Radio stations need to re-evaluate their programming clocks. But more than that, programmers and personalitie need to learn how to earn extra quarter hours by learning new tactics of when to break for commercials.

I’m not talking about clock management or format execution here. This is about show biz and the practice of enticing your audience to give you one more quarter hour, regardless of where stop sets are placed.

PPM has changed how radio programmers set up clocks. Some are improvements. Others are not. The biggest negative is programmers applying the science of clock management with little regard to the art of leading listeners into longer TSL.

There are simple things you can adjust to make stations more effective.

This is how most radio segments are constructed:

  • Radio personalities launch a story.
  • They talk through all possible angles, exhausting their talking points.
  • They find a payoff (sometimes), or at least an exit.
  • Sometimes they invite listeners to call and participate.
  • Then they go to commercials.
  • In the next quarter hour, they start over again.
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On the surface, that’s not a bad formula, because it’s structured, focused, and the break is self-contained. Plus, it fits into the short attention spans of listeners.

But sometimes, wouldn’t it be better to break for the spots at the most suspenseful moment?

Break For Commercials At High Suspense Points

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