What is working…

Dave is now getting not just into his topic but to his point much more quickly, and it sounds great!  He sounds better prepared and genuinely more engaging more frequently than before.

He is also starting to modulate his voice more, so he doesn’t just sound like he’s on a soapbox most of the time, he now goes back and forth between the soap box and being intimate, and it suits him well.   Both of these are things that Dave should work to do even more consistently; they will both make a difference in the short term.


What needs attention going forward…

Voicers,  Callers.  Guests.

I have mentioned the CBS voicers before.  He just does not need them. In almost every case he does a better job of setting up the story himself.  Usually the voice then just deflates his segment by repeating much of what he has already set up.  I strongly recommend dropping them and using actuality sound as part of his setup instead.

Callers certainly have a place in the show, and add some extra voices and fodder for Dave, which are very important.  But there are a couple of things Dave should work on with the callers:

  1. It’s Dave’s show.  The callers shouldn’t dictate topics in Dave’s show .
  2. Calls should be relatively short, maybe a couple of minutes, for a caller point that has been well screened and honed by Tobin, and then a pithy and argument winning comeback from Dave, and then moving on without a big goodbye.
  3. Dave should make a big deal of thanking a caller only when they really disagree, to show that he welcomes the discourse and entertainment value.

Interviews should be kept to about a segment.  One of the biggest revelations in PPM measurement is that interviews are a hard listen, and generally lose virtually all audience after the first 15 minutes or so.  When Dave’s go a full half hour or longer, I worry that they are too costly to the show in terms of audience loss.   I recommend that they be kept to a single segment, with some well prepared questions from Dave.

Interviews have a better chance of adding to and not detracting from a show when they are presented as part of a topic, instead of an interview for the sake of an interview.  I continue to recommend that Dave start a topic, then introduce the guest or guests combined with a first question, and then move quickly through another 4 or 5 questions to round out the segment, and then say goodbye.

Audio Examples

01 Dave on Trump.  Great point, well thought out, and only 3 minutes in!  It would have been even sooner if not for a CBS voicer on the same topic and a live commercial for a florist that Dave started the segment with…

KFQD DS 02 great point min 3 no voicer nd

02 Dave takes a caller right at the peak of the excellent trump point above.  The caller then takes Dave down a rabbit hole of state politics for 8 minutes to finish the segment…

KFQD DS 03 call derails gd point

03 The same call, 6 minutes after the cut above

KFQD 04 DS call 6 min later

04 Dave introducing VA guests. Not a lot said in the first 2.30 and it immediately starts to sound like a show just for specific vets, which goes on for 30 minutes.

It would have been stronger and more mass appeal to prep this interview in advance and lead with “…Dave Stieren on the Dave Stieren show and we hear in the news all the time about how terrible healthcare and wait times are in VA hospitals.  Turns out it’s totally different in Alaska,.  Vets here have special permission to see outside doctors and they also have access to healthcare in the Native Corporations, which no other non natives have access to.  Darcy of the VA hospital is here with us in studio on the Dave Stieren Show…Darcy, who got us special permission for all of this…”

KFQD 05 DS VA interview lead