How Do Stations Acquire Special Programs?

Stations can get exclusive broadcast rights to special programming either by paying a Cash License Fee or by Barter Syndication, which is the trading of commercial inventory for programming.

Cash License Fee:

Fees are based on the “media value” that the program has in your market.
So if your station is large or small, we agree on a license fee that works for you.

Barter Syndication:

In markets where there is advertiser interest, radio stations can get a Radio Express program by trading commercial inventory, including some spots inside and outside the show and sponsor promos during the week.
Ask your Radio Express Sales Representative about the availability of barter-syndicated programming in your market.

Benefits For Sales Managers

Special Sales Opportunity

CASH: If you have a Cash License Fee contract, you can sell a sponsorship to a special advertiser.
The more you build up the sponsorship with the first spot in each break, inventory from sponsor promos and promotions, the more new business you can do.
You can also charge a premium for spots in the show sold to other advertisers.
BARTER: If you have a Barter Syndication contract, the main sponsor comes with the show and a main benefit for the station is to get the show without having to pay any cash license fee.
You can still sell special spot placements at a premium over regular rates.


The right Special Program can deliver the right audience to a specific advertiser and still reinforce your format.
For example, an Adult Contemporary (AC) station that targets adults from 24-39 could play Chill with Mindi Abair on Saturday nights from 8pm-10pm and sell a local program sponsorship to a local clothing retailer who is looking for the affluent listeners.

Benefits For Program Directors

Use Special Programming to Reinforce Your Format

Your format alone is not enough in all schedule positions.
The right special show can reinforce your format.
For example, if you play a mix of local and international oldies tarageting an adult audience, use “American Gold with Dick Bartley” or “Elvis Only” on Sunday mornings to keep listeners’ alarm clocks tuned to your station on the weekends.

A Platform for Station Promotions

Special programs can be used as a platform for Station Promotions that generate publicity, listener buzz, audience participation and database registrations.
For example, ask contest questions during the special program and announce the winner during the next broadcast.
Do this continuously every week and build your station’s mailing list with contest participants.

New Promos Every Week with Local Tags

Each week, special programs come with topical promos for the next show.
Special Program hosts record custom tags for your station, with your station name and show times.

Promote Your Station on the Special Program

Run promos for your station’s regular weekday content during special programs.
For example, promote your morning show, your afternoon drive star, your late night host, all in the special program.
Some new listeners will discover more about your station.

A Strong Counter-Programming Tool

Sometimes you need to respond to something another station puts on.
To fight back against your competition, schedule a high-profile international star name like Rick Dees or Fatman Scoop (Full Throttle Radio) against your competitor’s strength.

Keep Your Talent Level High

You put your best on-air talent in your prime time hours.
Augment your non-prime time on-air staff with international stars like Lara Scott and Dave Koz.

Local Language Co-Production

Sometimes an international program is delivered in a local language.
Branded programming is produced in many languages beside English.
The World Chart Show with Lara Scott is available in components for adaptation into local languages, with script, music, program ID jingles, production elements, interviews, musical montages etc.

Benefits for Radio Stations, Overall

Special programs are a permanent fixture in the radio business because they help stations increase audiences and do more business with advertisers.

Special Programs Increase Audiences

Special programs help stations get larger audiences, listener loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising.
Special programs develop their own fans who crave the special content, become loyal listeners and tell their friends.
Time Spent Listening (TSL) is higher for special programming.
Countdowns keep people listening to discover the #1 song.

Exclusivity and Quality are Positioning Tools.

Exclusive Broadcast Rights mean yours is the only station in your area that has the show.
Network-quality programming has special lustre and positions you as a leader.

Special Programs Work Magic with Schedules

Most shows are from 2-4 hours per week and are usually played on evenings and weekends.
For example, a Gospel music show on Sunday morning, a Dance Mix on Friday and Saturday evening for a music station, a countdown on a weekend afternoon of a music station or a Sinatra or Elvis show on an oldies station on the weekend.
Sunday night is a good time for countdowns, just start early enough to deliver the #1 song before too late at night.