And Paul Harvey's passing over the weekend only reinforces those notions - and takes them up to the tenth power. I remember listening to WKDF in Nashville back in the '80s when it was a powerful rock station. Every great station has its own unique personality and vibe, and KDF was uniquely Nashville. Carl P. Mayfield in the morning was one of those personalities who could speak the language of the locals. But one of the most amazing things about the station was that they carried Paul Harvey.
Now think about it - here was a traditional AOR station, and somehow, Paul Harvey fit. I remember doing some focus groups for the competition, and couldn't wait to hear some of the locals talk about how Paul Harvey couldn't possibly work on KDF. But he was as much a part of the station as Mayfield, AC/DC, and U2. Paul Harvey wasn't MOR, he wasn't All-News. He was great radio.
We always focus on Time Spent Listening in radio. (OK, now that it's PPM, it's Average Daily Time Exposed.) And programmers often strategize about how great it might be to coax an additional 5 or 10 minutes out of each listener. That notion was totally understood by Paul Harvey who literally invented the "driveway moment" - staying in your car to hear "The Rest of the Story." Hey, even those live reads sucked you in, and made you believe in all sorts of products.
Paul Harvey loved radio, and radio loved him back. The next time you sit in your car that few extra minutes to hear a great story, remember that it was Paul Harvey who elevated it to an art form. As a storyteller, there was no one better.