Hosting your own radio show is one of the best ways to brand yourself as an expert in your field, establish yourself as a thought leader, educate and entertain people and promote your business. It’s also fun to do. Hosting a radio show is not hard to do. There are thousands of talk radio stations in hundreds of cities throughout the country that need to fill 168 hours of programming each every week. That provides a lot of opportunities. You could host a show in your local station’s studio or do it remotely over the phone with any local or national station. Most stations will help you. There are also plenty of resources to help. It’s relatively low cost, free or you could get paid to do it. Here’s how it’s done.


Determine your goals. Why are you doing the show? What are you looking to accomplish?  Who are you looking to reach? Where are you looking to reach them? What type of show you’re going to do? Are you going to do a live or prerecorded show? Are you going to take listener calls? Are you going to have guests?  Are you going to have a co-host or multiple co-hosts? Are you going to have guests?  What will the name of the show be? What topics will you address? Do you want to have a broad or narrow focus? Are you going to focus on your area of expertise or an area of interest?


Contact stations. Radio Locator has listings of all stations in all cities in the country including their formats. Talk formats include talk, news/talk, sports and religion. Contact local stations for a local show or national stations for a national show. Contact multiple stations for multiple opportunities. Contact general managers, program directors, sales managers or salespeople at the stations. Pitch your show ideas. Gather what opportunities exist at the stations. Are they looking or needing to fill time? Will they pay you to do a show? Will they let you fill open time for free to do a show? Will they sell you time to do a show? Usually the later is the most common and easiest way to start a new show.


Negotiate the cost for the show and what’s included with the cost. What is the caliber of the station? What is the market size? What is their reputation? What is their history? What is their day and night coverage? What is their day and night wattage? Do they also stream their programming through their website, app, Tune-In Radio or other streaming platforms? What is their listenership or ratings? What is their other programming? Are the available time slots prime-time or non-primetime, day or night or weekday or weekend? What support or service is included with the show cost? How much training, producing, production, promotion, commercials and sponsor sales support is included? These will determine the cost for the show. Compare opportunities at multiple stations. Negotiate and take the best deal that works for your budget. Do multiple stations to start if possible or desired.


Prepare for the show. Few stations such as KFNX provide a training manual. There are also resources from Talkers, Walter Sabo and Valerie Geller that can help. Most stations follow a standard format clock. Use the format you created. Create an outline. Coordinate it with the clock. Pick the topic or topics. Create an opening and closing. Prepare enough material to more than fill the show time. Schedule the co-host or co-hosts and guests. It’s a great networking opportunity to invite people on your show.


Promote your show. Promote it on your website. Post it on your Social Media Network and create events for the show. Include it in your advertising or advertise it in print and online. Include it in your marketing materials. Send out an email to your email database. Promote it while networking. Pass out flyers.


Host the show. Show up on time or early or call in on time. Most stations will provide a board operator that will run the show for you. They’ll cue you on-air and into commercial breaks, connect your guests or callers on the phone, play the spots during the commercial breaks and can advise you during the show and chime in if needed. Be energetic, engaging, interesting and entertaining. We’re in the entertainment business! Don’t be boring. You want listeners to tune-in and stay tuned in. Project your voice. Control your voice inflection. Control your tempo. Don’t speak too fast or slow. Don’t have dead air. Don’t say “um”. Open the show with your opening.  Introduce yourself, co-host, guest and topic at the beginning of the show, when you return from commercial breaks and throughout the show. Promote what you’ll be discussing in the next segment before you go into commercial breaks. Take listener calls if you’re taking them. Ask for calls. Give out the talk show line throughout the show. Ask good, open-ended questions of your guests. Interact with your co-host. Close the show with your closing.


Get a recording of your show. Archive it on your website for people to download and podcast it to listen anytime. Review the recording to see where you can improve.


Monetize the show. Promote your business’ products and services during the show and in your commercials on the show and though out the week on the station’s other shows. Resell the show airtime to guests and sponsors. You could also mention the sponsors in the weekly promotional spots for the show which run throughout the week on the station’s other shows. Most stations won’t help you with this though there are many resources to help you. KFNX is one of the few stations that will help you resell the time. You could also refer to KFNX’s resources on our website, blogs and videos.


Now you know how to host a radio show and why you should do it. So why aren’t you doing it? It’s easy to do, great for your business, helps people and its fun! I look forward to listening to your show on the radio. And listen to KFNX’s shows. Let me know if I can help you host a show.


We write this blog to help small business owners with their dilemmas, because that is what who we are, and those are our clients.


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