Aah, Write Your Own Title
August 3, 2012
There was an article I linked to the other day in Talk Topics that announced with great gravity that people don't get any work done in August. That's significant on two fronts, one being that, yes, people really aren't into working this month, and the other being, yes, someone actually thought it was a good idea to do research into the obvious. August, known as the dog days of Summer -- you know why they're called the dog days? Good, tell your listeners. I'm too lazy to Google it. Also, I don't care -- has always been a time when people's heads are just not into the serious stuff. It's been like that since the earliest amoebic organisms emerged from the slime, looked around, said "screw it, let's go down the shore," stuffed a bathing suit and a towel into a shoebox, and headed to Wildwood, only to get caught in a massive amoeba traffic jam on Delsea Drive.
It's a good thing, then, when stories pop up that dominate the proverbial water cooler conversation, because it makes your job easier. Who foresaw chicken sandwiches becoming the hottest topic of the week? In sports, who had badminton being headline news? But in a week or so, that might all be past tense. Then what?
What, you want me to help? It's August. I can't be bothered.... oh, well, okay, let's say this: Talk hosts and producers always need to be cognizant of the state of mind of their listeners. Hit them with a heavy topic when their minds are halfway to Wildwood and you're begging them to listen to something else. So... um... man, I'm fading here. What? Right -- you have to be especially entertaining, not necessarily frivolous but offering something that keeps people engaged while they're dreaming of the beach. I'm not saying to ignore hard news, but remember that you have a lot of people on vacation or thinking about it or just plain worn out from the heat, so proceed with caution and don't be afraid to lighten up a little until the end of the month, when the political conventions should kick off the no-shortage-of-material season through November.
But don't take my word for it. Someone did a study! It's scientific! I'd quote from it, but... nah, not today. Hey, you got any SPF 45?
Yes, that's a short one. It's been a busy week. And it's been busy at Talk Topics, the show prep column at All Access News-Talk-Sports, where I've been stockpiling a lot of material, both serious and silly, for your talking pleasure. Click here for that, and follow it at Twitter at @talktopics. You'll also like "10 Questions With..." Noam Laden, the news anchor and early morning host at WABC/New York and a very funny guy, plus industry news first/fastest/best at Net News, which you can also follow on Twitter at @allaccess.
Next week? I have jury duty. I should be in a foul mood. That usually means a good column.