Monday Memo: Good News

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Too often, we — news/talk radio – are the bearer of bad news.

  • Listeners (and advertisers) were already stressed.
  • The pandemic knocked the entire world off-balance.
  • Pain-at-the-pump? Everyone feels inflation everywhere.
  • Much of what we CAN afford remains snarled in supply chain snafus.
  • And polls demonstrate that Americans are pained over war in Ukraine.

Little wonder that the Chris Rock-Will Smith story blocked-out the sun lately…an oddly welcome diversion.

News/talk radio suffers from a well-earned reputation for negativity. Pick-a-syndicated-show, any show. The doom-N-gloom is relentless. So when we spot “good news” we should spread the word. Especially when the story is local.

Have a look at a couple examples, from WCBS, New York business reporter Joe Connolly. Watch the videos about “The Cranford Theater” and “Bagels by Jarrett” at:

Another example, also a sponsored money-maker, here in Southern New England. At top-rated NBC10, reporter Sam Read files stories about “Something Good:”

And as you’ll see in that clip: Good news begets more good news. She invites – and viewers send her – story ideas.

We should encourage on-air people to seek out local stories like these in the course of our daily travels. Often, they’re in plain sight. Listeners (and advertisers) WILL appreciate the balance that stories like this bring to our presentation.

Local will always be broadcast radio’s silver bullet, although some locally-focused podcasters beat us to the story.

And note Connolly’s technique, at :25 and :55 in morning drive on WCBS. He has a knack for getting-quoted. Friday morning’s inflation headline: “For the first time ever, a slice of pizza in New York City costs more than the subway.”

Holland Cooke is author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available exclusively from Talkers books and “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download here. HC is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke