Driving around town running errands and listening to local radio stations over the past few months is disturbing to someone like me that choose radio as a career when I was just 8 years old. I even got a degree in broadcasting so working in the business was something that meant a lot to me than just getting a paycheck.
Here’s some of the disturbing things I have recently heard on the air:
Radio “news” people doing recorded and live commercial endorsements. Yep, you read that correctly. WTF? Does the GM not understand that those who broadcast and deliver the news should NOT be doing commercials in any shape, manner or form? Or, does the GM simply not give a damn. This is a basic tenet of broadcast journalism. Of course, we know why this is happening: The station doesn’t want to pay the newsperson a decent salary and instead has the advertisers help subsidize the newsperson’s paycheck.
One station consistently runs two or three commercials at the same time during a spot break because they are too cheap to have a producer in the control room to ensure that commercials are running in order, and not at the same time. Another disservice to advertisers and listeners.
I heard a radio station run a 3 day old weather forecast not once, not twice, but three times. Seems no one at the station cared to correct it quickly.
New announcers or newscasters not being coached on how to pronounce local communities (Maryville and Louisville are the most common that come to mind).
Stations (yes, music stations are included in this!) running 10 – 12 commercials in a row during a spot break. This is outrageous. But if radio management doesn’t know how to use demand curve pricing and encourages sellers to sell units smaller than 60’s (which is NOT in the clients’ best interest) what else would you expect? Read more here
Horrible copy. Absolutely horrible. Full of cliché’s and very few commercials addresses listeners’ key benefits. (What else would you expect when you have salespeople writing copy, rather than employing a creative director/copywriter?) On practically all commercials locally produced by one station includes the phrase “for all of your (fill in the product or service) needs.” Also, concerning copy, some stations have been running the same commercials for some clients for over a year! No lie! They are too damn lazy to change the copy or they are taking the clients’ business for granted. Either way, it’s sad. Read more about bad copy here
Practically all stations are using the same traffic reporting service. This means when a listener hears a traffic report, the listener couldn’t possibly identify which station they are hearing the report on. Because the report is the same on all stations (with the same voice), it could be on practically any station in the market, thus hurting the station’s ability to get “credit” in the ratings.
I know I shouldn’t care since I’m no longer in the business, and I realize that I would be considered a “dinosaur” based on how accountants and the other spread sheet kings like to run stations these days, but I still reserve the right to bitch about it. The apathy among those running these stations is amazing.