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GET INTO RADIO: October 2006

A blog site with information on how to get into radio, and what to do once you're there!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Q and A with the Blogging DJ

When I was cutting my teeth in radio, I wish there had been someone who asked what I wanted to know, when I wanted to know it... and told me.

Well, now there is!


So, this week, I ask you what you want to know, what skill do you want to master, what information or tuition do you need to further your career or interest in radio. Anything you like.

Just ask. And I will answer.

E-mail me on

... go for it, I dare you.

Coming soon, a huge new resource for show prep, and an interview with a real life programme controller.

Also coming soon, the e-book- "Get into radio", will let you know when it is ready.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I hope we're pitching it just right

Hi there, Neil here, and how are you. Just finished another week in the world of radio, and thought- aha, time to write to my subscribers again.

I do hope that you are finding these newsletters useful, helpful and entertaining- do feel free to reply to any of the posts, and if you have any questions that you would like me to answer, then e-mail me on and I will answer your question as best I can.

Welcome new subscribers this week as well.

Ok here we go....


Radio Gossip

Ofcom today published a consultation on proposed Format changes to 102.2 Smooth FM (Greater London). The station owners, GMG Radio, are seeking to change the station to become an easy-listening music-led station targeting the over-50s.

Funny thing the London market, it can change on a dime! They have a good market, there are 3.2 million over 55's in London.

Reassuring in a way, as I said before, new jobs in new markets are being created every day.


Is there a case for different news at different times of the day. Are certain stories too graphic to be broadcast at certain times?

Some think so, and there are different criteria, depending on the time of day, and depending on who's going to be listening- for example at breakfast time, there will be a lot of kids listening- is that a case for not making the news overly graphic?

Some TV stations broadcast more graphic pictures after the watershed then before.

Sometimes I think it is a bit hypocritical- it seems ok to broadcast pictures of war and violence round the world, at most times of day, but there were complaints when a man showed his penis on the Richard and Judy show in a medical item. Go figure?

I'd be interested in your thoughts. I have often wondered what the effect would be like if a radio station broadcast only positive stories. What would it be like? Is the news media negatively slanted? What do you think?

and finally..

How to deal with umm, certain listeners.

I asked a psychologist friend of mine what creates the "stalkers" of this world.

Emotional Attachment she said...

Please explain I said- It's along the lines of them kind of bonding with the personality on air, almost seeing the personality as the source of their well being- almost feeling that there is more of a relationship than there really is. Of course, as a presenter, and indeed in any job, it's good to be appreciated for what you do, but this goes way too far.

Anyone seen Play Misty for me.

Or Misery- "I'm your number one fan"

OK this is extreme and unusual, but I had one at Capital-her name was Gema and she said she was moving closer to me because she was pregnant with my daughter.

I was drunk, it meant nothing!

..and once she turned up to a gig that I was doing, saw my girlfriend, came up and slammed her drink down on the table and said "That's my boyfriend you bitch....."

So how to deal with them if you have umm- regular listeners. keep a level of professional distance- it's not the easiest job to do that in because as a presenter you are naturally warm and friendly, probably, but when they ring up.... and say "Hi it's......Dave", say something like "Dave who"- so they don't get any wrong ideas about the nature of the relationship. It may be a bit hurtful to them that you're not the best friend they thought you were, but the alternative is probably worse!!

Hope you enjoyed this edition, coming soon, the world of Rock radio, and an interview with a real program controller!

Until next time.


Don't worry, if they're kosher they wont worry about it.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Does Fault Finding Create Good Shows?

This week I want to talk about a common experience, though not one talked about an awful lot I would say.

Anyone ever heard of "Snooping".

In the radio sense it means listening back to all the links you've just done in your show- recorded on a specially set up tape player.

And in my opinion, it's just about the worst thing you can do. Most DJ's I know tend to be very self critical (unnecessarily so- it's an irony that very talented people are so perfectionistic).

What makes a "Good" show from a "Bad" one? In who's opinion? Yours? The management? The listeners? What about all the different preferences of all the people??

That's a hard one, and most of the time not your responsibility- it's up to the manager of the station to "target" the right jock for the right market, in the same way a good marketer wouldn't sell hairbrushes to bald people!

Yet, I have seen DJ's come out of the studio, and basically do autopsies- listen again and again and again to their tapes, taking it apart word for word in the name of improvement (or fear of the management!)

But it doesn't work, it's just a recipe for making you miserable.

Is the best way to bring a child up by constant faultfinding?

Then treat your "radio baby" with the same kindness!

Try this experiment, get, in your opinion a "good" show, and a "bad" one. Put them on identical tapes, and mix them up. Then listen to them again in 2 weeks time. And I'll bet you'll find it hard to tell the difference!

Strange phenomena, but true!

Coming soon the "E-book" Get Into radio....... will let you know when
- a book filled with words of the radio wise, that you can look at and listen to!

A very wise person once said about life, "You can never step in the same in the same river twice"

And I think it's the same for radio- the best way I have found is to be totally present in each show. Ideas will come. They always do. And sometimes the floodgates open AND YOU FLY

Then that nagging voice comes in "Can I do it again"

Don't worry, you will.

But not by over zealous self criticism.

A much better attitude is "Happy now, eager for more"

Here's a link to a good book by Ken Blanchard- "The One minute Manager" it's worth a read- have a look...

and here's a funny bit from our breakfast show on Radio Jackie from last week.... Enjoy.

Speak soon, do forward this to anyone you think may be interested. The link is