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WHEN A RADIO STATION KEEPS 71% OF ITS PROMISE

Heard on a major Los Angeles radio station:

Heard 21 minutes and 20 seconds later on that same major Los Angeles radio station:

This, by the way, is from the same day the same station aired a radio commercial four days after the deadline specified in the advertisement. (I have no idea if they did ever pull that spot; perhaps it’s still airing.)

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  • Kevin Clay May 31, 2011, 4:49 am

    Of course, in the new radio world “30 minutes” just means “6 songs programmed into our computer that hopefully will equal 30 minutes, but since there’s not actually anyone at the station checking that stuff– eh, whatever….” All Hail the Voicetracking Gods!!!

  • Scott Larson May 31, 2011, 9:51 am

    YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME, why would you air a message machine ON THE AIR in this bit?, What programmer would not have a cow if he/she heard this on the station. A Major no-no, as far as the 30 min music sweep goes, isn’t it all theater of the mind Dan? Granted, the PD should have seen that the clocks didn’t match when he/she was going through the daypart. But to air a message machine in a contest bit in a Major is just plain laziness on the part of the jock and the PD, the jock should have pulled another name, called them way in advance, pre-recorded the bit, edited out all the BS and just hit the hook of the winner over an intro,, tight, bright, FORWARD momentum.. Just my .02 cents
    Scott Larson

  • Dan O'Day May 31, 2011, 10:24 am

    Scott: I don’t have a problem with the jock (whose name I excised from the aircheck, because I don’t think she is to blame for the “30 minutes = 21 minutes” debacle) airing the answering machine response. I’m sure she was following format and, I thought, did a decent job of keeping it upbeat & enthusiastic.

    If it’s been promised that a winner will be announced and called at a certain time, it makes sense to do so on the air. That’s both for program value and also to reassure the audience that yes, real people really do win our contests.

    But to your other point: “Theater of the Mind” never has meant “making promises you don’t keep” or, more accurately, “lying to your audience.”

  • Derrick Scott May 31, 2011, 4:39 pm

    I actually didn’t mind the recorded message, it re-enforces the fact that you need to listen, and be at the number given. Yes some will say that it shames the caller, and radio is to suppose to turn listeners into a star, which it did in this case. As far as the 30 minutes go, I am wondering if it was a sweep in the middle of the 30 minutes, or was this the launch of the 30 minutes. It seemed vague, perhaps that extra few seconds of re-reading before sending it off to the imaging voice might have helped. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with saying, \you’re in the middle..\ but if this was the actual kick off of 30 minutes, and the listener got 21 minutes, shame, but not surprising. So many MDs and PDs figure listeners will never know. Listeners are a lot smarter than some PDs give them credit for. I am wondering if the MD or whomever does music actually spends timing grooming the log, or if its a quick schedule, fill the unschedules and day done. I remember when I would do music, even with rules in place, I would spend a least 1 hour reviewing each day before it was done. Honestly, it doesn’t take that long to swop out a song for a longer one, or insert a few extra to get to your promise of 30 minutes.

  • Rich Roszel July 11, 2011, 9:38 am

    I used to work for a station that would say it was running 54 minutes of non-stop music in certain day parts (That may not have been the exact wording, but it’s close) even though there were actually several times during the music set when we would insert weather, live promos, and a reminder that “you’re listening to 54 minutes of non-stop music on ____.”

    The justification given by management was that since we were running a music bed underneath everything we said, the music never stopped. I, on the other hand, did stop … working there. Somehow, speaking truthfully in a deceitful manner never really struck me as a good way to win friends and influence listeners.

  • Austin Michael July 14, 2011, 6:34 am

    Deceitful? Maybe not. This seems more like lazy programming. A PD or MD not massaging his log well enough to either make sure the amount of music to fill the time was in or to make sure that the imaging saying so was left out. Far too often I hear imaging that doesn’t flow or is irellevant to the music, daypart, or activities going on around it simply because someone isn’t paying enough attention to what’s been stacked on the log.

  • K.M. Richards August 16, 2011, 3:49 pm

    First of all, I doubt anyone will be surprised that this is a Clear Channel station.

    Second, this is a good example of why “at least x songs in a row” may be a better positioning statement than “x number of minutes of music” … with emphasis on the “at least” so that if you promise six and deliver eight, the listeners not only don’t feel lied to, they get a positive feeling when you exceed the expectations you set up at the top of the sweep.

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