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Articles : Crazy Dave "How To Start A Show"
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So you want to start a radio show...                                                            10 February 05

Commitment Before Compensation!

There is money waiting for you in the world of children’s radio! But like any business, you need the commitment before you can have the compensation.

The first commitment needs to come from you; it needs to come from your heart. If it’s truly in your heart, and you are honestly willing to make the investment of time and energy, the payoff can be great. But be prepared: radio stations and the listening audience aren’t exactly looking to turn on the radio to hear kid’s stuff. It’s a foreign concept to them, and it’s your job to convince them otherwise.
That, in itself, is an incredibly tough commitment. You need to keep politely insisting to station managers and program directors that your product will bring in a listening audience. You need to convince them that it won’t be work or a hassle for them. You need to convince them that you’ll show up for that 7 AM Sunday morning time slot EVERY WEEK. You may need to convince them you’ll do it for free!

If you can clear the toughest hurdle and get that initial time slot, regardless of the time and regardless of audience feedback, you need to stick to your commitment and KEEP DOING THE SHOW. After a while, you might hear a comment or two. Your station manager may start to hear comments, too!

Maybe you could ask management to expand your timeslot to an hour.

The next commitment is to your audience. Your town has children’s events every month, and you need to be there. It may be story time at the library. It may be at the Farmer’s Market. It could be at a Cub Scout or Girl Scout function. You need to be there with recording equipment, and you need to be asking mom or dad if little Billy and little Jane can be recorded for the radio. Because if little Billy and little Jane are going to be on next week’s radio show, the whole family is guaranteed to be listening.

So where’s the money?

Not quite yet. Patience…

Finally you need to make a commitment to future sponsors. You need to approach local hospitals, day cares, zoos, grocery stores, movie theatres, etc. and start creating partnerships. Ask them to be a part of your show. Ask the movie theatre manager to review the latest kid’s movies. Ask the local grocery store to do a weekly segment on healthy foods. Be creative and prove to them that you are committed to providing quality children’s content. They’ll start to hear comments from their patrons. They’ll start to make a commitment to you.

With any luck that commitment will turn into compensation for you.

When Crazy Dave’s Kid Show approached the local college radio station in 2000, we were very fortunate that children’s music was already the Saturday/Sunday format. The station manager took a leap of faith and decided to let us start broadcasting Crazy Dave’s Kid Show on Saturday mornings, 10:30-11:30, without too much debate. The show was designed to be a children’s call-in show, and for the first three months we only had a handful of callers. It was pretty rough filling an hour every week, but we were committed to continuing.

Next we started to attend book fairs and school events, hospital safety shows and community carnivals. People started listening to the show—lots of people. Kids started calling into the show—lots of kids!

We started weekly segments featuring health experts from the local hospital. We partnered with the local science center to provide live science events. After a while local companies and organizations began to come to us, instead of the other way around. As our audience grew, sponsors began to make a monetary commitment to help us with our commitment to quality children’s programming.

Today, we are fortunate to receive calls every week from local and national organizations wanting to be involved with Crazy Dave’s Kid Show. Some would like to support it financially and some would like to support it with content. We remain committed to both the financial supporters and non-financial partnerships.

I’d love to hear your story, comments or feedback at

(ed Crazy Dave is Dan Wardell, and vice versa)