5 Ways To Address The Presidential Election For Music Stations
March 29, 2016
I'm not revealing the names of these two well-known shows to protect the guilty!
#1 Every time the 2016 election topic comes up, the show quickly goes from fun to serious because the host is conservative and one of the co-hosts is liberal. They now stay away from the election.
We don't recommend this because it's the biggest topical story on most days.
#2 "Every time we make a comment about Trump or Bernie, the conservatives call us liberal communists and the liberals call us right wing nazis!" They now tread lightly on the election, or they don't go there at all.
It's actually a good thing that the show is getting a strong reaction from the audience.
People choose to listen to music radio shows for entertaining talk and music. Topical content is a vital and relevant way of relating and building a bridge with the audience. However, listeners of music stations don't expect serious political discussions and debates from their favorite personalities.
This is the most talked-about and covered presidential election in U.S. history. If your show ignores the election, you're ignoring what the majority of your audience is talking about and consuming from other media.
5 Ways to Address the Presidential Election for Music Stations
1. Let late-night comics cover politics for you: Compile the best nightly political monologue jokes from Kimmel, Conan, Colbert and Fallon and air them in a "late-night election coverage" segment.
2. Jimmy Kimmel's Unnecessary Censorship feature is being mimicked by several shows. It's a compilation of clips from television shows and newscasts censored as if the people in the clips are using profanity or making outlandish statements.
3. Impressions: Torg and Elliott at QFM96 Columbus air Trump, Hillary, and Bernie impressionists. Notice how the hosts write characterizing, self-deprecating lines about themselves for the impressionists to include in their act.
* Check out the mock Hillary-Bernie town hall meeting.
* Here's their weekly call from Donald Trump.
4. Social media: CNN posted an article that Donald Trump and Kanye West tweets sound similar. The J Show at B96 Chicago turned it into a game called Who Tweeted It: Kanye or Trump?
* Create a video for social media. Dana and Jayson at Top 40 WBLI Long Island filmed themselves and their reactions as they watched a recent political debate, improvising lots of humor along the way.
* Face off against a local talk radio host. Triple A KINK/Portland morning host (and notorious liberal) Sheila Hamilton produced a daily point/counterpoint style feature with syndicated conservative host Lars Larson from down the hall at KXL. The hosts take turns giving 30 seconds of their view on a topic and the other host gets 30 seconds to rebut and reply. Sparks flew! The feature ran on both KINK and KXL so cross-promotion was accomplished as well.
* Robert D. Raiford offers his outspoken political viewpoint on the syndicated Jon Boy and Billy Big Show. Robert ends each editorial with "Who says that? I say that! Robert D. Raiford on the Jon Boy and Billy Big Show!"
This is one of the most polarized presidential elections ever. Only a few music station shows can get away with serious political talk. It depends on the composition of your audience and their expectations of your show.
Humor is the most effective way to approach the election on most music stations.
"It's almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or social hierarchy when you're howling with laughter. Laughter is a force of democracy." - John Cleese