Time to Shine Country Radio by John Shomby


For some time now, we’ve all been hearing about the impending demise of radio as we know it. Even I have written a few articles criticizing the radio for not going fast enough in certain areas. We talked about the lack of talent development, the unique programming model, and the inability to take reasonable risks with our music. But, now is the time for radio — especially country radio — to take big steps forward by doing something we’ve always done well!

Today Now! …the pandemic, for the most part, is over – technically and in our own minds. Just look at the travel numbers over the recent 4th of July weekend. People are leaving their homes in large numbers (despite gas prices and airline problems) and traveling to as many destinations as possible, including live events, namely concerts!

I remember hearing last fall that country concerts would gradually open up as we entered spring and emerged from the pandemic. Well, actually, the doors have opened wide and we’re now in the midst of an unofficial “rush” of live music.

Everyone got out. I don’t know of any country artist who sits at home on weekends, let alone on weekdays, without performing in front of a crowd. We see more shows in stadiums, arenas, amphitheaters, festivals and clubs than I will ever remember. Opening acts for big shows make their own rounds on other days to smaller venues. A veritable plethora of Country Artist activity almost every day of the week!

For country radio, this is OUR wheelhouse – live events and our well-established relationship with country artists and listeners at those events. Country radio has a definite advantage over DSPs in this area (which I think is one of the reasons these people hired radios). We can connect, personally, with an artist and connect them, personally, with our listeners like no other medium. Our programmers and personalities have always been in the relationship building business. We’ve been doing it for years. If there’s a time country radio needs to step up and tap into its greatest strength, it’s now!

If you haven’t already, have a live gig plan – depending on size of course. I realize that post-pandemic most of our teams are smaller, but that’s where we need a whole station to come together. Be there for your listeners and for the artists. Show yourself and show yourself big! You can do it regardless of staff size because you know how it’s done.

Neither Pandora nor Spotify have the experience or the staff to do what country radio can do, so make your presence felt on every show like you always have…and more. Be creative on air and on location. Work with your promoters and labels to create unforgettable experiences for listeners. Create on-air excitement for the show with music and sound. Be in the moment! Above all, simplify participation. Listeners have a lot to do and they jump enough hoops every day.

Country radio has always had a unique face-to-face connection with the country listener. Step out and shine… IT’S TIME!

“Take your radio presence to the next level. Whether it’s an artist, radio programmer or on-air talent. Coaching and mentoring down to your basic level”

Contact me:
John Shomby
Owner/CEO Country’s Radio Coach
www.countrysradiocoach.com | jshomby@countrysradiocoach.com


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