Where will the next wave of radio talent come from?  By Dave Charles

In his final article for 2022, Dave Charles, President of Media RESULTS Inc takes a look where to find new radio talent.

This is a question I’ve been asked over and over again by clients, radio owners and personalities who are not sure that radio has a future in a fragmented media world.  They may be right!

Radio used to be the source for new music.  Spotify does that now.

The great personalities that drive radio ratings are well established and doing good business for their stations in key AM & PM periods.  In my view radio should be LIVE 24/7 especially on the weekends!

The next wave of radio talent is already here but finding them is the challenge that most Content Directors are not actively doing.

Let me give you a hint where to find new talent.   Street buskers, bar staff, new comedians, Bloggers, Pro Athletes, TikTok and musicians who face live audiences every night..  These are only a few examples of talent areas that I’ve exploited for new talent.  You’re looking for characters NOT big voices.  That’s the key.

One of the original ways I’ve used many times to find talent is to offer ‘on air’ a tour of the radio station. At the end of the tour get everyone to do a voice test.  The key to this is to get some of your top personalities to do an interview style voice test rather than the traditional (read the weather, spot of intro a song) What you want to achieve is a conversational setting to get the essence of what each person is all about.

The best personalities from this audition are invited to come back to the station and enter an intern program to develop their basic skills.  The best ones get opportunities in smaller market stations to build their chops.

Radio needs to look elsewhere to find those new talents who can bring their realness and street smarts to the airwaves.  This is where radio needs to go to find the next generation of talent.

Voice tracking has improved over the years.  However, let me suggest to you that having a live talent on air gives your station far more scope in interacting with your audience so you can respond to local breaking stories immediately.  One of radios’ original strengths was offering immediacy. Its still very important.

All the best and biggest shows on radio are now being networked.  Kyle and Jackie O, Hamish and Andy are two examples.  Networks shows are ok but they miss the chance to localize.  For example, I get most of my breaking news on Twitter as well are current traffic and weather.  And don’t forget shoutouts too!

By losing immediacy and access radio has given up important turf.  Today’s listeners know where to go for new music and the latest information.  Think about that for a minute.  Talk it over with your station management.  How much more turf will radio give up before it’s too late?

About the Author

Dave Charles, President Media RESULTS Inc.

Mobile: +1 289 242 8313.

Email: [email protected]