By Dan Sileo
Talk Show Host
MIAMI – It’s funny, I have had only two radio station jobs in the past 20 years: KNBR, San Francisco and WDAE, Tampa. Of course, now I’m doing afternoon drive on WQAM in Miami, which means I’m now starting over with a new show and, the truth of it is, I have to prove myself all over again.
It’s been a humbling experience for me because I have always been used to HUGE numbers and now I’m in the position of retraining a whole new audience here in Miami to my style.
Here are a couple of things I’m learning:
1) Have patience! I have to remember how I increased ratings in every market I have ever worked in. I was reminded by my agent, Gabe Hobbs, about “cratering.” Ratings will dip before they go up and it doesn’t help that the station across the street has a great afternoon host in Dan LeBatard and 790 has the Miami Heat. All any host can do is stick to the game plan that a he builds for himself if he is going to be a winner.
What happens to many sports radio hosts is that there are so many opinions about how to reach a new audience that he can get lost with too many people giving him guidance. If you were hired for a job you were hired based on what you’ve done so well over the course of your career. Don’t start doing someone else’s show now that you’re in a different town. Stay true to what you believe.
2. Stick to the formatics that win with the PPM and stay on course with your fundamentals. Local content is a HUGE issue for a new show in a new market. If you start talking about where you were or where you are from, it’s death to a talk show. If the audience hears a pro moving the show along and hitting the breaks on time, they’ll appreciate they’ll appreciate that and reward the talk host by coming back time and time again.
3. Find a team you trust right way. I went through some bumps and bruises when I first got here. But when Andy King, my new executive producer, was brought in, my show was on the right path. It’s very important to get a producer you trust when you get to your new gig.
So remember, starting a new show can be far less painful you have a great plan.
By the way, Mike McVay at Cumulus, you are an awesome guy!
Dan Sileo hosts PM drive at WQAM, Miami. He can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.