The Worst Crime

Guilty or not guilty?


The worst crime you can commit is telling the audience something they already know.”

That’s Aaron Sorkin, and he’s right.

And that’s interesting because every time you read a liner, you’re telling your listeners something they already know and don’t believe.


Every station claims to play the best music, the most music, the fewest interruptions, blah, blah, blah.

You’d be better off not speaking at all. Just segue the songs.

Pandora and Spotify do a pretty good job of seguing songs though.

There’s that to consider.

It’s not like you need station identification anymore. PPM works without it.

Well, “works” is a relative term.

All your slogans and teases and sell lines just sound like droning blabber to the harried person trying to get to, or from, work.

So, why not just automate and save the money?

Trust me, consolidated radio would do it if they thought it would work.

But they know it won’t, so they try to do content on the cheap.

Cheap talent requires careful scripting. When one PD is programming 5 stations, s/he doesn’t have time to make sure talent is “on message.”

Real talent is unique. Real talent might say something listeners don’t like. Real talent won’t be satisfied reading liners.

And, real talent is all your listeners will ever really hear of your non-musical content because they will say something unexpected.

You can either use that minute between songs to engage them, to make them laugh, or cry, to tell them a story so moving they can’t wait to share it at work, or you can read another liner.

What to do?

Does anyone in your company, on your team, challenge you on your non-musical content?

I think we all need the insight and experience, the scary left-field ideas of someone who doesn’t think exactly like us, someone who’ll push us to try — to try to be more than listeners expect from radio.

You up for that?

We should talk.