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WHAT TO SAY TO RADIO MANAGERS WHO LIKE TO “HANG OUT” IN THE ON-AIR STUDIO

radio management tipsA Loyal Reader Writes:

“After two years at my current radio station and two years at another in our company, I’ve noticed it’s common practice for program directors and station managers to have no regard for the On-Air light.

“They just walk right into the broadcast studio whether they need to talk to you or not. They’ll work around you and dawdle, or just sit there and wait until you’re done with a phoner or a bit.

“Personally, I think it’s really distracting and downright unprofessional. And sadly, a lot of these people used to be jocks. You’d think they’d know.

“What’s your feeling about this? Do you have anything I can print off and stick in their mailboxes so they get the hint?”

If you’re smart, you won’t print this because it would harm your relationships with your higher-ups.

Also, you haven’t indicated that you’ve expressed those feelings to them directly.

Rather than getting upset because they can’t read your mind, explain to them that their actions are preventing you from doing as good a radio show as you can for your (and their) audience.

Yes, it’s unprofessional of them. And thoughtless and rude.

Tactic #1

“Uh, boss? I really can’t concentrate on my show while you’re in the studio.”

Tactic #1 with Response and Retort

YOU: Uh, boss? I really can’t concentrate on my radio show while you’re in the studio.

BOSS: What’s the matter? You can’t do your job just because I’m sitting here quietly, minding my own business?

YOU: That’s right, boss. When I’m on the air and you’re in the studio with me, it’s distracting. Even when you’re not speaking, it distracts me.

Tactic #1 with Response and Retort
+ a Heavy Load of B.S.

YOU: Uh, boss? I really can’t concentrate on my show while you’re in the studio.

BOSS: What’s the matter? You can’t do your job just because I’m sitting here quietly, minding my own business?

YOU: That’s right, boss. When I’m on the air and you’re in the studio with me, it’s distracting. Even when you’re not speaking, you have such a magnetic personality that your mere presence distracts me.

Tactic #2

YOU: Did you need something urgently?

BOSS: No, no. Just thought I’d come visit you.

YOU: That’s really nice of you, boss, but I can’t concentrate on my show with extra people in the studio. How about if I stop by your office after the show, and we’ll have a nice long visit?

BOSS: After your show? No, I’ll be busy then. Got things to do.

YOU: Oh, okay (as you open the studio door for him). Some other time then. Oops, record’s running out. See you later….

Tactic #3

“Boss, you really have to leave. I can’t do my show with people just sitting around in here” or “…with you talking to me.”

Tactic #3 with Response and Retort

YOU: Boss, you really have to leave. I can’t do my show with people just sitting around in here

or

…with you talking to me.

BOSS: I have to leave?? But I’m the boss around here!

YOU: That’s true, boss. But while I’m on the air, I’m the captain of this ship. During my show, I’m the boss of this studio. You can fire me if you want, but for as long as this is my radio program I’m in charge inside this room from 2 until 6 each afternoon.

(Note: I said those very words to a major market GM a long time ago. He got the message, and he left the room. Did he fire me? Well, yes. Eventually. But that’s not the point.)

Tactic #4

(You enter the GM’s or PD’s office, sit in chair.)

BOSS:  Yes?

YOU:  Hmmm?

BOSS:  You wanted something?

YOU:  Oh. No.

BOSS:  Then….?

YOU:  Hmmm?

BOSS:  Why are you here?

YOU:  Just thought I’d come and hang out. Go on with whatever you were doing. Don’t worry, I won’t interrupt you.

BOSS:  Are you crazy? I can’t do my work with you just sitting there for no good reason.

YOU:  Oh. Yeah, that makes sense. I’d better remember to explain to other radio station staff members when they come to the on-air studio to hang out during my shift.

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  • Don Chaney December 17, 2013, 10:26 am

    I once told a PD, that if he didn’t want to finish my show for me, he would turn around and get out of my studio. Fortunately, he did.

  • Bob Albert December 17, 2013, 10:26 am

    I told “Little Hitler” the ops guy to get out of my studio and he had my desk moved to the garage… and I LIKED it!

  • Tony Clark December 17, 2013, 10:26 am

    Say GTFO! He’ll know what it means..

  • Jim Beasley December 17, 2013, 10:27 am

    I would have considered a visit from powers that be an upgrade. Better than when they won’t look through the glass or make eye contact in the hall.

  • Curt Herberg December 17, 2013, 10:27 am

    I had a cleaning lady that like to come in with all her stuff, plop down and tell me; “I’ll just wait till you’re done”…um, music’s going; I’m ‘done’

  • Tony Clark December 17, 2013, 10:28 am

    Jim, I’d actually prefer it.

  • Jim Beasley December 17, 2013, 10:29 am

    Or I might have asked “Aren’t you concerned about possible automation of some of your daily tasks…like putting a camera in here to watch me …or would that possibly be a distraction and affect our product?”

  • Dan Preston December 17, 2013, 10:35 am

    During a hurricane, the owner came into the studio while I was dealing with a lot of heavy weather – tornadoes and such – because the main power was out, but the studio had the generator and the phones.

    He was trying to make a sales call while I was reading the tornadoes info. I got through it, grabbed the phone while he was mid-sentence, told the person on the phone that he would call them back, hung up the phone and told the owner to get the BLEEP out of MY studio while I am dealing with tornadoes..

    My Ops Manager looked at the owner, looked at me and told the owner that I was right – get the BLEEP out of the studio.

  • Tony Clark December 17, 2013, 10:35 am

    Why isn’t the guy out trying to sell ads? It’s radio, not TV. Someone has to pay for the talent to say snarky things and play records:)