Hitting the “scan” button on your car radio these days can bring a deepening level of disappointment. Is it just me, or is there a bland sameness to music stations that have become little more than a jukebox…one song after another with the occasional bland comment thrown in?
I had the good fortune to grow up during the “golden age” of rock ‘n’ roll, and the stations that served up the great music also served up outstanding personalities. Think of the legends of the business: Larry Lujack, Charlie Tuna, Robert W. Morgan, Ron Lundy, John “Records” Landecker, to name but a few. They were inspirations for an entire host of jocks…some of whom became local personalities in their own right.
As operations manager of a small station in the 70’s, I had the good fortune to work with a staff of air talent that understood being a “personality” didn’t mean talking a lot. It meant thinking about what you were going to say before you said it, planning out your program, and having fun. And fun is what appears to be missing from most stations today.
One caller to that station summed up the essence of good Radio better than anything I could have said: “I can’t turn off the station…I’m afraid I’ll miss something.” That’s the highest compliment a station can receive.
I’m still looking for a station today that evokes that sentiment. All I can seem to find are stations where there’s nothing to miss.