Top Tips for Successfully Programming More than One Station

Gary Berkowitz

By: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

Being a PD today is no easy job. Most PDs are now responsible for not only multiple stations, but multiple formats, promotion and the digital side. When I became PD at WPRO and PRO-FM I would often tell my wife that I did not stop all day but felt as though I did not accomplish a lot. It felt like all I was doing was “putting out fires.” My 100% laser focus was not on either station.

Here are ideas on how a PD can succeed in this multiple station/format reality.

Get up early. Whether you have live morning shows, or syndicated ones, you must be on top of them. The earlier you get up and going, the better chance you will have to hear issues and figure out ways to solve them. In the early hours, your phone will not ring, and people will not walk into your office to interrupt you. PD’s should start their day no later than 5 a.m. (yes, 5 a.m.). When you show up at the station early, your morning show knows you’re paying attention.

Focus on one station at a time. Put together a written schedule for each day of the week and follow it. Yes, you must leave some time to put our fires, but plan on dedicating one day a week to each station.

Beware of “Favorite Station Syndrome”. Some stations are more important than others. Most PD’s are human, and may have one station that is their favorite. Try to share yourself with all the stations.

Don’t forget the competition. When I ask PD’s what is happening in their market and they sometimes respond by telling me they do not have time to listen to stations other than their own. In many cases, as their consultant, I bring them the news of what is happening at their competition.

Format Education. If you are programming multiple formats, you must be “A jack of all trades, master of one.” If you are lucky enough to have a format consultant, take advantage of them, especially in the formats you are not expert in. Read consultant newsletters, listen to market leading stations and know enough to guide your stations that you do not have expertise in.

Take care of yourself. Get up early. Try to work out. Eat right and stay hydrated.  Many radio people are not good at this. If you are going to manage multiple operations in a 24/7 world, you’ll need everything working in your favor. Being in good physical shape plays a big role in accomplishing that.

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations. www.garyberk.com

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.