Recently, I read another consultants newsletter (we all read one another’s) “Local” may not be your salvation… It was of particular interest, and I shared it with voice tracking pro and a colleague of mine, Greg Tanner.

Here’s what Tanner had to say about voice tracking:

“Lazy voice trackers shouldn’t be tracking. A tracker saying nothing more than the call letters and giving out their social media handles 2-3 times per hour is lazy. This could be a big reason why so many managers frown upon trackers, and I don’t blame them for that. Trackers MUST provide quality breaks. I’ve heard trackers say their own names twice in a break just to fill intro time. They rip and read and knock out a 5 hour show with 5 breaks per hour in 10 minutes. Fast, easy and lazy. Know your audience. What daypart are you tracking? What are people doing at 10am, 3pm or 11pm? Tracks should be done THE DAY THEY AIR. Don’t track Friday on Monday just to get it over and done with. Take the time and effort to prep and it will make all the difference in the world. Be current.

Even something as simple as looking at the weather in a market is beneficial to improving on air quality. Is there a heat advisory, fire in the area, rain, hail or a winter weather watch? Look at the calendar of events for the area you’re broadcasting to and see what’s happening. When do kids go back to school? Google the artists you’re playing. Are they on tour? Working on a new album? Any upcoming collaborations?

One of the stations I track is Country format KDBR.  When I see an artist we play is doing a show in Bozeman, it just takes a second to map it and say “Carrie Underwood in Bozeman Saturday night! An easy 5-hour drive down 84, make a weekend out of it and check out the zipline over the Gallatin River!” Or you could not map it, not search what to do in Bozeman and say “99 point 9 with Carrie Underwood, who’s currently on tour…this is Ghost Story.”

People automatically think “LIVE and Local is best!”, but like the article said, you have to be good first.

Ryan Seacrest, Bobby Bones and Delilah are on a combined 500 stations between the three of them. They’re not local, but they’re good. They’re VERY good. Listeners enjoy the quality of infotainment they give. They like the celeb news, the gossip and they want to know what’s fun, trending or interesting. Be real. If something weird/interesting/goofy happens to me when I’m at a store, the beach or a Starbucks… I mention it. Real life experiences help listeners relate and connect with your better. Simple to do, it just takes a little more time and effort. 

Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah… none of them are local. But we connect to them. They’re fun, they’re funny and creative. Could you imagine if they did a show the way we’ve all heard lazy voice trackers? They wouldn’t have a show anymore.”

I completely agree with Greg! He’s way ahead of many talents. I hate to say it but there are lazy local on-air talent and voice trackers. It amazes me. Perhaps you would be amazed? Or maybe you wouldn’t.

PS: The parallel between Jimmy Fallon et al and local was good.

About Greg Tanner Greg is a longtime radio and television talent having worked in markets including Denver, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, Sacramento, Eugene and for two national radio networks 24/7 formats. Presently, he works for iHeart’s Total Traffic Network and voice tracks for markets including Idaho Falls, ID; Kalispell, MT and Logan, UT. Contact:

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