The Answer is Yes, The World Would Miss DJ’s

Posted on June 7, 2011


The legendary Scott Muni

If you haven’t seen it yet, there is an interesting article making the rounds that you should read titled “Would the World Miss DJ’s?” You can find it in its entirety here .

It was written by Rich Appel and originally ran in his publication “Hz So Good,” which he describes as a “monthly e-blog-azine.”  

I heartily agree with many of the sentiments he expresses especially when he says, “if people knew how riveting and fun live radio could still be, it might just turn things around.”

However, I question the relevance of references Appel makes to  pioneering radio talent like Don Steele, Scott Muni and Frankie Crocker. I mean no disrespect. Those guys were giants in their time and their legacy should be honored.

But the world has changed since their day. They were competing with a limited number of other radio stations, three television networks and not much more. No cable, no satellite radio, no Facebook etc.

Here’s how Appel describes today’s radio audiences, “Most listeners like a DJ who is engaging, but on their terms: tell me what I need to know, then shut up and let me enjoy the tunes.”

I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Listeners still want to be entertained and informed. It’s just a lot tougher to get their attention than it used to be.

Today it takes a multi-faceted approach that includes what Appel aptly calls “sticky” on-air content that will hold a listener’s attention.

It also requires using multiple social media platforms to build audience loyalty.

Don’t forget tracking popular culture, which moves faster than ever, in an effort to be both timely and topical.

And let’s remember to press our natural advantage over other media with local content. 

Now get that all done before someone carrying a Personal People Meter tunes out.

Again, I mean no offense to legends like Muni, Steele or Crocker. I’m just saying that being a great airtalent is different today.

Of course, if you want help juggling all the facets of being a great talent, consider hiring a great mechanic to help.