really good and can make adjustments on the fly. I love it because she is following his lead and they sound great together in the afternoon. My GM is so impressed and it is giving us all sorts of new sales-related possibilities. I am enjoying all of the newfound respect I am getting around the cluster. The amazing thing is how much the two of them work together off the air; they are quickly developing into a money making team for our sales department.
Coach: I am glad to hear things are working out so well for you with both dayparts. I am not trying to rain on your parade but your new team has only been working together for a short period of time and they are still in the honeymoon stage. I hope your critique meetings do not turn into counseling sessions.
Co-hosts: Make a Plan
Whether in business, sports or in radio, it's the little things performed consistently and with excellence that will win over time.
Be it a morning show or entertaining PM drive with co-hosts, there needs to be an outline for each show. The outline is a daily road map and should be specific; however it's just a plan and you don't have to rigidly follow it. You have to be flexible enough to change course when it's necessary. Maybe something that planned is not going very well or maybe something has happened locally or nationally that you have to insert into your show.
Working together as an ensemble on a radio show takes a lot of give-and-take, which comes from practicing off the air. It becomes more like a family or like moving parts of an engine, the more you practice the smoother things will be.
Fighting Is Okay If The Show Gets Ratings
Squabbles among family and friends are normal and also happen whenever you're working closely with other people. I can remember an instance where I came to work one morning and walked by the studio on my way to my office and my morning show team was having a difference of opinion. I glanced in the studio and noticed that one of the team members had their forearm against the neck of his partner up against the wall. I didn't automatically rush into the studio as I didn't see any blood. After I got myself situated in my office, I thought I would head back to the studio, but the studio light was on which of course meant they were going on the air. So I stepped back into my office and I listened to them do an outstanding talk-set going into a commercial break. So I thought to myself, the two sound great .... should I really interfere?
I listened to a few more breaks and waited until the news came on, then I went to talk to them. At that point, we were still the only people in the building because it was about 6:45 in the morning. I told them I noticed they were having a disagreement and I said I don't want to hear about it until after they got off the air. However, I did tell them whatever the issues in the future, I wanted it settled before others started to come in the building. Then I complimented them on how great the show sounded, in fact I thought to myself, maybe they should fight in the studio every morning off-mic.
There are times that you need to let your entertainment shows solve their differences. If there are no gunshots, stabbing, fisticuffs, or office gossip about a problem between co-hosts, just contain the issue and enjoy the rating bonuses all the way to the bank.