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Radio Programming: Tactics and Strategy

Book Description

A practical handbook for programming directors, this guide focuses on achieving specific objectives in today's modern, competitive environment.



Radio Programming is designed to convey underlying principles and to assist the programmer in accomplishing specific objectives, without mandating exact implementation methods. Instead, it empowers station management and the PD to implement strategies that will work for the particular format and market niche.

Radio Programming will be helpful for neophytes in programming, experienced programmers seeking further growth, air talent seeking to develop skills, and general managers trying to understand programming and effectively manage program directors without stifling creativity. It will also help general managers hire effective programmers.

Eric Norberg is the editor and publisher of the Adult Contemporary Music Research Letter and a radio consultant. He has worked as a program director at several radio stations, as on-air talent and general manager, and has also operated a radio production company. For fourteen years he has written a weekly column on radio programming for The Gavin Report, a radio trade publication.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Dedication
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Preface
  8. Chapter 1-The Basic Principles of Radio Programming
    1. The Station versus the Programs
    2. The Importance of Consistency
    3. FM versus AM
    4. The Importance of Unconventional Strategy
  9. Chapter 2-Structuring Your Station and Creating Identity
    1. The Role of Structure
    2. The Role of Formatting
    3. The Problem with Sports
    4. Quarterbacking Your Team
  10. Chapter 3-Positioning Your Station against the Competition
    1. Hearing Your Station the Way Listeners Do
    2. Consistency Beats Inconsistency
    3. The Role of Research
    4. Designing Your Own Study
  11. Chapter 4-Leading an Airstaff
    1. Working with Creative People
    2. Pay and Unionization
    3. The On-Air Program Director
    4. Who Critiques Your On-Air Work?
    5. Critiquing Your Staff
    6. Choosing a New On-Air Person
    7. Developing Air Talent
  12. Chapter 5-Music as a Programming Weapon
    1. Using Music Strategically
    2. Identifying Listener Preferences
    3. Using Noncurrent Music Strategically
    4. Building a Playlist of Noncurrents
    5. Sidestepping a Noncurrent Trap
    6. Categorizing and Creating a Sequence
    7. Determining the Length of a Current-Music Playlist
  13. Chapter 6-News as a Programming Weapon
    1. The Number One Audience Expectation of Radio News
    2. The Composition of an Aggressive Newscast
    3. Freshening Old Stories and Finding New Stories
    4. Sources of News
    5. The Strategic Advantage of a Small News Staff
    6. Promoting Your Station as a News Source
    7. Public Affairs Programming
    8. When News Is All the Station Offers
  14. Chapter 7-Promoting Your Station
    1. The Purposes of Promotion
    2. On-Air Contests
    3. What Promotions Must Accomplish
    4. Outside Advertising
  15. Chapter 8-Grading Your Programming Performance: What You Need to Know about Ratings
    1. Analyzing Ratings
    2. Understanding the Limitations of Ratings Data
    3. Drawing Constructive Conclusions from Ratings
    4. Responding to Real Changes in Your Ratings
  16. Chapter 9-Working with Your General Manager
    1. Your Boss, the General Manager
    2. The Psychology of the Individual
    3. Building Mutual Trust
  17. Chapter 10-Working with Sales
    1. The Sales Connection
    2. The Value of Being in the Loop
    3. The Ad Standards of Successful Stations
    4. Making Yourself Invaluable to Sales
  18. Chapter 11-Working with Engineering
    1. Being Involved in How Your Station Sounds
    2. Maximizing Audio Processing
    3. Quick Fixes That You Can Do
  19. Chapter 12-The FCC and You
    1. The Importance of Taking FCC Rules Seriously
    2. Important FCC Rules
  20. Chapter 13-Attaining Your Career Goals
    1. Identifying Long-Range Personal Goals
    2. Mandatory: A Savings Plan
    3. Planning for the Future
  21. Index