Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Lund Letter

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

This Week in The Lund Letter:  
>   Vitamin “C” for mornings
>   Doing Christmas music right
>   Christmas music stunt
>   Regional holiday habits and the latest media trends

Lund Programming Clinic: The Six C’s to Stronger Mornings

strongsun.gifMornings are special.  Building an audience that stays through the show and comes back every day is the ultimate reward.  We’ve broken down the process into six areas:

Capture The Moment.  On most days, there’s a primary point of interest – what’s hot at that moment in time.  It might be a big local sports or music event, a YouTube video, a major tragedy or news story, or a unique story that becomes a big topic for talk.  Smart talents serve as mirrors and sounding boards for listeners.  Take advantage of that moment and offer a local slant if that is sensible.   We call this “the big event” – it’s what everyone is talking about.

Content.  Your content fits your audience like a glove.  Toss out the canned prep unless it fits your situation and target audience.  Tailor and edit the content to fit your show.  Don’t read from printed or web material; put things in your own words.  And say it in fewer words than the source material.

Constituency.  What makes you special?  What are you known for?  Politicians work their constituents for support and votes.  You should do the same with your audience.  Building a following means interacting and getting buy-in via air performances, social media, at local events and remotes.

Community.  It’s where you live.  Your show should reflect that locale.  It’s what sets you apart from syndicated shows and satellite radio.  Sound locally relatable.

Companionship.  Radio is a one-on-one game.  There is just you and the listener.  You are the voice that is there when they brush their teeth or put on their face.  You have coffee together.  Once listeners develop you as a habit, the audience grows.

Constant Change.  While you have special benchmarks and bits you do daily (they are what you’re famous for), you bring new things to the show – topics, insight, and humor.  Be in touch with the changing lifestyle of listeners.

Lund Management Memo: Have A Holly Jolly Christmas!

happyholidayswithholly.gifMany AC stations change their brands Thanksgiving week or the week before to go All Christmas music.   They want to be “first in” ahead of any competitor and to be the station of choice at brick and mortar retail locations for the busy Christmas shopping season that begins on “Black Friday.”  Year in and year out, going All Christmas music has proven to double or triple weekly cume and add several AQH shares in PPM markets.  The All Christmas music format is ideal for AC and Classic Hits stations in PPM markets. The “stunt format” is a strategic tactic to spike cume (tune-in), especially from listeners of other formats who don’t typically listen to AC.  The impact in diary markets is far less.

You can still embrace the holiday spirit without changing your brand by implementing an accelerated plan of adding a few Christmas songs each hour between songs of your format.   Christmas standards are not recommended for CHR, Hot AC, Rock or Classic Rock, and Country stations should focus on playing core Country artists.  Use this guide in devising your plan:

1.   There is a limited number of hits in Christmas music – less than 50 songs – and they tend to be the same every year.   Power these songs at least once an hour.  Add a tight list of secondaries two weeks before Christmas as rotation increases.  This tight list is under 200 songs.  The Lund Christmas music Power and Secondary list is very tight and assures AC and Classic Hits stations play the hits.

2.   Identify the songs on your clock which you want to replace to insert a Christmas song.

3.   Before every Christmas song scheduled, air imaging that is custom produced for the Christmas holidays, like a holiday jingle, Christmas wishes from your staff, listeners or clients, or Christmas wishes from your artists.  Talk up holiday activities, like tree trimming, present wrapping, baking cookies, caroling, snow activities like building snowmen or snowball fights, visits with Santa Claus, stuffing the stockings, Christmas shopping, family visiting, etc.

4.   Balance your music scheduling between traditional Christmas songs (Frank Sinatra, Burl Ives, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole) with modern Christmas hits (Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey).  Limit the number of instrumentals per hour (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Vince Guaraldi, David Foster).

5.   Separate your novelty songs to keep from overexposure.  Limit playing the Singing Dogs “Jingle Bells” and Elmo and Patsy “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.”

6.   Schedule your Christmas songs between two power songs of your format.

7.   Step up your Holiday airplay as you get closer to Christmas.  A typical plan would be two songs an hour this week, three songs an hour next week, and four songs an hour the week before Christmas.

8.   Your website should represent the spirit of the holidays.

9.   It’s a great time of the year to engage in charitable station activities, i.e., coat, toy and food drives.

10.   Christmas promotions are always appropriate, like Christmas Wish, Christmas lights, and holiday festivals.

Embrace the holiday spirit.  Seize the spirit of your community and engage listeners.  You don’t have to be All Christmas music to be the Christmas station for your audience.

Win with Christmas – It’s not too late!

christmusic.jpgGet the song list you need for terrific holiday music programming.

+   Best researched Christmas songs – with categories
+   Christmas music formatics and song scheduling of powers and secondaries
+   Calendar of rotations for playing Holiday favorites

The Lund Christmas Music Advisory outlines the songs you should play.

This Christmas Music Advisory is ideal for AC, Classic Hits and Pop formats.

Lund Deeper Look: Scrooge, the Program Direction

wdokxmas2018.jpgWhen Entercom’s AC in Cleveland, WDOK, altered its All Christmas music format and stopped playing, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin and others, their decision went viral.  A listener called to say the song was inappropriate amid the #MeToo movement.  While this song is not among the top 44 “Christmas Powers” in the Lund researched Holiday playlist, there are three versions in secondary rotation.

Many morning personalities used this “story” to mock the station’s decision, including Johnny Burke at 103.9 The Fox (Classic Rock) in Flint, MI.  Johnny gave the WDOK studio request number on the air so his listeners could call in.  Baby, programming decisions can be cold!

WDOK conducted a Facebook poll.  94% of 8,900 voters favored keeping the song, and only 6% said it was inappropriate.

But the decision got a lot of press and tune-in, as it did for other AC stations that did the same stunt banning.  Whether it was a stunt or actual concern of offending some, it paid off.  The last time WDOK got so much notoriety was in 1984 when it became one of the last Beautiful Music stations to drop instrumentals for pop AC vocals.

Creative audience stunts, when carefully executed, can create huge advertising and tune-in.  One Cleveland source said WDOK received over $250,000 worth of free TV and newspaper coverage.

Viral marketing is one of many low-cost and no-cost marketing solutions.
Marketing builds audience, but it doesn’t have to be costly.  The Lund No-Cost Marketing Guide provides hundreds of ways to build audience for no cost.  Don’t wait for Christmas next year; put these tactics to use at your station now…and get a big bang for no bucks.  Get our No Cost Marketing Guide, now 50% off.

Lund’s Top 3:  Morning Prep Enhancements
Top3B.jpgAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Or in this case, half an hour of prep makes the morning show run smoothly and helps it sound perfect on the air! Follow Lund’s tips to improve the morning show:

1.   The morning show sounds so local that it couldn’t be rebroadcast in another town or state, and so interesting and memorable, it is mandatory listening every day.

2.   Contestants and callers are handled in a positive, entertaining, and succinct fashion. Fun listener interactive bits are well planned and executed on-air. Bits are archived and stockpiled or those occasional “nothing’s happening” days. If telephone interaction is tough between 5 and 7 AM with too few callers, later calls are taped, edited and used the following morning.

3.   Each quarter-hour, listeners are given another reason for coming back later in the hour, later in the day, and tomorrow.

Next week – a new Top 3.  Visit for more Top 3’s!

Promotion of the Week: Last Baby Of The Year Contest

smilingbaby.gifCheck with local hospitals and award prizes to the parents of the last baby born this year… and the first baby born in 2019.

Are you marketing to General Managers or Program Directors and want to reach the 10,000 readers of the Lund Letter? Email John Lund.

Brighten Your On-Air Sound

lightbulb.gifYour imaging liners should be creative and fun, and they need to reinforce the station image.  Refresh your imaging liners today – Order 100 creative imaging liner scripts today.  For music stations order Volume A here and Volumes A&B here… News-Talk Volume A orderhere and Volumes A&B here.

Lund Trend Watch:

Regional Holiday Spending

usregions.pngIt’s not just age demographics that differ in how they spend during the holiday season.

Heartland/Midwest – The most festive folks

+   66% are more likely to buy holiday candy
+   44% more likely to purchase decorations

South – Family and values over gifts

+   30% more likely to spend money entertaining family and loved ones

West Coast – More luxury, the least spirit

+   67% more likely to make luxury holiday purchases
+   35% less likely to make festive meals

North East – Top spenders, low spirit (but not least)

+   39% more likely to spend well above the average holiday spending amount
+   22% more likely to buy holiday apparel

Media Spending

theaterseats.jpgAccording to Research Intelligencer analysis of data from PQ Media, the average US household spends $285 on media every month.  That’s slightly up from $278 in 2017.  This spending is on media content and technology, including home entertainment, movie theater outings, books and many other media.  Radio is still free!

Make Sure You Get The Lund Letter

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Programmer’s Planner:
Today: Last day of the Nielsen fall diary sweep (and the Dec PPM)
Dec 6: First day of the Nielsen Holiday PPM (and the winter diary sweep)Dec 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Dec 21: First day of Winter
Dec 24: Christmas Eve (Monday)
Dec 25: Christmas Day (Tuesday)
Dec 26: first day of Kwanzaa

Dec 31: New Year’s Eve (Monday)
Jan 1: New Year’s Day 2019 (Tuesday)

Thanks for reading
The Lund Letter
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Have suggestions for future articles?  Email John Lund


About the Lund Media Group:

For over 20 years, the Lund Media Group has provided programming, music consulting, operational guidance, and research to commercial and public broadcaststations throughout North America and overseas. Whether you program all sports, alljclforLL.pngtalk, or all music, the Lund Goal is to help stations get more listeners and keep them listening longer. The Lund Consultants are a multi-format custom programming and management consultancy. 

all John Lund for more information about how the Lund Media Group can help your stations achieve more listeners, higher ratings, and more revenue.
Phone: 650-692-7777.