Radio Program Directors:
Don’t hotline your jocks.
“Hotlining,” of course, consists of hearing the air personality make a mistake and immediately calling him on the phone during his airshift to scream at him.
Don’t do it.
It’s a sure-fire way to ruin the rest of the jock’s show.
It’s a power trip.
The embedded message in a hotline call is, “I can hotline you, but you can’t hotline me. I’m the boss!”
Have you ever been hotlined?
What was your immediate response as soon as you saw that line flashing?
I know what it was. Whether uttered aloud or thought silently, your response consisted of two words:
You’re a dedicated radio program director. You work long and hard, trying to perfect your product and build your audience…and then some idiot disc jockey screws it all up by playing a record out of rotation or reading the wrong liner card.
You go nuts. How hard can it be to follow a music clock when the computer has done all the work for you?
You’re furious. You want to kill the guy.
You know what? It goes with territory. That’s part of the frustration of being a program director. That’s why you get the private office and the business cards and maybe even your own parking space.
If you want to motivate your staff to its peak performance, you wait until after the jock has finished his air shift and after you’ve calmed down.
By that time, you might decide it really isn’t worth talking about.
If you decide it is worth discussing, you pick a time, place and manner which enable you to motivate the jock to perform better, rather than simply to let off steam and ruin the rest of his show.
P.S. If a consultant ever hotlines a jock, the consultant should be fired.