She may very well be THE biggest star on the campaign trail. Oprah Winfrey is not the first celebrity to endorse a political candidate--not even close, but she towers over the rest. [Read the story here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316223,00.html] When Barack Obama got her public endorsement and she agreed to hit the road with the presidential hopeful; he instantaneously gained cred he may have never gotten. He is now reaching people who may never have given him a second thought or even knew who he was, until now.
While I have my own political POV, this blog is apolitical and this post has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with star power and how vital it is--even in r-a-d-i-o! Barack (or his people) gets it. But do we? Sure, it would be nice to hire a high priced celebrity to host our afternoon show. Of course, that is no guarantee of success as many have learned. But what if we began coaching our existing talent and hiring our new talent to be more that just announcers and more like local stars? Yes, I am suggesting we open pandora's box and create shows filled with big ego STARS! How many local stars are there in your market?
The creation of a star goes far beyond using this mornings prep sheet and working the latest Britney or Paris gossip into a music sweep. This is not a cookie cutter endeavor. It takes a well thought out strategy, an honest assessment of what defines a star in your community, and the inherent talent of the host who wants to be a star. Stop for a moment and think about the biggest stars on radio, TV, film, and now the internet (Perez Hilton http://www.perezhilton.com/, Matt Drudge http://www.drudgereport.com/, and that guy on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/ creating shaky video magic); they all have a quirky and unique personalities that cut through and evoke emotion, passion, ire, and most importantly a human connection on some level.
We have stars in our business (both local and nationally syndicated) but we are going to need many more if we are to raise our standing as a top shelf entertainment medium.