Posted by Sarah Khuwaja
on Aug 30, 2012 in Listening
| Comments Off on Listening Assignment 2: “The Brian Lehrer Show”
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/2012/aug/29/ During the 6 months that I interned at the “Brian Lehrer Show,” I never actually stopped to analyze why the show is so popular. I just knew that something about it clicked and resonated with audiences. But why? After listening to a segment of the show this morning, I began to understand and string together some of the elements that make good radio. The theme music is normally played a little longer but today it acted as a sound bed while the producers played cuts of Ann Romney (“Tonight I want to talk to you about love”) and Chris Christie (“We’ve become paralyzed by our desire to be loved”) speaking at the G.O.P. National Convention over the music. This formed a quick but catch introduction. I like the way Brian and the producers avoided a rant session on the air by focusing on a small, specific sliver of the convention. By starting off with a focus on the unusual discussion of love at the convention, the staff allowed listeners to be drawn in and get hooked on one interesting point, as opposed to it being a free-for-all. Right after playing the cuts, Brian interjected with a short explanation and asked listeners to call in. I noticed that he asked for Republicans, Democrats and undecided voters to call in, which I appreciate. The show actually get’s a fairly diverse array of callers, considering it’s a left leaning program. After asking for listeners to chime in, Brian introduced Bob Hennelly, a regular on the show. Their banter was fast-paced but very easy to follow and listen to. I’m almost certain that the conversation would have been simple enough to follow even for someone who isn’t tuned into politics. Normally the show is split into 6 segments over the two-hour time allotment but during big political events like this one, sometimes the producers forge the usual division and just have 2 or 3 longer conversations with fewer guests. Regardless of the format, the show is relevant – it is present, it is NOW. It’s the latest and it always manages to showcase only the most newsworthy subjects. Today was no exception. While the content of the show was certainly interesting (especially for a political junkie like myself), good content isn’t going to get you far with audiences unless that content is aired in a way that attracts, as opposed to deters, listeners. On other radio shows, the host and guests speak over each other a lot. Brian has this magical ability to cut a guest or caller off at the exact moment they get carried away, but without looking rude or disrupting the flow of the program. Somehow, he is able to move the conversation along, which is important in terms of being relevant, present and up to...