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Programming Resolutions for the New Year

January 6, 2023

Gary Berkowitz

Gary Berkowitz

By: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

The new year is a great time to go through the station and make sure all of the basics and strategies are in place. Here are my top elements to review.

Aircheck your talent. As PDs are busier and multi-tasking more than ever, this art seems to be falling in-between the cracks all too often. We all want and crave feedback. There is no better way to build relationships and help talent sound better than to close your door, turn off the phone, listen to their show, and offer input.

Sell the product. I cannot tell you how many stations I listen to and hear selling everything but their number one product. The music. Promote the quantity, quality, and benefits of listening to your station. Moreover, please remember the power of titles and artists. Listeners always rate this very high. They enjoy knowing the names and artists of the music you are playing.

Do not worry about liners burning out. Let them “BURN IN.” Sure, they need to be updated and freshened but make sure you do not lose focus in the process.

Be involved with the daily editing of the music log. Since music is #1, there is nobody more qualified than the PD to make sure that ever segue, every song and every 15-minute cluster of music is right on target. Constantly look at songs to make sure they are rotating properly. Not only through the dayparts, but the hours as well. Lookout for “vertical rotation” problems. They are easy to see in Selector! Delegating music editing to a less qualified person could cost valuable rating points. Remember with the music, safe, familiar, and smooth always wins.

Make sure your station is not dull and boring. Jocks, jingles, sweepers, and promotions give you a great opportunity to keep your station alive and vibrant.

Remember, personality is all about the way you sound, not the number of words you use. Warm, friendly on-air people is what AC radio is all about. Keep talk elements to the point, but always make sure they are delivered in a warm manner with a lot of smile and sincerity in the jocks voice.

Look at your Socials and Website. Is there a reason for listeners to visit you more than once? Do you have a loyal listener club? Now is a great time to use this free (often overlooked) marketing tool to your advantage.

Nielsen check. Check to see if your Nielsen SIP is up to date as well as your “Station Name”

Work on technical issues now. Do not wait for the start of the spring book to work on your audio processing or any other technical issues you may have.

Plan ahead. Do not wait until the last minute to plan research, promotions, or marketing programs. We all know the upcoming Nielsen dates. Be ahead of them. Although it’s early January, most retail stores are only days away from showing and selling spring fashions. Are we that ahead? If you are planning music testing for the spring book, please shoot to have it on the air between 3-4 weeks prior to the book start.

Review Christmas now. Look back at how the Christmas season went. Take notes for improvements for next year. Make lists of songs you’ll need, and believe it or not, start working now on clock grids, so they are ready next year. It rolls around pretty quickly each year.

Gary Berkowitz specializes in ratings improvement for AC and Classic Hits radio stations. He can be reached at (248) 737-3727 or Always confidential. Never an obligation.

Editor's Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB's official editorial policy.



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