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How Can You Get a Checked Out Host To Check Back In?

“No boss likes firing their guys, and there are way more options for re-engaging a checked-out host than you may think.”

Demetri Ravanos

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Jack on Dribble

Comedian John Mulaney who once said, “it is so much easier not to do things than to do them, that you would do anything is totally remarkable.” I love that line and think it is a great jumping-off point for talking about changing perspectives and giving people that are checked out a reason to check back in.

Rarely does anyone make a change without significant motivation. It could be an epiphany or an intervention of some sort. It’s easier to not do anything, so when left to our own devices, we most often stay the course that is already working for us.

How do programmers guide talent that is settled into bad habits towards better ones? How do they convince a host that has checked out to check back in?

I thought about this a lot over the weekend after talking to a friend that is a host. He is clearly checked out of his current show. He has been in the same market forever and is very much settled into a routine. If it’s April, we do this. When it is May, we do that. Wash, rinse, repeat for each month on the calendar.

A guy like that is a lost cause if left to his own devices. He will keep having his producer book two interviews an hour so that he can enter the studio, turn off his brain and let someone else do all the heavy lifting.

For a programmer dealing with a talent like that, there are two choices and both are extreme. Business as usual isn’t going to change anything. The PD either needs to cut bait now or he or she needs to give the host a reason to re-engage.

No boss likes firing their guys, and there are way more options for re-engaging a checked-out host than you may think.

One easy option is to increase conversations and aircheck sessions. Not everything can be negative, so go with the “slap and tickle” method. If you are going to point out something that is a real problem, make sure the host knows what he or she is doing that works well. There are plenty of studies that say if you want someone to change, it is important to pair re-enforcing good habits with condemnations of bad ones.

After pointing out problems, a programmer has to give the host the time and tools to improve. Regular meetings mean regularly being held accountable. They also mean regular opportunities to take note of what is and isn’t changing.

If regular meetings seem unnecessary or like time wasted, put information in front of the host. Show him or her the rating changes from when you felt like the show was at its most entertaining to now. Let them talk to the reps that have clients that don’t want to be on the show because it isn’t very good. Show them what being checked out has cost them.

A strategy like that doesn’t have to be confrontational or aggressive. Forget the finger-pointing. Remind the host that he or she is talented and people should want to hear what they have to say. Now, it is time to work together to get back to that point.

One other idea is to expose the host to some of his or her nay-sayers. Carefully curate the comments you are willing to put in front of them. Look on your social media pages. If you find commenters being abusive towards the host, dismiss them. They will not help you.

But find the people that call the host boring. Find the people that say he or she is out of touch. Play them some examples that may support those comments and talk about how the two of you can work together to turn that perception around.

A programmer has to make it clear to the host that changing perspective and checking back in takes a lot of work and commitment. If the host is willing to show that commitment, then the programmer has to show a commitment to the host.

Let him or her know that we aren’t even at a warning phase yet. This is pointing out a problem and finding the right way to address it. Promise that you are an ally and live up to that promise.

This isn’t just a radio problem. Workers can become checked out of any job they have been in for a long time. Our jobs are fun and it is hard for those outside of the business to imagine how the guy being paid for talking about last night’s game could ever lose the motivation to perform, but it happens.

Bas bosses think they can get a worker to check back in with threats and demands. This is a fun business that comes with cool benefits. Reminding hosts of that and offering help and guidance are more likely to generate the result you want.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

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iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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