The On-Air Cleanup
January 29, 2013
As you prepare for Spring ratings and fine-tune your programming, getting control of the amount of idle chatter on your air helps you improve flow and extend time spent listening. As you listen to talk breaks on your station here are several key points for spring cleaning:
- Place the "hook" in breaks up front to gain attention, and then support the segment with any needed detail. Pay off at the close. It's a tried-and-true formula! Never go into a stopset without promoting ahead.
- Knowing the exit and working toward it is very effective in reducing clutter. If you know where you are going, you get there faster.
- Control topic drift by keeping to a single topic or salient point. Bits that jump the topic track may leave the listener wondering what you're talking about. And those tuning in midway in the break will be totally lost.
- Watch for the "I can top that" syndrome with morning teams. Too often, talents compete to get the best line and bits run long. The first exit from a talk bit is usually the strongest. Rehearse.
- There is no set time limit for bits. We have heard bits that run for ten minutes that were captivating, but they are extremely rare. Listeners don't automatically give the talent "x" minutes. Bits are borrowed time, using only the time needed to complete the break. Be wary of any standard time claims like "two minutes" for a bit. The best bits are measured in seconds!