Celebrity Gossip: You’re probably doing it wrong

Do you know the movie “The Notebook” is being turned into a TV series?  

I came across this story while flicking around a few metro radio stations last Friday morning.  It was featured in the “entertainment report” on a high rating breakfast show, with everyone on the show expressing their surprise and delight at this little entertainment nugget.  Why wouldn’t they?  It was a big movie, and this is a big story.

Only problem was the story was 48 hours old, and I’d heard it on another show 2 days earlier.

This show had fallen into the trap many breakfast shows fall into.  Just because it was new to them, doesn’t mean that it’s new to your audience.  Unlike 10 or 15 years ago, your audience has access to information every second of every day, and unless you have your finger truly on the pulse or have an “insider” working exclusively for your show, your entertainment news is going to be old and tired.

What’s the solution?  

From my work with breakfast shows in Australia and Asia, here are a few things I like my teams to think about.

1. Do you really need an entertainment report?
Is your audience interested in an entertainment report, or are you just including it in your show because you have a gap in the runsheet?  Maybe you’re only doing it because the breakfast show down the road does it.  Remember, there are plenty of ways your audience can get celebrity gossip, so is there something stronger you can put on your runsheet?

2. Why do it everyday?
I’m the first person to champion the value of strong daily benchmarks, but if it means doing old stories then I would suggest that maybe you only do it when something big breaks.  This will save you the embarrassment of broadcasting something your opposition did 2 days ago.

3. Get yourself a Hollywood insider
If you look at the radio and TV shows that break big entertainment news, they all use celebrity reporters.  These are people who live and breathe entertainment, and really do know what’s going on.  They will cost you, so weigh up the benefits of having up to date gossip, or a few extra bottles of wine at the end of year christmas party

4. Make it your own and get credit
Simply sharing an entertainment story (whether it’s new or old) may not be enough to get credit for your show, or for your show to be talked about.  This is where you need to add to the story.  Brainstorm ideas of doing something different with the piece, or turning it into a different form of content, like a phone topic. 

5. Follow the news makers
Chances are your show is already following the newsmakers on Twitter etc.  This at least gives you a chance of getting fresh entertainment news.  A great way to help you sort through your Twitter feed is to create lists, so you can jump straight to your entertainment feed.  A very handy feature.

6.  If in doubt, leave it out.
You don’t want to be the breakfast show that is 2 days old, so if you’re not confident of finding fresh entertainment news, then drop it.  Think of stronger content to replace it, or as a last resort play an extra song.

Barry Keohane is an award winning Content Director, international radio specialist, and owner of Top of Mind Media and Entertainment.  Barry is a regular contributor to radioinfo.