Radio Programming Philosophy

Disclaimer: If you’re looking for the world’s greatest literary novel on radio programming, you’ve come to the wrong place — it’s not my style, however; if you’re looking for a personal collection of coachable concepts and strategic thoughts that shape my management approach and programming foundation, then look no further.

Check out my professional programming philosophies in an easy to digest PPM style:

Lead with this in mind: The product is the people and the people are the product. Everything we curate, execute, and put on the air is a reflect of who we are as a brand.

Our DEMOS are our DESTINY — make every attempt to define, understand, and supersize your core demo and grow inside the demo then outward

Being GREAT is a byproduct of being EFFECTIVE. Focus the team on being EFFECTIVE in everything they’re tasked to accomplish. If the staff can become intentionally effective towards hitting the goals/over-arching vision, effective towards reaching consumers where they are at, and effective towards growing their own personal brands – the company/station can naturally achieve GREATNESS in their pursuit.

The PD’s bottom line oath to executive leadership: Make Them Money, Save Them Money, and Keep The Brand Out of Trouble

Simple rule of thumb/perspective when building a successful radio station: your songs are cume magnets. Your on-air talent are TSL magnets. Navigate accordingly.

Everything that comes out of the speakers on-air is a marketing statement about WHO YOU ARE (as a station brand).

Give your listeners what they want and throw in some surprises – you want to be predictably, unpredictable.

Formula for success in television, radio, and podcasting – Entertainment = Evoked Emotions. Our job as audio content creators is to take what’s generic and make it emotional.

It’s one thing to be an artistic success as a radio station with solid ratings performance, but the real longevity is being both an artistic and financial successful for the parent organization.

Good enough is NOT good enough, there’s too much of that going on in the industry. It’s our personal responsibility to strive and out perform ourselves, challenge ourselves individually to be better than the day before in some small way – over time growth will be the outcome.

The market dictates the approach to programming and the philosophy need to execute and win. In my experience, 30 Ubers/30 Days has been the best ‘real time’ observational research a programmer can do when trying to understand the marketplace and how locals behave with digital and traditional media.

The station’s team typically takes the form and personality of the Program Director. It’s important to lead by example and perform “self-audits” daily, meaning you must be detailed about your work and the bottom line tasks. At the end of day, check your own work to ensure you covered your primary responsibilities in full without assumption that it’s ‘completed’. Self-audit = self accountability.

It’s a common on-air talent misconception to think of a radio show as a 4 hour block start to finish; however, PPM data reveals that the average listener spends about 10 minutes per occasion with the station – it’s more realistic to think of the show in 60, 15 minutes chunks – moving listeners from one occasion to another.


About Chris Malone radio

Over 15 year Radio and Digital Consultant, Major Market Program Director, On-Air Personality (Urban AC, Urban Hip Hop, Smooth Jazz & Rhythmic format background). Additionally, Promotions Coordinator, TV News Audio Engineer and Commercial Voice-Over Artist. Sounds like a lot? It is!! A lot of fun and I wouldn't have it any other way. This is the blog space for broadcast media's best kept secret, Chris Malone. Enjoy!

Posted on November 1, 2021, in Life, Music, Radio. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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