With most programmers responsible for multiple stations, and within that, multiple formats, as well as promotion and digital assets, Gary Berkowitz, President of consultancy Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, says it’s easy to feel as if putting out fires on a daily basis supersedes true accomplishments. In a new blog post, he offers “ideas on how a PD can succeed in this multiple station/format reality.”
For one, rise and shine. Berkowitz advises, “Whether you have live morning shows or syndicated ones, you must be on top of them,” so the earlier you get up and going, the better chance “to hear issues and figure out ways to solve them.”
In the early hours, the phone rings less, there are fewer staffers walking into your office to interrupt you. Berkowitz insists that PDs should start their day no later than 5am. “When you show up at the station early, your morning show knows you’re paying attention.”
His second tip is to focus on one station at a time. “Put together a written schedule for each day of the week and follow it,” Berkowitz offers. “Yes, you must leave some time to put our fires, but plan on dedicating one day a week to each station.” In that, he cautions against holding one station in higher regard than another: “Some stations are more important than others. Most PDs are human, and may have one station that is their favorite. Try to share yourself with all the stations.”
Don’t forget the competition… that’s third on his list of helpful hints. He notes that he will ask clients what is going on in their market, and “they sometimes respond by telling me they do not have time to listen to stations other than their own.” Try to avoid that kind of laser focus.
In addition, for those programming multiple formats, you must be “a jack of all trades, master of one.” Take advantage of format consultants—if your radio group has them in the toolbox—to stay on top of those formats you are not expert in. “Read consultant newsletters, listen to market leading stations and know enough to guide your stations that you do not have expertise in,” he advises.
Berkowitz sums up: “Take care of yourself. Get up early. Try to work out. Eat right and stay hydrated. Many radio people are not good at this. If you are going to manage multiple operations in a 24/7 world, you’ll need everything working in your favor. Being in good physical shape plays a big role in accomplishing that.”