Wednesday, June 11, 2019

Lund Letter

Wednesday, June 11, 2019


This Week in The Lund Letter:  
>   Defining your morning show options
>   Perfect music scheduling
>   Coaching your personalities

Top smart speaker music formats…plus other Trends

Lund Basics: Top Stations Have Defining Morning Shows, Part II

defineamshow.jpgLast week we mentioned that there are three ways to have a great morning show on your station:

1.   Build a new morning show around a fresh personality.
2.   Hire an established personality with an already proven local following.
3.   Evolving your present morning show into a more potent market force.

Here are the pros and cons for each:

New Personality

+   Can build an identity from scratch
+   No inherent baggage
+   Could benefit from curiosity cume during initial discovery

–   Takes time to build audience (perhaps a year)
–   May lose ratings as the audience adapts (some talents are an acquired taste)
–   Building a new team may cost more than buying an established name unless this is a syndicated show

Established Personality

+   Familiarity; builds audience fast
+   Attracts listeners like a cume-magnet
+   May attract tune-in from other formats
+   Lends itself to “the Big Switch” marketing campaign
+   Creates curiosity cume during initial switch
+   The switch is covered by other media as a news story
+   Brings revenue in quickly
+   Established personalities have strong community service images

   Inherent image may include baggage
–   Some personalities have a “use-by” date stamped on their forehead according to Todd Wallace

Evolving Your Morning Show

+   Easiest and least expensive option
+   It’s an established show
+   Builds on present audience
+   Adding a new “second banana” may help the show sound fresh

–   Convincing audience that tuned away to come back
–   The show will need strong planning and ongoing coaching to perfect the act

The key to a successful morning show is to outperform the station’s total week ratings.  If the personality doesn’t capture a huge audience, it’s not pulling its weight.

The Importance of Prep

personguidecov.pngRadio personalities who systemize their approach to prepping and presenting their shows realize improved performances and higher ratings.  Want to know the benchmarks that listeners like most?  Utilize the Lund Radio Personality Guide to improve show planning and execution.  The Lund Consultants coach and develop talents for improved performance and higher ratings, and this stylebook has all the tools and insight to execute a great show.

Lund Programming Clinic: Music Scheduling Perfection

schedperfect.jpgCategories, Clocks and Rules make up the music software’s architecture.  You divide your music into categories (currents, recurrents and gold). You create a clock where the same category is not scheduled back to back.  Then you have rules that prevent the same song repeating in the next few hours.  This basic system will get your music scheduled, but will not necessarily increase your audience.  How do you improve the music architecture in order to impact your audience and attract more listeners?


Music values fall into a pyramid where a small number of songs test at the top of the pyramid with universal appeal in familiarity and passion; these are the songs that people want to hear most often.  Next, there is a larger number of songs going down the pyramid that are OK to play, but not that often.  Play the songs at the top of the pyramid in every quarter hour to attract cume.  The songs lower in the pyramid are valuable as they extend TSL giving your radio station the “variety” image.

Divide your music categories into levels that include “Powers” – your target’s favorite songs – and “Secondaries” – the songs your target likes but are not their favorites. Secondaries should be divided by familiarity and likeability. Stations playing currents should also divide them the same way.  Lund Media recommends dividing your music categories by era and by song value.  We provide this essential service to radio stations in all market sizes to sound terrific while attracting more listeners.


Your station attracts new cume every quarter hour. Design clocks so that each quarter hour reflects the essence of your station in terms of song value and era.  You don’t want a quarter hour with all songs from the same category.  Never schedule two Secondaries back to back; schedule them next to a power.

In current music formats, schedule an unfamiliar Secondary either after an imaging piece which introduces it, or have your air talent backsell it.  Lund Media recommends devising clocks with the same quota of song categories for every hour and following the same sequence of categories to give your radio station consistency.  For the morning show and special music features, remove Secondaries and focus on the Powers.


Rules help deal with repetition.  Remember Bill Murray and his alarm clock in the movie “Groundhog Day”?  You don’t want the same song played every day at the same time.  “Horizontal separation” is one key rule to establish.  Next, set-up your “vertical separation” rule to avoid the song being repeated in the next few hours.  The exception is in CHR where Powers repeat in the next hour due to their rotations and appeal.

“Back to back” rules are your next order of priority.  For the “variety” image, don’t have two same-tempo songs back to back.  Your format determines exceptions to this rule, like being the “station that rocks” or the “station playing relaxing favorites.”  Finally you want to take into account artist genre (e.g., country, dance, alternative, etc.).  Obviously, this is only for mainstream formatted radio stations that have broad appeal.

Your music software should be working perfectly in all these areas, and your radio station will achieve longer listening spans with a solid structure in scheduling music.

Are You Playing The Right Songs?

tuneup18.jpgDoes your library and software need analysis and a tune-up?  Is your music software working perfectly?  The music programming doctors at Lund Media can provide your station with an exam and surgery (if needed) to perfect your music library and software.  This is a cost efficient fix for the primary benefit music stations provide their listeners: great music!!  Contact John Lund for more info and a timetable for making your station’s music perfect.

Lund’s Top 3:  Newscasts That Work

MTop3B.jpgembers of the air staff need to grow and develop as talented performers. A major responsibility of programmers is to motivate,stimulate, counsel, and critique the staff. These intangible “show improvement” sessions shouldn’t be placed at the bottom of the list of priorities, even if daily tasks and emergencies take precedence.

PDs need to make time for the air talents, display a genuine interest, and help them perform better. Conduct a coaching session at least once a week, and more often with the morning talent(s). Consider these guidelines for analyzing airchecks and offering guidance:

1.   Some basics are determined by format, yet the station name should be at the beginning and end of all breaks. This is the key ingredient to brand-building.

2.   Talents don’t just say the station name; it is sold with enthusiasm as if it is being delivered to a stranger for the first time.

3.   The station name is attached to each feature like news and weather to take ownership, and used after stop sets going back into music.

Next week, a new Top 3.  For more Top 3 lists, check out

Promotion of the Week: Clash Of The Generations

generationclash.jpgBattle of the Sexes for differing age groups.  A caller is selected at random, and he or she designates a family member of another generation to compete against (adults designate their kids or grandchildren…teens pick parents, etc.).  A call is placed to the second player and the competition begins. Each player is asked, in turn, a series of three questions and the player with the most correct answers wins. Questions asked of the older player revolve mostly around contemporary youth culture (“Other than the drink, what is tea?”), and the younger player gets nailed with questions the older contestant would probably find simple (“What was the name of Richard Nixon’s first vice president?). Answers: Tea is gossip. Nixon’s VP was Spiro Agnew.

Do You Need A Great Promotion?

beachkick.jpgOur Summer and Fall Promotions Guides outline every programming and sales promotion you’ll need for the months ahead.  Over 100 audience-building promotions, contests, sales promotions and show prep ideas will make your stations sizzle right now and through summer … and help the sales staff lock in new dollars.

Order our Fall Promotions Guide now and receive the Summer Promotions Guide free.   Order here to get both guides.

Lund Trend Watch:

Podcast Listenership Increasing

podcastgrow.jpgPodcast listening is up 5% compared to a year ago.  It will reach 76.4 million Americans in 2019 according to eMarketer.  Podcasts now account for 37% of digital audio listeners.   Podcasts still have less than a third of the reach of traditional AM/FM radio which is projected to reach 234.7 million U.S. listeners this year as it maintains a 91.5% share of the adult population.

Top Smart Speaker Formats

speakerformats.jpgTop 40 and Country are the top formats among Smart Speaker streamers.  Triton Digital says the smart speaker share of listening increases sharply on weekends, from an average of 16% Monday through Friday, to 25% on Saturday and 26% on Sunday.  After CHR and Country, Classical is 3rd and News-Talk is the 4th most popular streaming format on Smart Speakers, according to Doug Ferber and DEFcom Advisors.

New Apple Media Apps

applemediaapps.jpgApple’s 18 year old is getting kicked out of the house.  iTunes, after nearly two decades of being Apple’s media content hub, has been split into three apps: Music, TV and Podcasts.  Earlier versions of these could be found on iPhones and iPods, but this move forcibly retires iTunes from every platform.  Going forward, more and more of Apple’s business will be subscription-based instead of transaction-based as iTunes was.

Programmer’s Planner:

Tonight:  Stanley Cup final game, Blues vs. the Bruins
Tomorrow, June 13: NBA Finals game six: Raptors @ Warriors (last ever game at Oracle Arena)
June 14: Flag Day
June 16: Father’s Day, this Sunday
July 4: Independence Day (a 4-day weekend for many)

Next week in the Lund Letter: In depth music software fine-tuning.

Thanks for reading
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About Lund Media

jclforLL.pngFor over 20 years, the Lund Media Group has provided programming, music consulting, operational guidance, and research to broadcast stations throughout North America and overseas. With specialists in every format, the Lund Goal is to help stations get more listeners and keep them listening longer.

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.