The place where joy and sorrow meet.


I am often asked why I encourage air talent to be vulnerable.

These questioners are puzzled by my belief that not only is it ok to cry on the air occasionally, it’s actually a gift that makes bonding with your listeners more – not less – likely.

I’m not advocating sobbing, or weeping, or being emotional every break or even every day, but having the courage to let listeners see your humanity can be a tool in your backpack to the top of the ratings in your market.

It’s like raising the curtain which separates you and your listeners. It gives a glimpse of the real you, the human you…who’s just like them, with struggles and losses and the stuff of life we all face daily.

If you were one of the millions who watched the NFL draft over the weekend, you saw some of these huge, strong athletes cry when their call came from their new team, when they realized their dream had come true. And it made them more likeable not less.

PDs and GMs tell me listeners come to their stations for the energy, the fun, the escape from life’s problems, and I don’t ever dispute that. I never will.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t also come for the humanity and the deep emotional connection that no other station or air talent is courageous enough to pursue.

I realize most of you won’t take the 15 minutes you’d need to watch this beautiful, poetic TED presentation.

It’s your loss, literally.

But on the chance that even one of you today will take the time, I offer it anyway: