Category Archives: Programming

The Robinson Report – Same As It Ever Was

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking at this year’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC), March 7-8, 2017 in Lansing.  Kevin will present two sessions: “Coaching The Coaches” and “#Branding – in a Social Media Age.”  More information and registration here.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“…Same as it Ever Was…” Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime

When you pack for a move, stumbling over old files in musty boxes is the order of the day.

Opening a particular years-old container, the musty aroma enveloped the closet.

You know the smell – a combination of your grandmother’s basement and an elementary school gym.

Shifting through the yellowing pages, one old memo stood out.

Entitled ‘What Makes A Great Jock’, points included:

1.  A distinguishable, warm voice

2.  Good judgment on content

3.  Sounds like they are having fun

4.  Contemporary thinker

5.  Ability to envision their show in their mind

6.  Good on-air rap with listeners, traffic, news and others in studio

7.  They realize the necessity of public appearances

8.  They follow directions well

9.  They have an appreciation of all aspects of the radio station

10.  They understand that THEY work for the station, not the other way around

October 1985 – Kent Burkhart

Embellishments and further articulation to these basic points have evolved.

However, the basics never change.

Every convention agenda will table the need for improved ‘content’.

Yet talent seem more intoxicated with the content delivery systems (iPhone, Internet, Social Media) than actual content.

It’s not the speakers – it’s what comes through the speakers.

Same As It Ever Was.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Radio Programmers: Don’t Miss These Sessions at GLBC!

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From important educational sessions to the ever popular Broadcast Excellence Awards Ceremony, the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) is designed with YOU in mind and planned so that you can make the most of your time at the conference! Longtime radio programmer and consultant Kevin Robinson is at GLBC this year to present thought-provoking sessions with ideas that you can take back to your station.

Register for GLBC Here

Here are some highlights for radio programmers at GLBC 2017:

Coaching the Coaches
Wednesday, March 8

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Presented by Kevin Robinson, Robinson Media (bio below)

Kevin Robinson
Kevin Robinson

Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, Britney Spears: They all have coaches. Mentors who take raw talent and make improvements, taking them to the world’s elite. Join the only coach who has mentored three different shows to the #1 position on three different brands in the same major market. As programmers, Kevin will share tools that will make YOU a better coach:

  • Developing a strategic plan for your shows,
  • Being memorable,
  • Identifying the target,
  • The seven slots of short term memory,
  • The five P’s,
  • Listener Eye Contact,
  • The Creative Process,
  • Five areas of connected content,
  • The top three, and
  • Pre-selling with intrigue.

All of this in a fast-paced, TED-like talk. You will come away re-energized with action items you can take back to your station and put in place immediately!

#Branding –in a Social Media Age
Wednesday, March 8
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Presented by Kevin Robinson, Robinson Media (bio below)

Facebook – Snapchat – Twitter – Instagram. Where should you AND your BRAND be? In this interactive session you’ll discover where to have the most impact in the digital space and how :60 is all you have to create a buzz. Robinson Media’s Kevin Robinson will guide you through the best social format(s) to present your brand, how often and WHAT you should post, that interaction is more powerful than likes and the networks to plant your brand where YOU cannot be ignored.

About the speaker:  Kevin Robinson is a passionate, record setting and award-winning 35-year broadcast veteran, having experienced programming success with teams in Chicago, Phoenix, St. Louis, Louisville, Buffalo and Lansing in quality companies like CBS Radio, Bonneville International, Hubbard Radio, Infinity Broadcasting, Salem Media Group and many others.

With his company Robinson | Media and past partnership with the Audience Development Group, , Kevin has advised companies all over America including Entercom Communications, Beasley Broadcast Group, Westwood One, Midwest Communications, Triad Broadcasting, Townsquare Media, Midwest Family Broadcasting Group, Grand Canyon Broadcasters, LaSalle County Broadcasting, EG Radio Marketing and many more.

As former Vice-President of Hot AC for CBS Radio, Kevin counselled 15 brands coast-to-coast in the format, in addition to coaching Leeza Gibbons, Randy Jackson and Billy Bush through his partnership with Westwood One.

Kevin’s varied format expertise is deep and includes Hot AC, Oldies, Christian AC, Mainstream AC, CHR, Adult Hits, Classic Hits, Country and Talk.

Kevin’s brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader.

Known largely as a trusted talent coach, Kevin the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position.

His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent.

Invest in yourself and your future…attend GLBC and be inspired!

Register for GLBC Here

The Robinson Report: Hard Job?

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking at this year’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC), March 7-8, 2017 in Lansing.  Kevin will present two sessions: “Coaching The Coaches” and “#Branding – in a Social Media Age.”  More information and registration here.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

Sitting in a plane somewhere over the Midwest I casually glance at the notes a weary traveler is creating next to me.

Frantically doing what looks like calculus (like I would know) he keeps referring to his textbook that reads “Spotlight Synthetic Aperture Radar.”

My head aches as I look away with pity.

That’s a hard job.

As tree limbs snapped under the heavy tornadic winds in the Deep South, linemen and emergency services are dispatched for a non-stop odyssey in an attempt to restore power for hundreds of thousands.

Ouch – hard job.

The Sappers of Company B, 65th Engineer Battalion perform daily Improvised Explosive Device (roadside bombs) route clearances in Iraq.

Their mission is to clear the path for their comrades, hunting down IEDs and make sure they get destroyed.

Many times with deadly results.

Tragically hard job.

Media consolidation has produced an environment where our personnel perform two, three or more roles inside a cluster.

Most cluster programmers and sales managers are at the helm of two or more brands.

Having dedicated creative directors – now a rarity.

Our industry remains the best place to serve the community, touch audience hearts and engage with true emotion.

Plus, automation systems, computer newsgathering, digital editors and wireless connections provide time to create more compelling content.

The media internal environment – is simply better and more efficient today!

Media positions are a privilege – and far from true hard work.


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

The Robinson Report – Which Lap To Lead

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking at this year’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC), March 7-8, 2017 in Lansing.  Kevin will present two sessions: “Coaching The Coaches” and “#Branding – in a Social Media Age.”  More information and registration here.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

He didn’t need to win – to win.

Victory was already at hand.

Nascar’s Jimmy Johnson cruised to Nextel Cup victory in 2007 (Now Monster Energy Cup) by leading only one lap and finishing seventh in the season’s finale at Homestead.

With a comfortable points lead over teammate Jeff Gordon, Johnson simply needed to finish no more than 18 spots behind Gordon to snatch the cup.

No reason to jeopardize this battle when the war is in the can.

We face similar situations every day – which battle to win, which hill to own.

With clear strategic objectives, know that you don’t have to win all the battles to win the war.

During our Civil War’s horrific four-year span, the South won more battles and skirmishes than the North. But, not history.

The time is ripe to map out your 2017 game plan for victory.

Managers are corralling the budget, allocating resources for best use and plotting to improve the talent stable – future laps to lead!

Content providers are forming strategic and tactical warfare, free to walk away from poor cross-partnerships. THAT lap isn’t worth leading.

Revenue generators are targeting key clients, as the strong leave bad rates on the table and plan on attrition.

Your staff is waiting on your leadership to grab victory.

Fast-forward nine years to Homestead Sprint Cup 2016 – Johnson KNEW which lap he had to lead!

Know that this winter, Jimmy Johnson and his crew are planning now which laps to lead in February’s Daytona – and a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup repeat.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

The Robinson Report: A Guy Named Scott

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking at this year’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) March 7-8, 2017 in Lansing.  Kevin will present two sessions: “Coaching The Coaches” and “#Branding – in a Social Media Age.”  More information and registration here.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

Say hello to Scott Ginsburg.

Scott is the guy who, since 2000, has worn a Hello My Name IS Scott nametag.

Every day, every hour, every minute.

He even has it tattooed on his chest so it’s on when he showers.

One visit to Scott at www.hellomynameisscott.com, and you’ll know who he is – instantly.

Memorable.

Imagine you – taking Scott’s affinity for name recognition and applying it to your brand.

In measured media, we ‘run for office’ every quarter – every month – everyday.

Making a face impact on the first meeting – audience | client | networking – is paramount.

Here’s a checklist for making the deepest in-person impact:

1. Upon greeting, extend your hand and announce who you are (and who you’re with) – first AND last name.

2. Create nametags, embroidered shirts or ID’s for your staff (magnets backs for nicer clothing/events).

3. Engage prior to station/client business (where are you from/where do your kids go to school?) That’s where relationships are built.

4. Give your New Friend FULL attention, being engaged ‘in the moment.’

5. Leave something – anything behind – memorable to create a lasting impact.

You can make an impact with the smallest details. Hand-written thank you notes?

Plus, dollars to doughnuts, you’ll be the only one in your brand lane paying attention.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Clutter Creep

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.”
Albert Einstein

All brands eventually wake up from the malaise of sameness – to find it.

Our homes have it – mostly tucked in drawers or hidden in seldom used rooms.

Clutter.

Where you place a once-important item to be addressed later.

And, it creeps into a part of your natural habitat.

With media brands you’ll find multiple slogans or messages, assembled with inconsistency.

Or perhaps features that have been spawned without a serious mind-audit.

Or worse yet – a we’ve always done it that way brain freeze.

The BEST brands know that not EVERY thing is forever.

McDonalds’ – McRib (for a limited time).

Starbucks – pumpkin spice.

Netflix cleanses their feed every month.

With 2016 slowly dripping to a close, it’s time to de-clutter.

Your brands, your habitat and eventually – your mind.

Turn over every piece of your brand to clean up the message.

You can only be known for one (or maybe two) things.

Why pour anything else into your brand message?

Waiting for you and your consumer on the other end is a clutter-free, focused and consumable brand.


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

All Things Christmas

garyberkowitz_275
Gary Berkowitz

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Gary Berkowitz
President, Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting
gary@garyberk.com
http://www.garyberk.com

“It’s all about how you decorate your station for the holidays.

Here’s a programming checklist and suggestions as we approach Christmas.

Programming checklist/suggestions as we approach Christmas:

  1. The on-air presentation should remain up and contemporary. Sometimes when stations go to all Christmas music, the jocks tend to “soften” or bring the presentation down. The on-air delivery should be up, fun and exciting.
  2. When opening the mic, the jocks should always open with a line like: B106.1 The Christmas Music Station. (Please do not refer to the music as “Holiday Music” always call it Christmas music).
  3. Other key Positioning lines to consider:
    • 100% Christmas Music
    • All Christmas Music, All The Time
    • Non Stop Christmas Music
    • All Your Christmas Favorites all Season
  4. Reinforce these lines every time. Not just sometimes. It’s critical to drive home the “All Christmas” message. It will not get tired.
  5. The goal is to “dress up the station” with Christmas cheer. This is a six-week tactic. Sound great and get all the ratings credit.
  6. The right music list repeats a lot. You may get some complaints. That’s ok. Wondering about your list? Call me and I’ll tell you.
  7. Dress the website for Christmas. Use the line “The Christmas Music Station.” It’s very important that when a listener goes to the website, it reflects what you are doing on the air. Same for Facebook pages. Do what you can with them to make it look like Christmas.
  8. Have high production values. Use lots of holiday jingles. If you cannot get new Christmas jingles in time, take your current ones, and be creative. Add bells, chimes, and ho-ho-ho’s to make them sound Christmas.
  9. It’s all about Christmas. All live liners and recorded sweepers refer to Christmas.
  10. Get involved with as many Christmas promotions as possible. Local sings, shows that are coming to town (Radio City Music Hall Christmas, etc). Look at a contest tactic like “Christmas Song of the Day.”
  11. Attention diary markets: No matter what the Arbitron, Ooops, I mean Nielsen people tell you, change your Arbitron SIP. Make sure it says “Christmas Music” “Xmas music” etc.

Before his current tenure as President of the company that bares his name, Gary Berkowitz spent many years being involved in every aspect of the operation and management of some of America’s most successful radio stations. Gary was the first Program Director at the legendary PRO-FM, Providence. He transformed WROR, Boston from an Oldies station to what would become one of the first AC’s in the US. Gary then went to Detroit for Capital Cities Communications to program News-Talk powerhouse WJR, and WHYT. Under Gary’s leadership WHYT experienced the highest ratings ever as a CHR. The next step was when Gary launched one of the first Hot AC’s, Q95, Detroit with another #1 success story.

Gary started his Detroit-based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting in 1990 and has been helping AC stations grow and achieve higher ratings ever since. Results driven, attentive and highly passionate best describes his style. In 2012 he was inducted to the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame as well as the WERS (Emerson College, Boston) Radio Hall of Fame.

Spectacular!

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

The year – 1883.

Under construction – The Statue of Liberty –with detailed supervision by designer Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi.

As metal workers banged out sheets of Lady Liberty, the curve on TOP of her crown received the same detail – as her feet.

This is significant as commercial flight – was decades away.

Bartholdi wanted every inch to be spectacular – even if no eyes would see much of the top.

Spectacular happened when Top 40 radio was – a baby.

Don Steele.

The Real Don Steele was one of the original Boss Jocks on the legendary KHJ-AM/Los Angeles.

He could be spectacular in 8 seconds – and treated every break as an audition for the next show.

Self-help – from Tom Peters.

Being Spectacular requires minute-by-minute excellence.

Sculpting – entertainment – personal improvement.

Everyone has the same 168 hours a week.

The same 1,448 minutes in a day.

The same 3,900 heart beats in an hour.

During our time, why endorse mediocre now – or ever?


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Find It

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.”  -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian physiologist

Sometimes it’s right before your very eyes – or ears, in some cases.

The traditional media world screams for new, fresh talent but fails to pull the trigger and resorts into the well of ‘the usual suspects.’

What would the music world be without Stevie Nicks, who was discovered in 1967 at a Young Life meeting by Lindsey Buckingham – no Fleetwood Mac, as we know it today.

If Columbia Records had not directed contract producer Jim Messina to work with a new kid named Kenny Loggins – well, you know. No one home in the House At Pooh Corner.

In Los Angeles, Jimmy The Sports Guy on the KROQ morning show summoned the random services of a personal trainer named Adam and struck up a conversation about our business.

Now, Adam Carolla is a household name and a podcast superstar.

And, that Jimmy The Sports Guy, who carries the last name Kimmel, also unearthed, as his intern, another talent named Carson Daly.

Looking for that spark to jump-start YOUR talent bank but think that there’s ‘a big lack of talent out there?’

Listen to Brad Booker tell his story about who he found serving pizza in Evansville:

“I stopped into the big pizza joint, Turoni’s. After ordering the beer sampler, the server carded me and inquired why I moved to Indiana from New Orleans.

I told her I was there to do a morning show on (Hot 96) WSTO. She proceeded to inform me that she recently graduated from Ball State University, with a degree in Media Communications and was proficient in Pro Tools.

WHAT? The girl bringing our pizza knew Pro Tools?

She wanted to break into the business but had no experience. Sarah was so witty and entertaining, I brought my boss in to meet her. Weeks later, she was producing our show and the third voice.”

Sarah Pepper then rocketed from market size #162 (Evansville) to #6 (Houston) – simply by what others saw but what no one else thought.

With turmoil swirling in legacy media, it’s prime to take chances again.

It’s out there – let’s find it.


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Shrink The Audience

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media 

“At stadium shows, we connect by shrinking the audience, reducing the place so the guy in the back row of the balcony is the one left.”  –Dave Murray, Iron Maiden

No, this isn’t about losing audience. Rather, this is about GROWING audience by connecting with an audience of ONE.

The key to building a relationship with the audience – any audience – is communicating to ONE person and NOT thousands.

You remember your favorite radio or TV personality growing up – he or she was talking to YOU – not everyone else.

Whether it was Cousin Brucie, John Records Landecker, The Real Don Steele or (insert your favorite here), they were doing their show for YOU – and no one else.

Broadcast Talent (unlike stage actors) must break the ‘4th wall’ and connect directly with the target. They have the unique opportunity to be one with the audience.

Talent grabs audience – just by showing up. Get them to LOVE you by bonding in a one-on-one relationship.

As they say, you get audience ‘one at a time.’

Accomplish this by telling stories – reducing trite ‘bits.’

Eliminate words that build the wall (‘everybody,’ ‘out there;’ ‘where you are’) and simply employ the word ‘you’ with intimate regularity.

Deliver content as though the audience is sitting in the room with you!

Eradicate nonsensical language such as ‘radio’ and ‘station.’

Your show should be an experience – not a box or building.

Doing so will increase your Audience Eye Contact, galvanize the relationship with the audience and GROW your brand by connecting with the audience of ONE!


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.