Radio programmers are constantly looking for advantages. They tweak tactics to gain a quarter-hour in a constant game of cat-and-mouse to tilt The Ratings Game. But maybe we shouldn’t look for game-changing tactics. What if we focused on tactics to change the game? When tragedies like celebrity deaths occur, radio stations have opportunities.

In this article, I’ll share the best practices to connect with listeners when a core artist or important celebrity passes away. Including:

  • Programming considerations: What about the regular format?
  • Evidence from research on the importance of radio in times of deaths.
  • How and when to react on air.
  • Examples of stations that take action and stand out. 
  • How stations that play current music should respond.


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