Understanding Radio-Speak

More about advertising from BIG Mike McDaniel

Every industry has its own jargon. Radio is no
different. To communicate with the radio
salesperson and get what you want, you should know
and understand the radio terms.

Radio is divided into “dayparts” so you can pick
the time of day where you want your commercials.

Radio’s big strength is in the morning, “AM Drive”
or AMD. Traditionally AMD is 6 to 10am (beware
some stations hedge the time by starting at 5am).
AMD is the most expensive of “placed” advertising
because the audience is larger.

The next level of radio listening is the drive
home “Afternoon Drive” or PMD. 3 to 7p.

Then comes “Midday Listening”, DAY, 10a-3p.

“Evening Listening” is EVE, and covers 7p to

“Overnight”, the smallest audience, OVN,is
midnight to 6am.

For the best radio coverage, you should have some
commercials in all dayparts and a “Run Of
Schedule” frequency. ROS is the term meaning a few
in each daypart. The frequency is the total number
of commercials in any week.

For most advertisers, 24 commercials (24x), ROS, a
week is sufficient. However, if you are pushing a
high traffic sale or a big grand opening, you can
push the limit with one commercial every hour

A donut is a commercial with the same beginning
and end and a “hole” in the middle for changing
copy. Using a donut can give you brand awareness
by keeping the same theme, while changing the

The majority of radio commercials are thirty
seconds long (30s). If you can’t say your message
in thirty seconds, change the message. Always use

DJ’s are rare at radio stations anymore. But you
can buy a personality. Beware that the personality’s
personality might reflect on your business. Many people
will NOT buy commercials in Rush Limbaugh (well-known
outspoken conservative) for fear or alienating
democrats. There are some morning talk show hosts that
have cost their stations huge FCC indecency fines. Not
the best place for your commercial.

Pick your dayparts carefully, or buy an ROS
package, always use 30s and consider the donut.

Always plan ahead and make your radio message
the same as your newspaper and billboard. Don’t
buy a tricked up radio ad presented on a boom box
by the radio sales guru (Account Executive) unless
it tries directly with your other advertising.

For more about adverting, get my article “Should
you Advertise on TV? by sending a blank eMail to

© 2005 BIG Mike McDaniel, All Rights Reserved BIG Mike is a Business Consultant and Professional Speaker. His BIG Ideas Group helps business grow with promotions, special reports, mastermind groups, seminars and consulting. http://BIGIdeasGroup.com Subscribe to “BIG Ideas for Small Business” Newsletter