The Modus Operandi in Radio Work

One of the first and important require­ments in beginning a series of regular broad­casts is to select a striking name for your pro­gram—a name that will stand out and be both pleasing to the radio ear and easy to remem­ber.

By S.H. McLennan

Before entering denominational work I had had several years' radio experience as a musical entertainer, both vocal and instru­mental, over numerous broadcasting stations throughout the East and South. Asa result of this experience, I had little difficulty in secur­ing a radio appointment here in Hazleton over station WAZL.

May I suggest, because of this background, that one of the first and important require­ments in beginning a series of regular broad­casts is to select a striking name for your pro­gram—a name that will stand out and be both pleasing to the radio ear and easy to remem­ber. I selected as a radio name for my weekly broadcast, "The Little White Church in the Valley," a name true to fact, as our little Sev­enth-day Adventist church is located in the Butler Valley.

A theme song is also a valuable aid in at­tracting a large radio following and in identi­fying your program from week to week. In a thirty-minute broadcast I devote fifteen minutes to a short sermon and fifteen minutes to the musical part of the program, for there is no doubt that music attracts thousands who other­wise would not listen in.

I will briefly describe one of our broadcasts. When the moment comes for our program to commence, the pianist begins to play the beau­tiful strains of the theme song, "The Little White Church in the Valley," and the studio announcer makes his introduction of our pro­gram through this signature number, which serves in radio parlance as "atmosphere." Three musical selections follow, including both vocal and instrumental, and then I begin my sermonette.

Perhaps a word just here on the length of a radio talk may not be out of place. Even the most able speaker labors under certain handi­caps in broadcasting. Lacking the aid of his visible presence, his gestures and facial expressions, he must rely wholly on the spoken word and such vocal expression as he can com­mand. This becomes tiresome to a large per­centage of his radio listeners if continued longer than fifteen or twenty minutes. The personal appeal method is invaluable in these sermonettes.

At the close of my sermonette I use one musical selection, and then the familiar melody of our theme song forms a musical curtain as the announcer "signs us off the air."

Finding it to be of benefit, I frequently throw open the musical part of my program to re­quest numbers. This plan helps to indicate the reaction of the public to the broadcast, and affords an opportunity to "contact" some of the hearers.

In broadcasting on time that is given gratis by the radio station, I believe it is well to in­sert inspirational topics between doctrinal sub­jects, in order to dispel from the minds of the public and the station officials the idea of pros­elytizing, which could very easily terminate the extension of broadcasting favors.

And now a few suggestions to those just entering this wonderful field of evangelistic endeavor:

1. Have your sermonette prepared thoroughly, and know what you will be doing during each minute of your broadcast.

2. Use only the very best musical talent you can obtain. Poor or even average talent leaves a decidedly unfavorable impression on the radio audience, and lowers the standard and quality of your whole program.

3. Stand close to the microphone (12 to 18 inches), and speak in a low, distinct tone, either across the face or directly into the microphone. Do not speak too loudly, as it will probably cause a distortion of your voice. Let the technical staff amplify your voice by means of their power control.

4. If you notice a tendency in your speech to stress the letter "s," work hard to overcome this defect, for on the radio it produces a dis­agreeable hiss known as a "radio s."

5. Always reach the studio ten to fifteen minutes before time to "go on the air," and never run over the time allotted you by even one minute.

6. Utilize the principal items of current news interest in your talks as often as you can, for they are always of interest to the radio public.

7. Never give anything but your very best in radio work. Competition is keen, and it takes only a slight twist of the dial to switch from your program to another.

Hazleton, Pa.

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By S.H. McLennan

December 1934

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