Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Lesson From WKRP

All of us in Radio have laughed hard at WKRP over the years. The bumbling GM, the sexy receptionist, the geeky news guy, the sold out sales guy and the jocks trying so hard to be cool. In typical sit-com structure the jokes and stories all revolved around the personal problems of the characters. It was all about their lives within the halls of the radio station. We rarly saw any interaction with the audience. Once in a while we'd get a caller on the air and a few storylines showcased contests or concerts but that was about it.

Part of the plot of course is that WKRP was a losing radio station. It sat at the bottom of the ratings and we can only imagine that it was also at the bottom in revenue. We never got to see a budget meeting - I don't think they had a budget. KRP did climb to 6th in the ratings in one of the eposides in the final season. But, the humor and drama came from the characters within the building.

Perhaps WKRP could have been a winner if the team had been paying attention more to the audience than how much office space Les Nessman had or who Jennifer was dating this week.

But that wouldn't have been funny. KRP is not real it's a sitcom.

How much effort and time is spent in your building with the internal drama? Could spending all that effort on the audience drama be more productive?

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