Presenters and blogs: make it stop | radioinfo

Presenters and blogs: make it stop

Monday 11 December, 2017
Image: Shutterstock

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I’ve worked with a ton of radio presenters over the past 28 years, and if I was going to make a general observation about them, it’s that they’re great at being radio presenters - the whole talking and communicating thing, they do that.

Few of them, however, are particularly brilliant at writing.

Now, that’s not to take away from those that are. There are a few presenters that can string enough sentences together to publish a decent book, for example: my bookshelf has quite a few of them.

For British readers, I’d recommend Jeremy Vine, David Lloyd, John Myers or any number of other writers. More internationally, Valerie Geller, Richard Fidler, Steve Ahern, there’s a definite list of radio people who’ve written good books. And it’s a short one.

Just because a presenter is great at communicating with their voice, it doesn’t follow that they are any good at writing.

However, someone, somewhere, has told radio stations in the US that they really ought to get their presenters to write blogs. Every week, there’s a presenter somewhere who ends up having to fill a page with copy because a senior manager in another city has decided this is a good idea to get more website traffic.

The problem with this is that most “blogs” written by radio presenters aren’t really blogs; and if they’re only available on your website, they aren’t reaching new audiences. Unless the content is brilliant, I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but people probably won’t visit the website just to read it.

Now, some stations ask breakfast presenters to record something for video every morning, to catch people on Facebook or Twitter as they wake up. That’s a cleverer idea.

Competitions that you can only enter by going online, or - probably better - competitions that you can get another chance to enter by going online? They’ll work as a traffic driver, providing you promote them on-air.

If you let your presenters produce a podcast - on whatever they like - that might work as a way of both enhancing their skills, keeping them creatively satisfied, while driving more visitors to your station.

Putting highlights of a good interview on social media, and pulling them through to the radio website to watch the whole thing, has been successful for LBC, the national UK station. Simon Wilson-Beales tells all in this rather fine video:

But a blog post? I’m not entirely convinced.

Perhaps next year it might be time to review, and quietly remove, the blog posts that are just done as a contractual obligation, and concentrate on bringing new listeners to your website in other ways.

PS: Obviously I realise that I’m writing this as, essentially, a blog post. And this is a weekly post designed, in part, to keep audiences coming back to this website. Ignore this.

PPS: I just redid my weekly “international radio trends” newsletter, thanks to helpful people who support my work with Patreon. You can visit too if you like -

About The Author

James Cridland, the radio futurologist, is a conference speaker, writer and consultant. He runs the media information website and helps organise the yearly Next Radio conference. He also publishes, a daily briefing on podcasting and on-demand, and writes a weekly international radio trends newsletter, at

Contact James at or @jamescridland






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