Great Talk Radio – It’s About ICE

By David Kidd, BPR

The internet is now the most used platform for news and information.

Talk radio has to be much more than merely an information provider.

Successful Talk stations are Informative, Compelling and Entertaining – ICE.

Informative. Tell me something I didn’t already know; make the world make sense to me; make the complicated easier to understand. Be well researched but present the information in an easy to understand manner.  Make sure the information is relevant to the audience.

Compelling. The information…the content ….is presented with passion. Great Talk presenters are great storytellers.

Entertaining. The talents speak frankly – they have an opinion and usually a very strong one. Opinion is the key to being a successful Talk show host. A star has his opinion and says “I am right!”. Don’t be grey or wishy-washy. The essence of entertainment is “conflict” – whether it’s drama or comedy.

Great Talk show hosts identify the issues that impact their audience and who is to blame. The great Talk show host knows how to fix the problem…or at least, that’s what their audience thinks!

Is it an incompetent politician, a judiciary that is too lenient on criminals, a new tax that effects a large segment of their audience. Great Talk shows hosts “point the finger” at those responsible.

It’s not all negative news though……light and shade is just as important in Talk radio as it is with Music radio. Celebrate heartwarming stories of success with passion.

The best Talk stations are as tightly formatted as the best CHR’s. Hosts do not waffle, they do not let topics go on until they become boring. They are fast paced, energetic. Callers are carefully screened to ensure they too are entertaining.


Solving the world’s problems by sitting around a campfire singing Kumbaya does not make great Talk radio.




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