Call screening is an art. I know you don’t think of it that way, but it is. It’s so much more than just a warm body to answer the phone and transfer them to the air. Screening phone calls can make or break a segment, phone topic or entire show.

It’s hard to get good phone calls. Yet great callers are a terrific addition to a segment. But only if they’re great callers. Most of those calling in to try and get on the air aren’t great callers. And many of them end up on the air anyway because we’re so happy that someone (anyone) called.

Many times it’s because a show doesn’t have time to properly prepare the caller. That’s usually because the phone screener position was eliminated (or never existed) long ago.

And often, the producer was soon to follow. Most broadcasters don’t place enough value on this skill, which makes no sense when you consider how important listener contributions are to personality oriented shows.

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Whether you have a dedicated phone screener, a producer that also screens calls or an intern that functions in this role, here are some guidelines to get the most out of callers and add energy to your show.

Key Attributes When Screening Phone Calls

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