Save Me A Spot in Heaven

You’ll feel this one

If you spend any time watching ESPN you know the predominant mood they project is happy fun. Their promos are usually self-deprecating. They take sports seriously but they don’t take themselves seriously.

I often hear GMs and PDs telling me that listeners don’t come to their stations for anything deep or impactful. They don’t come for stories, certainly not ones that cannot be told in less than 45 seconds.

They come to escape. They come to have fun. They come for the music.

You may feel the same.

So it’s curious to me that Tom Rinaldi has become one of the more recognizable personalities on ESPN because I doubt many sports fans choose to watch hoping for THIS

I’ve spoken to you about this more than once. I’ve used Tom Rinaldi’s stories as examples more than once.

You are surrounded by these stories, no matter where you are reading this.

This is life!

This is universal.

That’s exactly why we are so touched.

And the fact that that your listeners would not expect a story like this one on your station would make it all the more powerful.

Yes, telling stories this personal, this powerful, requires skill and sensitivity and time. Not everyone on your staff can do this.

No, I am not telling you to do something this sorrowful every day, or even every week or month.

But to ignore everything that can make listeners cry is like painting a sunset with only one color. You’re wasting every other color on your palette.

And you’re missing an opportunity to connect on a more powerful emotional level with the people who already choose to listen to you.

You’re missing an opportunity to remind us of our own humanity and caring and courage. And why?

Because you’re afraid. Afraid some listeners won’t like it. Afraid it will take too long and PPM will punish the attempt.

You think listeners will tolerate 14 minutes of mostly bad commercials and seemingly endless inane chatter but not this? Not something that makes them feel?

That is sad.