Finding the right combination of music and talk is a non-scientific task. Break length and music count are issues nearly every programmer wrestles with. How long talk breaks should be is one of the most discussed topic on nearly every station with personalities.

This is one of the most important decisions to be made. Get it wrong by allowing talk breaks to go too long, and your show may drive listeners away, without the chance of ever getting traction. Yet, tight restrictions can prevent character traits from coming through. The content may never be sticky enough to advance through stages in the Personality Growth Path.

There’s no magic answer to the break length question, of course. That’s like asking how long a song should be, or the ideal length of a movie. It depends! Knowing when to tighten or loosen the talk leash is difficult!

One factor that applies to all shows, however, is that air talent on music stations must earn the right to more talk. This privilege is not a bonus granted by the PD or GM. It’s an invitation from the audience, and it is bestowed over time.

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When content becomes more of an attraction than music, increase the talk and reduce the music. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Here are 6 guidelines to help you figure out the right mix for your station in any situation.

How Long Talk Breaks Should Be

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