Who are twenty-three-year old Zach Sang’s role models? And how can a radio show maximize social media?
R- You mentioned that Howard Stern is a role model. Do you have others?
Z- Elvis Duran and Kidd Kraddick. Elvis once said something that really stuck with me. He said that when he is with his team doing a show, his co-hosts are carrying him around the room, all passing him along to each other. He said he relies on his co-hosts just as much as they rely on him in directing the conversation. He is amazing, and he has evolved and stayed fresh over the years.
Kidd Kraddick was such an innovator for transforming “morning zoos” to a cast of flawed characters. He was a smart businessman and a creative genius.
R: You’re on a Top 40 female-targeted network. How much of your content is relationship orientated?
Z: When I see a relationship study with a headline like, “25% of men believe that going through their girl’s purse is not the right thing to do,” you can turn that topic into “what are some no-no’s in your relationship?” Like Heather might come to the table with “I was going through Luis’s gym bag the other day, and he came to me and said don’t do that. That’s my private stuff.” We don’t need to rely on a study to get us to that point.
R: Authenticity is everything today.
Z: Huge! We don’t have the luxury of eight minute talk breaks, like Howard Stern. We don’t have the luxury of having four characters playing off each other. It’s hard to be authentic when we only have 60 second talk breaks.
R: According to Microsoft, the average attention span is now eight seconds.
Z: That’s really scary. Can you tell me why there’s vloggers on YouTube keeping kids for 16 minutes at a time?
R: Because the content is engaging to the viewers.
Z: Thank you, and why can’t we be that engaging on radio anymore?
R: You can be.
Z: We’re relying on the same old music to do that. I can get music fifteen different ways to Sunday in nine seconds. We got a tweet the other day from a young guy that validates your point and why it’s important right now to use content to capture the attention span of the next generation. He tweeted, “I like listening to @Zachsang1 on my way home from work, and it wasn’t until I wanted to listen in my house that I realized radios don’t exist anymore.” That’s power, right?
Z: This guy is speaking on behalf of the 16 to 22 year-old population. It makes sense to have your favorite radio station streaming on your phone. He wants us in his house. If we were able to give him a digital platform right there in the moment, a free app to download, he could just go to his phone or go to our website to get content that’s solely for digital and not for FM.
R: One of the questions that we get a lot is how to use Snapchat for a radio show.
Z- It’s the best form of communication. It’s a uniquely personal connection. If I’m in a market and I snapchat that I’m there, people will come because it’s on their phone. They’ll even message me directly asking where I am, and I’ll message them right back. They snap me all day from school, and I get to know them. Snapchat is just like radio or texting back and forth, but even better because it’s visual and personal.
R- Being out on the streets locally has always been a great way to connect with listeners in person. If you were doing a local show here in LA, would you be out on the street much or has social media replaced the street?
Z- For us, it serves as a supplement, but it’s not the same. When I used to do the show digitally, I’d do it from kid’s houses. There’s nothing like having human interaction, being able to be live on the street, being with the people who listen to you, who appreciate you, who maybe even hate you. If I go out in a market and a guy comes up and says how much he hates me that is a whole bit the next day.
R- We’re living in a very divisive time politically. Do you address politics?
Z- We do sometimes. I did a whole show around marriage equality. When we mention Donald Trump, or anyone, it’s with humor. We stand for the next generation in everything we do. This goes to the way we speak, to the way we preach – which is love, acceptance and kindness to all. The next generation understands.
R- Do you believe that the youth audience is going to be more involved in voting and politics?
Z- Yes. The internet is a pathway to knowledge, if you use it to be informed. I genuinely believe that there’s going to be a world where nobody has a problem with who you sleep with, and a generation that doesn’t see color, but sees that everybody has a past, a present and a future. I believe our radio show has a very important role in instilling those ideas.
R- Where do you see the future of FM radio fitting in with everything online?
Z- FM radio brands will never go away, but the vessel in which people listen to them might change. Radio and audio is going to play a huge role in the next generation of Americans, in the way they live and choose to make their decisions. You have to be ready to transition your content from one medium to another. You have to be where the audience is to win.
Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/atlassocialmedia/