I’ll start by saying I love sports radio callers. Callers are the reason I fell in love with sports talk radio.
But a lot of them are terrible and after half a decade of talking to them on the phone I have put together a guide with some dos and don’ts.
Since all the Scott in Weymouths and Mike in wherevers seem very intent on honing their craft, here are some tips:
DO get right to your point. Both to the call screener and when you’re on the air. Life is too short.
DON’T call in and say “I don’t want to go on the air, but.” As one wise producer once said, it’s like going into a restaurant and saying you don’t want to order anything (it will rarely ever be “passed on to the guys”)
If you call in with a question for off the air, fine, but make it quick.
When hosts say, “What’s up?”, it does not mean they want to know what is actually going on in your life, it means “What do you want to say?” (Also, it’s always great when the host says “what’s up?” and the caller says “Oh, not too bad”)
When the call screener asks where you’re calling from, DON’T give your whole life story. Example: “I’m in the car now and I’m in Waltham but I live in Sudbury but I was born in Boston”
When in doubt, DO just say the car.
DO call in with a poem you’ve written. Definitely.
DON’T call in with long personal stories unless the host specifically asks for people to do so
DON’T swear at the call screener
DON’T swear on the air (does not benefit anybody)
DO disagree with the hosts
DON’T act like you are entitled to be on the show just because you call in. It is a privilege, not a right.
DON’T call the call screener “sir” when she is CLEARLY NOT A MAN, EDDIE IN THE CAR
DON’T complain about being on hold for a long time. You called them. They’ll get to you when they get to you.
DO be ready to talk when the host goes to you
DON’T call back angry because you were dropped because you weren’t ready to go
DON’T put “sports radio caller” in your Twitter bio
DON’T ask the call screener what the hosts names are
DON’T say “No one has talked about this yet.” Chances are they have.
Also under don’t say: “First time, long time,” “I’ll hang up and listen,” (and the similar “I’ll take my answer off the air”)
And finally, and most importantly, DO TURN YOUR RADIO DOWN.