Less is More When it Comes To DJ's Doing A Music Show on The Radio


Did you know that the average human's attention span is 8 to 10 seconds at a time? Are you shocked? It's true. During my time at 9 commercial radio stations, Dj's were limited to only a few second talk break at a time. Why? quite frankly, the audience doesn't care or want to hear you ramble on. We were also taught to limit talk to one thought per break. If there was an event that you wanted to promote, you got right to the facts and moved on.


I remember when I was a kid, my Aunt Marie would faithfully listen to WNEW AM, a pop standards station in New York. She loved all of the DJ's.....except one and that was Jonathan Schwartz, who don't get me wrong was a brilliant DJ but Jonathan would ramble on and Aunt Marie didn't like it or really care about what he was saying. She actually asked me to find her another station that played pop standards so that she could switch the station while Jonathan was on the air!



The other day I turned on a station that I usually don't listen to, this station is a low power from out of state and not commercial. I won't mention the station but I turned the station on when I dropped my partner off at work. He works at a hotel at the beach. The DJ was coming out of a song, I drove...and drove....and drove....stopped at light after light after light and the DJ was still talking!!!! I tuned her out a few seconds after she started talking. Believe it or not, the talk lasted about eight minutes!!! I couldn't remember one thing she said!


Unless you are listening to talk radio (and you still will only remember a small segment of what is being said) or a documentary, DJ chatter should be brief, to the point and then the DJ should move on. If not, you've lost your audience!


I was always taught structure in music radio programming and I''m glad that I received that foundation. True radio professionals know that it's not only about the music. It's about keeping your audience entertained, making them feel good and executing the format that was designed by the station management. I quickly learned that if you want to get on the radio, say what you want to say and play only the music you like, you're living in a dream world because that's so far from what commercial radio is all about. The true professionals like Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, Dan Daniels, Harry Harrison in New York radio, never rambled. They said what they had to say and got in and out!

Some album rock stations, would allow the DJ's more talk time but remember they were not allowed to ramble on and on.


Remember, audiences listening to music stations want to hear the music, DJ's enhance the music but are not the stars of the show.....the music is. My motto, "get in and get out."!