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PDs Who Hotline Jocks

I’ve created this post for any Radio Advertising Letter subscribers who would like to comment on “PDs Who Hotline Jocks,” which I discussed in the newest Letter.

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  • Amy McLane January 10, 2009, 6:42 pm

    Rather than focus on negativity by talking about what a BAD PD is, I’d rather comment on what makes a GREAT PD…
    The very best PD I ever had,was someone who always looked for the GOOD in your work and gave you a pat on the back when it was due…and encouraged you to do better by being a “cheerleader” of sorts for your professional growth and a great job on the air. He also always recognized his air talents for jobs well done. That made a HUGE difference in not only the morale around the station,but also made a big difference in our ratings! (because everyone WANTED to do the best we possibly could…we didn’t want to let such a nice guy down !) His name was Dan Knighton, and he was the PD at rest his soul. He passed away quite suddenly in his 30’s from Cancer, leaving a wife and young child behind, back in the early to mid 90’s. He was so positive and we could all learn from his example of how to lead.

  • Amy McLane January 10, 2009, 6:47 pm

    My apology…I inadvertantly left out *where* he was the PD…it was in Lancaster, PA at WROZ 101.3 FM, “The Rose”.

  • Mike Bell January 11, 2009, 2:18 am

    More times than not the only person that noticed the “hotlinable” offense was the PD. The GM that gave me my first PD gig made it clear from day one that hotlining the jocks over formatics was a sure sign that I wasn’t very good as a PD.

  • Paul Easton January 11, 2009, 2:22 am

    You don’t need me to tell you that managing presenters is not always easy. They’re the team members who are at the forefront of your station’s ‘product’ and therefore come under continual scrutiny while being expected to give a consistent performance every time they are on-air. No matter what might be going on in their personal lives they have to be able to leave it outside the studio and concentrate on the job in hand, so it’s important to ensure that your presenters are working in a good, positive atmosphere that is conducive for making good radio.

    That doesn’t mean molly-coddling them or pandering to their egos but simply treating them with respect, as you would any other person, while appreciating that some presenters can go through periods when they don’t feel they’re able to ‘come up with the goods’ and need some reassurance and encouragement as a means of motivation.

    Everybody likes to be told they’re doing a good job I also happen to think that if you acknowledge good work, it also gives you more credibility, and authority on those occasions when you might need to pick someone up on something, or even discipline them.

    There are some people in management, though, who seem to rule by fear. While such an approach might keep everybody on their toes, it doesn’t do much for team morale, or encourage people to give their best. Often the only real motivation the staff receive is to do their best to find another job as soon as possible!

    I was taught to praise in public and criticise in private; that includes avoiding over-zealous use of the hotline or coming into the studio during the show to have a go at a presenter. 99.9% of the time it can wait until after they’ve finished and then deal with the matter in your office afterwards.

    After all, you can’t keep your eyes on the road ahead if you’re constantly having to look over your shoulder!