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If you don’t have time to prepare for your radio show, why bother to show up?

“Oh, I can just wing it. Only beginners waste their time with show prep.”

To quote a high school classmate of mine (obviously inspired by The Marx Brothers) who loudly (and memorably) protested a particularly inane statement by our Civics teacher:


Professionals prepare.

Amateurs pray for inspiration.

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  • Grant February 25, 2009, 2:14 am

    That’s something I was always so bad with in commercial radio… Likely why I failed in a commercial sense. 🙂 I’m not much better now on my LPFM station, though I _try_ to do some basic prep so I don’t sound like a lame ass on air.

  • Sarah Jane Savoie February 25, 2009, 7:36 am

    I don’t think anyone is that good.

  • Archer February 25, 2009, 7:40 am

    Any of the truly great personalities I’ve had the privilege to work with OVER-prepare … often by 300 to 500 per cent … then make it SOUND like they didn’t.

  • Brian Temple February 25, 2009, 8:44 am

    Nothing helps your show like the preparation that goes in before it. And that prep starts as soon as your show ends, or even before. The only way to know what your listeners (and viewers) are interested in and concerned about, is to read what they read, and watch what they watch. Unless all you’re allowed to do is read the liner cards, then you’ve got to put in the work. Your audience is worth it. It’s part of being part of the community.

  • Josh Brandon February 25, 2009, 8:45 am

    They may THINK they’re that good…but I’ll throw a dollar down that says they sound COMPLETELY unprepared and rambling.

  • Anonymous February 25, 2009, 8:46 am

    We have a lack of prep issue here. Not the attitude that they are too good to prep. More like laziness and a lack of caring about the product!

  • Brian Phillips February 25, 2009, 8:49 am

    Jocks that are too good for show prep will find themselves outsourced by a computer “jock”

  • snarfdude February 25, 2009, 6:43 pm

    Depends on what you do.

    Commerical radio is very topical based, with a slant towards local surveillance and local content in general. With something like this, yes, prep is critical.

    If you’re doing any radio show (college, LPFM) where you’re creating your own reality set some basic rules, and have fun. you’re only as limited as your own imagination and the sound effects you have to play with.

    As far as rambling, that’s what a good co host is for. they’ll reel you in when you get too off track. Rambling can be good, but also can be bad…finding what works is tricky and very subjective.

    One of the most difficult things any talent can do is…a show alone. you’re relying on prep and your own personality to carry the show. Few can really do it good, most do it ok, others are smart enough to realize the strength and chemistry of co-hosts and casts of characters when you have access to them.

    I don’t believe in prep 100% of the time, UNLESS you can pull off prep so it sounds like it’s off the cuff. there’s a certain % of you that has to sound human, as you’re audience is.

  • Adam Garey February 25, 2009, 7:36 pm

    Any one a Public Speaker ? Anyone go up to speak on a subject without notes? Anyone who is a Public Speakr not stink their first time..and had no notes, no idea what the material covered was going to be? Any one that is a Public Speaker have a whole Network expecting you to talk about their subject matter not in one or two hours but 3 or four? I do not think the Point is If you are good do it . I think the answer is Prepare-No Negotiation period. You have many people expecting you to Repesent . You have fellow employes, you have The Station Image, You have the Community and your Priceless Listeners. This is Basic. Do you see the Public Speaker “show up ” 10 minutes before His/Her SPEECH?
    If you did how much stock would you put into what they say? Basics.
    If I am asked to assist someone with a commercial and they themselves do not Listen and do not Apply then it becomes a Joke. When I listen to a Morning Show and I start doubting if they know what they are doing ,”SWITCH”

  • Justin Cleveland February 25, 2009, 8:44 pm

    Many jocks now fall into the category of “too much work to do, no time to prep.” When I was on air I was running and writing a morning news program on our AM, reporting, hosting an afternoon show on our country FM, and calling sports games at night. Plus I had to do imaging and commercials. It wasn’t for a lack of caring or professionalism–just a lack of staff from a cash strapped industry.

  • Becky Thompson February 25, 2009, 8:47 pm

    Being in the Oklahoma City Market I can’t believe can STILL hear a station roll into a song or commercial break with NO identification~!!!

  • Todd VanDyke February 25, 2009, 8:48 pm

    There’s nothing like walking into a studio at 5:30 in the morning with all of the bits you’ll need for the day ready to fly!

  • Rob Holding February 26, 2009, 12:53 am

    On the prep issue, I also like to walk out of the studio with prep I have not used. But where are the pd’s? If an announcer sounds like he hasn’t prepped then he probably hasn’t and pd’s should be on to them like a ton of bricks to present their fully prepped run sheets before shifts until they get into the habit.

    Where are all the good pd’s Dan? Where are they Dan? Do they even care about their programme, let alone their staff? (I’m having a bad day by the way) Where are the GM’s telling the pd’s that their announcer sound like they haven’t prepped? Damn. Are there no professionals anymore. (Make that a really bad day!)

  • Don Lehn February 26, 2009, 1:11 am

    If I ever get that cocky–kick my ass–and I left jocking for news 15 years ago !!..BTW–today–survived another round of cuts–second in two months !!!

  • Anonymous March 29, 2009, 10:18 am

    well 4 me , iam an radio announcer and everyday bfore i go into my show i prepare, researcha dn write. i feel that if i dont and depend on the producer then he or she thinks from their oint of view and as its my show i got u do some hardwork daily. i have been on air for two years but still i research and go coz ” content is king”

  • Carly Rush March 31, 2009, 7:22 am

    I like to completely plan out the show on a planner. But, it’s flexible. We can throw it all out, but at least it’s there so we ALWAYS know what’s coming up next. If something better comes along, we go with that!

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    Can u plz refer a way so that i can easily access some programming on air,to do some contest (related to food producs) for distribution of some free gift vouchers to the winners.


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