"In Wheel Time" rocks the radio airwaves as one of the most entertaining car shows you will ever hear!
The MITTONMedia office staff hasn't seen much of me around the office lately. Not that they are complaining, right?
Going AWOL has been in large part to the unbelievable success of our radio "car show," In Wheel Time. Hosted by veteran TV automotive reporter Don Armstrong and Mike Herzing, President of the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA), ITW has redefined radio car show in this area. It truly is one of the most entertaining radio car shows you will ever hear.
Creating the show we were sure to follow some of the basic rules for a successful show (and advertising campaign.) A couple of rules we followed:
Make it RELEVANT & ENTERTAINING
When Don and Mike first came to me and asked for help in producing a new car show on the radio my first question was, "Why do we need another stinking car show?" Don explained it was a new concept. Not about how to fix up an old car with a cheap part. Nope. More like one of those TV news glamour shows. (And if you know Don and Mike, you know why I am laughing so hard as I put them in same league as "Glamour" news shows.)
Not only did the show have to be relevant. It also had to have a pace that would keep listeners attention during the three-hours show was on the air every Saturday.
Solutions was to decide each of the broadcast hours into four different segments:
Lesson #1: Make sure the show doesn't suck.
You only have a few minutes to capture someone's attention and get them engaged in the process. Which is why Don and Mike going a little bit screwy as they share interesting news of the week from auto manufacturers, discuss important trends like skyrocketing price of gas and who is selling it the cheapest that week. They also ponder about will people ever buy another hybrid, or why did they ever buy one in the first place? Crazy Driver stories of the Week,that make your teenage driver look like a chauffer to the stars compared to some of these yahoos. Then there's interviews, audio AND video, with some of Kings and Queens of the industry and their many minions. Top it off with NASCAR and NHRA races, fiery accidents, and human interest stories and you have a very interesting and informative first 15 minutes of the program.
Keep It Running
Lesson #2: If they're laughing, then they are paying attention.
Don and Mike get bombarded with "every man" questions from "Mister Dipstick." Dipstick know absolutely nothing about automotive maintenance but he darn sure has no SHAME. Which means he asks Don and Mike the questions nobody else will for fear of looking a gear moron. Questions like: how do you replace the blinker fluid?; Is 5-quarts too much oil to put in a 1993 Honda Civic?; And why don't they put the steering wheel in the center of the dashboard? One more? Why is it called a "Moon Roof?"
Believe it or not there are legitimate answers to all these questions. Which means while you may be laughing at Mister Dipstick, you will probably also being learing something new at the same time.
Lesson #3: Variety is a magic elixir that reaches, engages, and entertains.
Like I said, this ISN'T a car show about fixing up old jalopies with smuggled parts. It is about wheels and the things that run on them. Cars, Classic Cars and Car Clubs. Motorcycles, including the 3-wheel kind like the Spyder from can-am, and Motorcycle Riding Clubs like the Toad & Cycle hosted by a nearby pub. Then there's the ATV's and RV's. Who is winning on the NASCAR and NHRA circuits? Swap meets, car clubs, charitable events and much more.
Drive It Home
Lesson #4: It is OK to tell the truth. Listeners respect that more than blowing smoke.
Of course EVERYBODY on the show gets a new car to drive and 5-Star review each week EXCEPT for Mister Dipstick. That's OK. Dipstick is angling for one of the "Toys" to drive during the week: a Spyder from can-am; an RV to drive up and down the Gulf Coast, an ATV to drive the a deer lease, which is different than driving it through a deer blind. Will it ever happen? What do you think...
One of the hallmarks of their weekly car reviews is that both Don and Mike tell the truth. For better or worse if they like a feature of the vehicle, you know about it. If they don't like it, you get an earful about that, too. But as long as Don and Mike are keeping listeners informed and entertained, without upsetting the sponsors too much, then the show is doing its job.
And speaking of sponsors, the show has been really blessed to have national sponsors who were there in the beginning and will grow with us as "In Wheel Time" moves into national syndication in the next month or two. Thanks to:
- Ram Trucks
- BG Products, Inc.
- Pamela Printing
- Zap Trap
- L3 Design
- All About Cakes
The journey has been great thus far. Why don't you come join us for the rest of the way?
You can listen to In Wheel Time on Saturday, 10a-1p (CST), on 1560 THE GAME/Yahoo Sports Radio Network. (Rumor is show is moving to 9a-12n the first Satuday in May, 2012.)