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‘Tis The Season

December 21, 2023

As we roll through the holidays, we can get distracted by all the hoopla and the hype. I am mindful of the fact that we all need the hope that this season brings. We need to focus on ourselves and take the time to recharge.

This is also a good time to remember why we got in the radio business in the first place. Sure, it was for the T-shirts and free records. However, as we evolved, we recognized that we are also in this industry to serve. Remember, the airwaves are technically public property and while the rules of community service have been, well, relaxed, that does not dismiss us from this duty.

Many of your listeners are struggling right now. From financial pressures to depression to family issues, many do not think this is the most wonderful time of the year. The often turn to you – on the radio – for companionship and escape. I’m not suggesting you go all Fraser Crane with your content. I am suggesting that a small gesture, comment, or aside can resonate with someone and make their burden a little lighter.

One of my early gigs was as the night guy on W-Lite in Washington, DC. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the wheels of government do turn constantly. In the DMV the Pentagon is staffed 24/7. So are many of the three-letter agencies. Congressional and executive staffers burn the midnight oil. At that point I always fantasized that they were listening to our station (the ratings supported that, BTW). And I thought that maybe the next song or comment could have an influence on their mood and outlook and effect some sort of change.

It probably didn’t, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth the effort. As maligned as our industry has become, it remains a one-to-one medium. You may reach thousands, but you are connecting with them one at a time.

The next time you crack that mic or write a new promo or imaging liner, think about how those words can make a difference. Yes, you are always about entertainment, but real emotion is just as compelling as humor.

Happy holidays from all of us at Research Director, Inc. And here’s to a great 2024.

-Steve Allan, Programming Research Consultant