Superman, Kryptonite, and Your Radio Station

So, what’s the deal with Kryptonite? (Even my spell checker knows what it is.)  The Complete Deluxe Unabridged Marvel Comics Dictionary (yes! I have one!) says, “Kryptonite is the name given to shards of matter cast off from the planet Krypton after its destruction.”

Jeepers!  This is going to be one high-falootin’ Frost Advisory, alright!

Have you ever noticed that superheroes aren’t perfect?  Superman has Kryptonite, and Batman is really just Bruce Wayne who really can’t fly and has no super powers. What’s the deal with that?

Every superhero has a flaw.  Every major character on a TV show has an imperfection. (Think Kramer entering a room, Barney and his bullet, and Gilligan’s incompetence). And yet, we somehow insist that talent on Christian radio be perfect. Holy Façade, Batman!

That’s what’s wrong with talent on Christian radio?  Nothing. And that’s the problem. They’re perfect. We don’t trust perfection because we all know it is a facade. If Superman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and all that, has vulnerabilities then real people do, too.

Your listeners want real.

I once worked at a radio station that started to get complaints about the way the lady on the morning show laughed. It was a distinctive and, if I may say so myself, rather loud laugh. She couldn’t help it.  That was just HER laugh.

Faced with that situation I’m sure that many programmers or managers would tell her, “Stop laughing!  We’re getting complaints!”

Instead my bosses did the opposite!  They created tee shirts with the caption, “I laughed with Toni in the morning!” She became a star, and much beloved because she was REAL! She had a tribe!

As you develop the talent on your station find the Kryptonite, the chink in the armor, the thing that makes them human, and build upon it.

Then, be real.

And since influence is what your radio station is ultimately about, being real can lead to trust.

“We resist being influenced by people we don’t know or don’t trust. We are open to the influence of those whom we trust or whom we perceive have our best interests at heart. Trust requires common ground. Trust requires empathy.”  – Andy Stanley


John Frost, consultant and partner in Goodratings Strategic Services, has been an integral influence in the dramatic growth of Contemporary Christian radio, bringing mainstream programming strategies and research principles to help create and develop some of America’s most successful Christian music stations.


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