Being mildly sarcastic in a humorous sort of way while you wade thru a tough situation or harsh condition is a good default behavior to practice.
Finding a glimmer of humor at a time most people would be self absorbed and looking for a pity party is an art form, a life lengthing habit. But outright whining, complaining, moaning and ranting about how bad you have it, is a total waste of time. I had a Bangor Maine radio station program director who handed us an eight page broadcasting bible to be eyeball scan before starting continuing our career at his station. Humble But None The Less Mighty John Marshall has been around the Maine broadcasting circle a long time. He gleaned and absorbed advice from his mentors at WLOB, WJAB and WCBQ in the southern part of the state. This is what was on that list as some of the highlights to that apply to any walk of life.
For starters, radio broadcasting is entertaining, an exhibition industry shown between your ears in the box on your neck. The trick was to never forget why you were on the other end of the microphone. To never lose track of your audience, never let them out of your internal sight. Thinking of the fellow late for work in his car. Seeing, hearing the dishes being cleared in the background at the kitchen thirty miles away from the transmitter where you e broadcast from. Or playing music, giving information to a folks at work that have brought you along as a companion to be the Muzak in the background. All of these listeners wanted to hear from someone happy, funny, not too wordy and that would spin the music to make whatever they were doing better. Enhancement and adding to the hum drum of day to day. Might John’s handout stated in no ifs, ands or buts to entertain, be up, not to complain. Not ever. The listener has his own set of problems and life setbacks to struggle with. Don’t add to his load. Or he was having a super day, and our job was to keep it going, don’t be a wet blanket.
If you felt a little under the weather during a radio shift, keep it to yourself. Play the oldies that bring back a thousand memories to a happier time for the listener. If the weather was getting worse, don’t ever tell the listener to consider not going out to shop because of a little wind and snow. Unless the Maine state police called and made a directive to get off the roads during a winter storm, remind listeners to drive with care and head out a little earlier to go a little slower but head on over to XYZ Furniture for their big recliner close out sale that has ads running on your station, paying your salary. Think advertiser too before opening your pie hole and the mic and shooting both feet.
Dead air was another broadcasting taboo. You got fined a quarter a second if MJ heard any dead air during your shift. Maybe a commercial cart misfired, was not loaded properly and needed a quick shove to keep the show moving, but don’t have gaps and make it all fluid, flow together. Think what you are saying before you say it and remember that we are a music station. They came to hear tunes, not Joe Announcer go on and on about nothing. We also played our 45’s at 47 rpms. Other than Karen and Richard Carpenter, the sped up version helped out music to sound
better than any across town. The competition’s music dragged, sounded slow after hearing ours. And we could play on extra song an hour so we really did honestly back up the brag “More Music, More Often.”