Stop Losing To Yourself

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Consultant Tips” series, written by Charese Fruge on March 2, 2021 

As I sat and monitored two local competing music stations today, I couldn’t believe my ears. These two stations are both live and local, although with all the mistakes I heard on both in one day, you would never be able to tell. With all the consolidation, voice tracking, competing stations and streaming services individual radio brands are up against, I can’t believe the lack of attention to detail happening in traditional radio right now (Still).

And sadly, it’s the little things that are causing us to lose to ourselves. You can play all the hits and have the best local talent in the world on your station, but if there is dead air, audio interruption or cause for tune out, the average listener will immediately switch to a more consistent outlet. What I heard most of today was lots of dead air in between songs, songs which were just chopped off at the end instead of fade outs, and an overall sloppiness in delivery. These are things that can 100% be prevented with the technology we use today if the person in charge of delivering the shift is simply prepared.

With computers and automation, you can preview everything these days and make sure it’s 100% perfect. And yes, occasionally the computer will crash, but the odds of that happening vs. delivering a perfect shift (when prepared) is slim to none. I remember the days of being a music director at KMXB in Las Vegas and my PD Duncan Payton teaching me the importance of putting music into the system in real time, and relentlessly adjusting the levels of the intro, outro and especially the fade out songs. What happened to that kind of attention to detail? The most annoying thing I heard today, especially in between dead segues was the end of a song just cutting out. No fade, no transition, just a hard cut out in the middle of a lyric.

Again, with our automated systems these days, we can preview everything whether it’s a live shift or a voice tracked shift. It’s the little things that make a difference in a world with so much competition and if you can’t master the basics, you are lazy or losing to yourself. Everything you do is a representation of you. Including pushing buttons and running a board. So, do yourself a favor or two. If you need more work on the board then practice. Preview everything whether your shift is live or not. Preparation is part of the gig. If you have talent, you need to master the basics first and the rest will follow. Attention to detail is everything. It’s just like turning in an essay, or column or any other type of presentation. Check your work and make sure it’s perfect and most importantly, make sure you aren’t losing to yourself.