Listeners are smarter and more savvy about media than ever before. And therefore they are more skeptical too.
Because of this, over and over again, the best hosts and programmers now say its important to connect with your audience in a real way. Have a conversation with them, be vulnerable on the air. That’s what resonates.
Which is why when I read something like this quote from a recent trade piece about changes here in Chicago at WLUP I have to wonder, “Merlin Media announced yesterday that Maxwell would be taking over morning drive on WLUP/97.9 Chicago beginning Monday July 30th. Maxwell is already in-house at Merlin’s Q87.7 where he voice-tracks and goes by the name Slater.”
Maxwell is taking over mornings though he’s already known as Slater and neither of those is his real name. Now I’m not picking on Maxwell in particular. I don’t know the guy and I’m sure he’s a good person and a fine host.
I’m just saying that if the way to our listener’s hearts is by being real it might be time to let all the fake names go. It just seems like starting off by being dis-honest and then trying to bond through honesty and vulnerability doesn’t make much sense.
Then again maybe I’m just jealous because during my short-lived time on the air all I ever came up with for a pseudonym was my middle name Keith which isn’t too exciting.