From where I sit On the Kowch, John Tory’s campaign to be Mayor of Tory started five years ago with a text I sent him suggesting it was time to take me up on my offer to host a talk show on Newstalk 1010 in Toronto. John had just lost his bid to win a seat in the Ontario Legislature in a by-election on March 5, 2009. Within minutes of losing, I sent him the text.
The next day he resigned as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party and then took some time off to lick his wounds, explore the lay of the land and contemplate his future. We finally met a few weeks later in my office at Newstalk 1010 where I was the Operations Manager.
From where I sit On The Kowch, radio sales managers probably won’t be sharing with advertisers the findings of the latest CRN International study on the impact long commercial breaks have on listeners. That’s because the listening habits of 525 radio listeners polled blows up the myth that people don’t tune out when the music stops for commercials. They might not change the station, but mentally they stop paying attention to what is on the radio until the music resumes.
When it comes to radio advertising, clients in the United States will be spending $16 Billion in 2014 to reach their share of the 244 million Americans that listen to radio every week.
“Almost seven out of 10 respondents said they don’t make it past the second in a series of spots during the commercial break; 64 percent said they don’t make it past the first,” says the study. “The law of diminishing returns applies, according to the survey, as spots get further and further down the order within the commercial set. Even for avid radio listeners—those respondents who said they listen several hours a day—31 percent said they listen to the first commercial but no more.”
From where I sit On The Kowch, a talk show host can’t be controversial and stay out of trouble. That’s impossible! When you take a stand on something, there’s always push back. A good talk show host has to be fearless. Even if it means being on the wrong side of the argument when it comes to an alleged racist email written by Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson or Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his wife (then-fiancee), Janay Palmer, in the face and knocking her out in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino elevator.
It will come as no surprise that some talk show hosts angered listeners or viewers with their comments or for letting people call in to say what can be politely termed “politically incorrect comments” about either story. So what do I think about this. The quote attributed to Voltaire says it best:
From where I sit On The Kowch, I’m hearing the same three mistakes talk show hosts make whenever I listen to talk radio in Canada and the United States. It used to be inexperienced talk show hosts made these mistakes. Today, these mistakes have become a new trend in talk radio. And I don’t like it!
I don’t know who to blame for these mistakes. Is it the talk show host or the talk radio program director? Whoever it is, they’re responsible for creating bad talk radio. It’s time for talk show hosts to get back on track and stop making these three mistakes: Continue reading