Audience Limiting Decisions

Posted on May 8, 2012


I used to work with a sales manager named Chad Haldeman who often joked about not making a C.L.D. – Career Limiting Decision. You know screaming at the boss or going on the air drunk; things that could get you fired.

As a host it’s also possible to make a A.L.D. – audience limiting decision – like talking about content that will cause some listeners to fire you.

For example, a few days ago Merlin Media signed on a new alternative station in Chicago at 87.7 FM.

The music they are playing so far is a very palatable mix of mainstream, accessible alternative and,¬†frankly I’m really enjoying it.

But in the last two days I’ve heard the morning host — whose name I have yet to catch — doing breaks that have the potential to severely limit the audience by driving off women.

Yesterday I heard him talk about how Gwyneth Paltrow looked like a dead soul and how awful and boring it would be to have sex with her. Today he asked if anyone had, “ever had a burp so chunky you have to chew it?”

The music on the station isn’t designed to attract men over women. The imaging on the station is also very mainstream. But for some reason the host thinks the way to be “alternative” is to talk about gross and offensive topics that will surely serve to drive women away.

As a host it’s important to know who the station’s audience is and how to reach them. Otherwise you may be committing A.L.D.’s that turn into C.L.D.’s.