Radio Should Be Fun By Andy Meadows

To outsiders looking in radio is one of the most fun jobs anyone can be lucky enough to have. Getting paid to talk into a microphone and play music, sign me up! But, that’s like watching a cop show and just seeing the action scenes. Those of us who’ve been in the business awhile know that a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make those fun parts happen if we want to have any kind of lasting success in commercial radio. But there is a middle ground between stressing about ratings, putting in long work weeks and covering multiple positions because of cutbacks and the fun parts people on the outside see. To find that middle ground, here’s a few key things we can do to make radio fun again regardless of how long we’ve been doing it.

Get out of the building.

Most stations I’ve come across who have lost their mojo did so because they barely leave their building. Yes, it’s admirable to lock ourselves in the radio station banging out twelve hours of work every day keeping the place running. But it isn’t healthy, sustainable or the best thing for the radio station. We can’t effectively manage, program, market or sell our stations if we’re not regularly getting in front of our audience and advertisers to interact with them and get their feedback on our product. Of course, we should never make changes based on feedback from a few people, but when there are common themes in the aggregate we should absolutely change accordingly. Besides, station events and on-site promotions are fun. How do I know that? Talk to anyone who’s been in radio for twenty or more years and many of the stories they recall that bring a smile to their face revolve around a station promotion or event that went well. Another important way we all should get out of our buildings occasionally is to go to our state broadcast conventions and at least one national radio convention every year. Not only do we get to see all the latest innovations, it also energizes us to bring back tons of fun ideas to our staffs. 

Outsource Inefficiencies.

No one is good at everything. With budgets tight and manpower low it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing literally everything ourselves. But, when we do that we inevitably end up spending the bulk of our time bogged down in a couple of things we don’t have a passion or aptitude for. Identifying those things and finding affordable ways to outsource them, using AI to help or hiring someone who does have a passion and aptitude for them will not only make us more productive it will also make our jobs a lot more fun again.

Recapture the magic.

There’s a reason we all got into this business. Something about it seemed magical to us. Maybe it was the idea of communicating with the masses live every day, doing a funny bit on the air that people stop us in the grocery store to recount or hanging out backstage at big events. On the other side of the ball maybe it was the thrill of the sale or the feeling of putting together a cost-effective advertising solution for a mom-and-pop client that drives traffic and helps them continue to thrive. Whatever it was we would all be well served if we found a way to recapture some of that initial magic to help relight our competitive fires. Doing so isn’t only essential to our own happiness and well-being it’s also essential to our survival as an industry as we face stronger competition than ever from outside forces.

What do you think? How can we all make radio fun again? Comment below or email me at

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