Programming Tips for Radio Stations

Do you run a radio station and want to take step it up a notch? Are you planning to increase your fanbase and get more listeners? If so, then you need to get your programming perfect.

Programming is much more than chatting and playing music. In a world filled with streaming and social media, you need to entertain. Below, we give our must-know programming tips for radio station presenters. 

Get Current

People want new content, and they want to know about what is going on in the world at the current time. This means staying on top of what is new and reflecting trends and events that are taking place. Avoid bringing up old ideas and discussing dated topics on your radio show, unless they suddenly take their place in the news once again. 

This does not mean your station has to change its whole approach to be new and fresh. Every demographic and genre will have new events or news occurring daily. If you are playing older tracks and music, then supplement it with new releases related to the genre or artists you have on the station. 

Finally, if you have promotions and competitions then keep them fresh. Even the most successful of promotions will start to lose its effectiveness over time. Stay on the pulse by offering something new and inventive. 

Use Programming Tips on Podcasting

How people listen and consume media has changed. They now want more choice, with regard to how and when they listen to shows. For you, that means that you may find your live show is no longer the primary method in which people engage with your radio programming. 

Combat this by embracing the podcast. You can either record the live shows or create additional supplementary programming to put on your website. The beauty is that you will already have the skills and equipment to create podcasts, you just need to find a great show that people can listen to whenever they want. 

Avoid Dead Air

While this is a broadcasting basic, not every station follows this rule. No one wants to listen to silence on your radio show. People tune in for entertainment and information, and if they are not getting it from you they will go elsewhere. 

Try to make sure you have enough material to fill all of your time slots. If you are a commercial station, make sure the segmentation between advertising, music, and programming is seamless. 

Of course, sometimes things do go horribly wrong and you may be left with dead air. This could be a mishap in the studio or with technology. In this instance, make sure you have a backup plan which may be soundbites, advertising for another program, or particular tracks you have lined up ready to play. 

Get Social

Being on social media is a key part of any radio station’s marketing efforts. Not only does it allow you a direct way to talk with listeners, but it also allows you to share news and upcoming events. By using it to interact, you are forging better relationships with your audience, fostering their loyalty. 

The platforms you choose to use for social media are totally up to you. However, if you have a small station it may be better to stick with just one or two. 

Finally, you should seriously consider doing live streams to social media channels. Video is one of the most engaging content types, and with the simple addition of a camera on your radio shows and a live stream, you can increase your audience exponentially. 

Hire Marketing Staff

Many large radio stations have a designated marketing team. They are in charge of promotions and social media. While you may think that they are an added expenditure, they can actually bring in a lot of revenue. 

A marketing team can offer advertising packages to companies. The companies will then have adverts or joint promotions with the station. This could be the sponsorship of events or more traditional advertising methods. 

You can send your marketing team out to meet the public to promote joint ventures. This markets your station and advertises the paying business. With a few shout outs on your shows, it is a great, all-encompassing marketing strategy for them to use. 

Match Your Presenters to the Correct Time Slots

Finding the best presenters for your station is down to the demographic and preferences of your audience. However, putting these presenters in the right time slot is an art form, that if done correctly, will pay dividends.

Your most energetic, vibrant presenters will probably want to be placed in the prime morning and drive time slots. This is when people most need a lift and some positivity, as they begin and end the day. 

After this, place your more mellow, niche presenters in the evening slots. This is the time people want to unwind and need some relaxation. Unless of course, it is Friday or Saturday night, in which case you need some party people who are heavy on the music and lighter on the chat. 

One great technique is to pair up presenters on your flagship shows. This gives both people someone to bounce off, making their job easier and reducing dead air time. If you are really lucky, try to find two people who are quite opposing in their personality that still have a natural chemistry on air. 

Experiment Off Air

When using these programming tips, do not be afraid to experiment. Combinations of presenters, new formats, and competitions can all be tried beforehand, in one-off guest slots or on podcasts. Once you find a method that works, then run with it. 

If you still need assistance, then Virtual Jock is here to help. We have a host of great services, from talent to format advice. Contact us today to discuss your needs and let us supercharge your station in the coming year!

What Makes A Successful Radio Show

radio show

Thinking about starting your own radio show?

Today, it’s easier than ever to start a radio show. There are certainly perks to doing so.  There’s no better way to express yourself, talk about things that interest you, retain creative control, and even possibly get paid.

However, it’s not always clear which steps you need to take to make a successful radio show. It’s also not apparent to some people what they need to do to be a likable radio host, which is absolutely key.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you have to do to make your radio show successful.

Establish a Clear Topic

In today’s digital age, your show has to be about something. And whatever it’s about has to be clear right away.

There has been an explosion in podcasts and radio shows in recent years. The best way to stand out and help listeners find you is to create a show that communicates what it is right away. That helps it not get lost on the pile of other radio shows.

Ideally, the topic you choose to focus on is something you’re passionate about. Being a likable radio host is important, and passion is one way to instantly attract people to you.

You’ll most likely be knowledgeable on the subject you discuss on your, which adds value to your listeners.

Have a Hook

Parlaying off the first tip, you want your show to be original. Creating a hook or giving your show some type of twist is always a good idea. This helps your show stand out from others in your genre and give potential listeners a reason to check it out.

But how do you create a hook?

Say your show is about basketball. There are thousands of basketball shows out there. So, take some time to plan out what makes your show different from the rest.

For example, maybe you make your project the definitive radio talk show for basketball trivia. Or pregame fashion reviews. Or whatever you want—the sky is the limit!

A great way to figure out your hook or twist is to listen to shows in your genre. See what your competition does well and what you don’t like. Try to fill a void or market need that isn’t being met.

Publish Content Regularly

The best way to grow a radio show is to publish regular content. In the early days, it may be challenging to find motivation when your listener numbers are low. But grinding through this phase is necessary for growth.

The content you publish should always come out at the same time. Either your live show airs at the same time and hour, or your prerecorded version gets released on the same day.

You want people to be looking forward to Thursdays at noon for your show! 

Advertise Your Show on Social Media

Social media is an amazing platform for promoting your radio show or podcast. You don’t have to be on every platform—in fact, you probably shouldn’t be at first. But the more channels you can create, the more potential listeners you’ll have for your show.

In the early days, it’s best to start with one or two channels. This way, you don’t get overwhelmed with creating content. As the show grows, you can expand to other networks.

Give People a Way To Download and Listen Later

Not much beats a good live radio show. If you want to host a radio show, this could be an awesome format to choose. However, you should still give listeners the option to check it out later if they want to.

Did you know the average person consumes almost 7 hours worth of content per day? One reason for that spike is platforms allow users to watch what they want when they want it. (This is also a reason cable television is seriously struggling right now.)

It’s probably a good idea to have a website linked to your RSS feed. This way, people can download your show from popular podcast apps and stay up to date. Remember, any way you can get new listeners is a good strategy.

Adjust as You Go (Listen To Your Listeners)

The audience is always right. Okay, maybe not always—but it’s still important to listen to your listeners. They will ultimately tell you what’s good about your show and what you can do without.

Avoid overplanning if you’re starting a radio show. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually the best thing you can do. Having a loose outline for what your show gives you the freedom to adapt and grow as you go.

Your show is yours (of course), but asking listeners for feedback is always a good idea. Give them ways to easily message you on social media or email – to offer suggestions on ways you can improve the show. You’re there to serve them – remember that.

Content First, Money Second

The best radio show broadcasters have one thing in common. The host of the show makes it their “own.” No one else could replace what they do well. Your show won’t be an exception to this rule.

Ultimately, the content of your show matters most. What you talk about, how much planning goes into the show, and all the other variables are up to you.

It’s exciting to have so much creative freedom. But too much creative expression and not enough value won’t help you grow an audience. And that could limit your ability to make money or sustain this venture.

Radio shows and podcasts are notorious for making money these days. But if your content isn’t good and easily marketable to a wide range of fans, you won’t make any money. Figure out the creative side of your show before you dive into monetization.

Hosting Your Own Radio Show

Many things go into hosting a successful radio show. The core of it is caring about your audience and identifying what your show is or what it does.

Make it so people can easily find you, and create killer content that they’ll want to share with their friends. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising!

Learn more about our services and get started with your own show today!

The Best Mic for Beginners at Your Station: What to look for

best mic for beginners

Microphones are the most essential pieces of equipment for a radio station. After all, you can expect anybody to listen to you if you are not able to provide high-quality content.

It’s relatively simple to find the best mic for beginners, but not everyone knows where to start.

Let’s explore everything you should keep in mind during your search.

1. Price


As you may anticipate, the price of the microphone is one of the most important factors to consider. In general, you won’t want to purchase highly expensive equipment for a beginner since they won’t have the experience to make the most of it.

Additionally, beginners don’t always handle microphones as carefully as they should, which can easily damage the device. So, purchasing a microphone that costs thousands of dollars is generally unwise in this scenario.


However, this doesn’t mean that you should aim to purchase the cheapest microphone possible. Although this equipment is easy to replace if something happens to it, you will likely find that it produces subpar quality.

Instead, a reliable microphone for a beginner should cost around $200-$300. 

2. Directional Capability


There are many different microphones on the market that all have different functions. Some are specifically designed to pick up sound far away, while others are perfect for close-range speaking.

There are four directional categories that you’ll encounter:

  • Cardioid
  • Omnidirectional
  • Bidirectional
  • Shotgun

In the context of a radio station, cardioid microphones are the most favorable type.

Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound from every direction, as the name suggests.
 This can easily prove to be an issue when you have multiple speakers on your show.

Although not quite as much of a problem, a bidirectional microphone can still be difficult to implement. Shotgun microphones are geared more toward filming as opposed to speaking.

This information will ensure that you make the decision that’s best for you while also streamlining the purchasing process. 

3. USB vs XLR


This is a debate that many people find difficult to settle. For those unfamiliar, a USB microphone plugs directly into a computer via a USB port.

In general, there is no additional required setup, but you may need to download drivers in order for the microphone to function. More often than not, you can get the microphone functioning in seconds.

An XLR microphone, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated and is the type of device that you’ll often find in a music studio.

This device requires an XLR cable to be connected to an audio interface. The interface is then connected to the computer. 
Due to the way an XLR microphone functions, it requires a secondary source of power in this manner.

The main benefit, though, is that your recordings will be of a much higher quality. You will also be able to adjust the gain on your audio interface, which can help give the recordings a bit more fullness.

For beginners, it really depends on the type of quality you’re looking for. If someone new at your station simply needs a microphone to use, a USB microphone will suffice. If you need a warm, professional sound, though, it’s best to go with an XLR microphone. 

4. Frequency Response


All sound exists on a spectrum. The range that most of us can hear from 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz. Interestingly, microphones typically do not convert sound on a one-to-one ratio.

This means that some frequencies will be a bit more focused while others will be more muted. When speaking directly into a microphone, it’s best to have a bit more emphasis on the highest frequencies while maintaining a dip in lower frequencies.

This is due to the fact that the lower frequencies of somebody’s voice often make you sound congested or muffled. By enhancing higher frequencies, you’ll give the audio recording a more crisp, warm sound.

Although you can use software to change these values, many people prefer to use a microphone that is already crafted to accommodate this endeavor. For a beginner, the same concept applies. Even if you choose a USB microphone, you will want to find one that is built in this manner for the best results.

5. Durability

As previously mentioned, cheap microphones will need to be frequently replaced. But, microphones that are highly durable are ironically often also cheap.

Microphones that can produce high-quality recordings are often extremely sensitive to movement or shock. Dropping one even a single time could sometimes be enough to affect its performance.

However, beginners are not always the most careful when handling microphones. So, it’s best to find a microphone with a good balance of quality and durability.

You should also consider the general longevity, as well. By reading online reviews, you’ll be able to learn from other people’s experiences with the device and determine how long you can expect it to last. This is especially important for smaller stations that don’t have a particularly large budget to keep purchasing new equipment.

To increase the longevity of a device even further, be sure to properly train your users on how to handle them.

Finding the Best Mic for Beginners Can Seem Challenging 

But the above information will make the process far smoother. From here, you’ll be able to ensure that you find the best way for beginners and prevent any issues from arising in the future.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.

9 Creative Radio Show Ideas for Right Now

radio show ideas

You turn off the radio, frustrated. It all seems to be the same old thing. You want to hear something new and interesting, or at least a new spin on the same topics. 

If you’re looking to spice up your local radio channel, there are plenty of radio show ideas to explore. No matter what radio programming you choose, having enticing show topics is what will keep your listenership levels large. 

Are you feeling stuck with brainstorming radio ideas? Don’t worry! Here are some of our favorite radio show ideas to help you make some changes to your radio show content. 

1. Politics and News Galore

There is no shortage of world politics and news in 2020. A radio show sharing pertinent politics and news are in high demand, and you’re guaranteed to have a lot of people tuning in to get their fill. 

From COVID-19 pandemic updates to exploding American politics and more, you will have plenty to talk about and share with your listeners. Check out our services to see how we can help you make your radio show ideas a reality.

2. Media: Movies, TV, and Music

Thanks to quarantine and nationwide lockdowns, many are turning to old comforts to get them through these times. One great example is Netflix streaming all of Avatar: The Last Airbender (in addition to the sequel The Legend of Korra). Returning to an old movie or TV show favorites with a fresh eye will appeal to a lot of listeners. 

There are several different routes you can go. From character analysis to general rewatch commentary, you have a lot of material to work with. 

You can also focus on music as well. It’s radio, so talking about your favorite music and playing it for your listeners will give them something to relax to! Maybe your listeners will discover new musicians to follow thanks to your suggestions. 

3. Gamer Paradise

Quarantine means gamer paradise (well, maybe)! A radio show dedicated to the newest, up-to-date news in the gaming world will also bring in a lot of potential listeners. 

Reviewing gameplay can help listeners decide if they want to play a game or not. It also provides listeners with any affirmations about how they feel about a game. 

You can also speak about upcoming releases and what gamers are anticipating in terms of the game. Don’t be afraid to ask listeners what they would like to hear you talk about too in terms of gaming! 

4. Appeal to Your Fellow Foodies

If you’re not a gamer, you’re definitely a foodie: who isn’t?

Talking about food isn’t just reviewing the taste of food. It can be sharing new recipes or speaking with cooking experts about tips and tricks. 

Having a radio show about food should explore local options as well if your listenership is local. Supporting local businesses during these times will provide them with free advertising and will also incentivize them to recommend your radio show to potential views. It’s a win-win for everyone! 

5. Radio Drama for Those Missing the Theater

The theaters are closed! Drama nerds everywhere are itching to be back listening to stories unfold onstage. Well, if people cannot gather in a theatre, they can listen to a radio show performing radio dramas

Radio dramas are not a new concept. Because of the pandemic, podcasts and other radio shows are growing in popularity. Cater to a new audience with radio dramas. 

From Orson Welles’ infamous War of the Worldsto new devised pieces, a radio drama could provide your listeners with some well-needed creative release. 

6. The Sports Zone

There’s nothing wrong with having a good old sports radio show! 

Between sports like baseball and football making returns amid the pandemic, you still have plenty to talk about. Analyze teams’ and players’ skills and project scores. Allow your viewers to call in to get their thoughts known too. 

Better yet, consider talking about fantasy football line-ups and prospects as well! 

7. Travel (But Not Today)

Travel isn’t an option right now due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t think about it! 

A radio show focused on travel can provide listeners with travel tips on certain places, as well as showcase more unique travel destinations that listeners maybe aren’t familiar with.

Take time to acknowledge how the travel industry has been hurt but also the importance of staying safe during the pandemic. 

8. Stay Healthy! 

A health and lifestyle radio show isn’t a bad idea either. Given the current public health crisis with COVID-19, a show about staying healthy is important. 

Talk about proper precautions to take to keep people and their communities safe. You can also explore which foods keep people more energized or helps to boost their general immunity. Bring medical experts on your show to give their point of view as well. 

In terms of lifestyle, speak to how people are staying active despite the pandemic. You will inspire your listeners to take steps in their own lives to stay active too! 

9. Listen to the Listener

If you are feeling unsure about content, you can always reach out to your listenership to see what they are interested in listening to. 

Your listeners tune into your radio show because they are interested in what you have to say, so let them offer topics or suggestions on how to spice up your radio show a bit more. They know best, as the consumer! 

No Shortage of Radio Show Ideas

Radio show ideas are plentiful. You can take your radio show in any direction you would like to. Most of these topics are flexible and won’t get old. 

Are you looking for assistance on virtual PD, imaging/voice talent, or formats? Contact us so we can help you make the most of your radio show!