How Was Your Weekend?

Posted on October 26, 2010


Be honest, you never really expect a long answer to the question “how was your weekend?” At most you are anticipating a two-word answer like “fine, thanks,” and more likely a simple grunt from the person you asked would suffice right? Then when someone does actually answer the question telling you about their weekend in any measure of detail odds are you give them your best “wow that’s interesting smile,” as your eyes glaze over and your mind wanders to some important topic like sugar-coated breakfast cereals.

So I was more than a little surprised yesterday when I tuned into a nationally syndicated talk show where the first segment primarily consisted of each member of the cast detailing what they did this past weekend. And make no mistake I do mean detailing right down to one person who spent a chunk of Saturday pulling unwanted ivy off the fence in his backyard.  The discussion went on for close to 15 minutes. If I hadn’t been thinking about this blog entry I would have tuned out long before the segment came to a close.

I don’t get to hear this particular show very often and I have great respect for the hosts who I think are very talented. Perhaps the whole thing was an inside joke that regular listeners understand. If so then please excuse my criticism.  If not then its hard to see this as anything but overly self-indulgent radio. 

We often hear about audience research where the listener’s biggest gripe about radio is too much talk. Drill down deeper and it turns out most people really mean is too much meaningless chatter. The audience rarely complains that highly rated hosts talk too much because their shows generally focus on topics that are interesting to, and have benefit for, the listeners.

In the PPM world, where every minute counts, please don’t lose precious ratings by talking about pulling ivy off your fence, unless of course you do a gardening show.