How to have a successful call-in show on your AM station : A wartime guide
Flipping around the dial the last few days, I think I have uncovered some keys to having a really successful call-in show on AM radio:
- If you want to get ratings, folks that agree with your host are bad for business. Conservative hosts mixed with random left wing callers equals radio gold. Be prepared that some callers may not have hung up on your host on purpose but have potentially driven into a ditch after experiencing a 'cardio-pulmonary episode' while driving.
- Have your host trot out the 'Why don't you go back to [fill in name of Axis of Evil country]..' gambit when methods of normal debate don't work in your hosts favor. It doesn't matter if the person had ancestors on the Mayflower or is on a visiting work visa. You don't love or belong in America if you disagree with an AM radio host.
- Another popular gambit: Talking over your callers. Nothing says 'I am unequivocally right!' like cutting off and harassing your call-in guests.
- People with PhDs probably spend little time calling 800 numbers to get on local radio. This is good, you don't want to have your host bested in front of a drive-time audience. Your host will sound like a genius compared to folks who make time to call in at 4:30PM on a Thursday, trust us.
- I know it's tough but you may have to go a bit heavy-handed on the patriotism to make up for the lack of intelligent conversation. Have a Lee Greenwood CD in the deck for any down time or interludes between calls.
- A good way to make folks feel like they are being entertained: Catchy war time slogan. 'Stay with KNEW for the 'Showdown in Iraq''. Use a sing-song voice and make it sound like a Tyson - Holyfield match. Kids love boxing.
- Hire a host that sounds almost exactly like Rush Limbaugh. Rush gets ratings. Sound-alikes will get ratings too. It can't be a Howard Stern type, for some reason you would need to invest in an FM transmitter for that to work out.
- Have your host broadly refer to 'my audience' in a genuine tone, indicative of the fact that there are by some chance repeat listeners to this drivel.
- Democrats and Republicans alike need sofa beds, cars and refinancing for their houses. These are your advertisers, unleash the sales team upon them.