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Saturday, December 13, 2014

(SPORTS TALK) How to Start A New Show


2014 has been a very educational year for me in radio. You could also say that I have learned a lot from my previous two "loser years" in South Florida radio. I will start this column off by saying that whenever my show fails, (which is not often), I am one to never blame anybody but myself.

I hear radio hosts say, "The station didn't promote me" or "Management sucks and they never believed in me," which in some cases may actually be true to some extent. But at the end of the day, the host's name is on the show and it falls at his/her feet. Period. So when I was hired by BCA Radio and The Mighty 1090 this past February here in San Diego, I was determined not to make the same mistakes I made in South Florida.

It's funny. I thought I knew everything about radio and I was set in my ways on how I thought a show should be executed. Look, when a radio company hires a host from another market, the host's first thoughts are that his or her show is not broken and that the station needs help. The folks at BCA Radio here in San Diego really get it. The station itself is one of the biggest signals not only in Southern California, but in all of California, and I must say, even "Wolfman" Jack sat in this morning show chair at one time. So the station has a great history.

Mike Shephard, the OPS, guy is the man I have been working with this past year and it's been a great experience -- a lot of great new tips on how to execute my show and how the market reacts to certain stories. The second part of my team has been one of radio's great hidden secrets. Joe Tutino, who has been a longtime radio man here in San Diego, was a major part of the success of XTRA Sports 690-AM, one of America's great sport-stalk stations in America. Plus, Joe worked very closely with the development of the Jim Rome Show when Jim was on 690-AM here in San Diego.

I'll never forget Joe's first day. He was brought in to help aim the show in the right direction content-wise. I know: Any time a host hears that, they automatically blow a gasket -- which I did. Joe used the word "tweek." At first I was very guarded about his input, as any host would be -- especially after my last experience at WQAM where I felt people were doing nothing but hurting the show (did I say that?). But having a person who understands the market and the delivery of content to a market is the key ingredient to any host's success.

I can't say I have changed my style, but I have changed the way I deliver content. I can't tell you how important a lesson that is. A host who has been in one market for an extended period of time always believes they know how to do radio -- and the truth is you do. For that market. That doesn't mean the style you had in Tampa will work in Miami or San Diego or Los Angeles. Having people who understand the market are key to the success of a radio show. I get it. That's a tough sell for a OPS or PD a host they just hired, because the host automatically thinks he or she is doing something wrong. But it's just another resource for that host to use for the growth and execution of content.

So if you are a host who just got a new gig and is moving to a new city, listen to the people who have worked in the market and understand the people you will be connecting with.

Dan Sileo is a former professional football player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He can be heard during morning drive on San Diego?s The Mighty 1090.

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