Great Talent Matters

The biggest thing that will separate a radio station from the pack, besides the right strategy for the market is great talent.

The really great talent who truly make a difference are worth every cent they're paid and there are great rewards for those who do make it. In particular, great breakfast talent is difficult to find and develop, and even harder to replace.

Great talent offer something different and unique. They stand out and are memorable. They are relatable, authentic and importantly true to themselves. They tend to have character as opposed to personality.

Listeners can tell the difference!

Having the right talent combinations will make or break a show ....Talent need to complement each other and their roles in the show need to be clearly defined and understood by the audience. Whilst listeners can be loyal to a radio station brand they will become more loyal to a great on-air talent who is compelling to listen to, who gets noticed, who gets talked about and who cuts through. They create the best marketing possible - word of mouth and quotability. Through on-air promotion and leveraging their daily content a personalities 'brand' builds and contributes to the stations overall image.

Having the right talent is only the start. They wont be successful without effective direction, coaching and management . Great talent, no matter how good they are, only work well with strong direction and good coaching.
The worlds biggest movie stars always work with a director. TV personalities are used to working with a director. Athletes and sports stars get coached. The relationship between the Content Director, Executive Producer and the talent is critical. Without the right direction and coaching the talent can never be expected to fulfil their potential.

The best radio shows take time to find an audience. Unlike television where the next show is ready to go, it takes a while to change a radio listeners habits. The old adage 'imagine how long its going to take - then double it' is especially true for 
new Breakfast shows in competitive markets.

The great talent create a more 'saleable' environment . Buying ads around or integrating with powerful, compelling  talent will achieve better cut through and should get better results for advertisers.

When people meters finally get the go ahead in Australia, great talent and compelling content and shows will become even more important as ratings will not be driven by recall and perception, but rather by actual listening.

The great talent I hear on air on FM radio today (in no particular order) are Kyle and Jackie, Meshell Laurie, Amanda Keller, Fitzy and Wippa, Matt Tilley, Hamish & Andy,  Dave Hughes, Fifi Box and the best of the newcomers being Will and Woody. They're all unique, authentic and put ' themselves ' out there every day.




Brad March


Mike(16:40 21 Feb 2012)
Hi Brad,

Great notes on the talent issues when building a team for major markets.

One question for you around defending the brand of any station. With the last 12 months seeing 2Day FM's breakfast show getting some attention for comments that might lead to brand damage.

What is the "tipping point" for when that brand becomes tarnished?
brad march(21:54 21 Feb 2012)

That would be best judged through use of perceptual research. I would doubt the 2day brand would be too tarnished by recent ' comments '.

At a certain point it becomes a commercial consideration.

Paul Hayes(5:48 24 Feb 2012)
Totally agree with your article... Kyle and Jackie are world-class and one of, if not the best Breakfast shows I've heard anywhere.
Anonymous(23:22 26 Feb 2012)
Thanks a great read. Some really good insights into whats expected in a high level programming role.

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