Radio with personality
The biggest compliment anyone could pay me…in radio terms…would be something along the lines of, “I really like Johnny Maraca’s show.”
I’m a modest fellow but the show is uniquely mine. Anyone can spin rock and roll tunes. The Rock and Roll Riot is a program I created, and it includes my opinions, observations and sarcastic sense of humour.
Chances are most listeners wouldn’t remark, “I enjoy the 97.7 the Beach morning show.” Instead, they’d say, “I really like Rod and Mariane in the morning.” That’s because Rod West and Mariane McLeod are talented broadcasters with personality. You like them. Agree with them. Disagree with them.
I don’t watch The Late Show. I watch Letterman.
Believe it or not, some radio consultants and program directors actually tell their on-air “personalities” not to talk so much. Nobody cares who you are, they argue, so don’t say your name all the time. Just introduce the songs, read the forecast and keep your stories to yourself.
What a load of crap.
Anyone in radio who feels that way should find another line of work.
I grew up in the ‘70s in Toronto. I still remember the names of the radio personalities I listened to: Tom Rivers, Roger Ashby, Terry Steele, Scruff Connors, Samantha Taylor, The All-night Andre, and many, many others.
Radio without personality is just a jukebox or an iPod with commercials. A passive experience. With personality it becomes a shared experience and, though it’s a bit of a cliché, it is like having a radio friend talking directly to you through those speakers.
I’d love to chat more but I have a show to put together, and I have to think about what I’m going to say between the songs.