About the Author:

Award-winning radio personality, program director, syndicator and entrepreneur, Randy “R Dub!” Williams has been in the radio game since the age of 15. His over 25 years in the business include successful stops in Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego, both on the air and in the programming chair. His 2009 syndication book, Coast to Coast helped pave the way for many up-and-coming syndicated talents while his 2011 radio documentary, “A.M. Mayhem” has received numerous awards.

Today, his Slow Jams empire includes four different radio shows heard on over 200 stations in 17 countries. R Dub! is the Director of Programming for Magic 92.5 and Z90 in San Diego. He writes this manual from both the perspectives of a syndicated host and program director.

But it’s not just about R Dub!’s story and playbook. This book contains specific advice from dozens of other highly-successful syndicated hosts of all formats, the program directors of major market radio stations who make the decisions on which shows to add, and the directors of the syndication companies, who explain just what they’re looking for in new programming. Scroll down to see just of few of the dozens of syndication pros featured in this book.

GO SYNDICATE YOURSELF! is available now!

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The Show

From building out the show's idea and concept, choosing a format and direction, to your initial meeting with your PD to pitch the first show...we'll cover all the bases from top to bottom on getting your program ``national-ready.``

The Affiliates

You've got the perfect show, but now what? We'll dive deep into the world of affiliate relations, offering tips and tricks to clear your show on stations in multiple markets, large and small, and how to handle the many roadblocks that lie ahead.

The Deal

We'll discuss all the different syndication models, how they work and what they offer to you. We'll even talk to the heads of every major syndication company, as they offer advice on pitching your show to them. Most importantly, we'll warn you what to stay far away from.

Available in paperback, hardcover and eBook:

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Inside: Advice from the nationally-syndicated stars:

For us transparency is key. Everybody is well aware that whatever happens off the air will end up on the air. We share our lives with our listeners and in return, they share their lives with us. It’s a connection that I feel blessed to have.

Tino Cochino
Tino Cochino Radio

Some stations think, 'We’ll put the Bert Show on and everything will be fine.' It doesn’t work like that. You have to have PD’s that understand and care about executing your show and marrying it to a market or it’ll fail.
And then they’ll blame you.

Bert Weiss
The Bert Show

One mistake is paying too much attention to comments on social media and what other people think. I stopped reading people’s opinions years ago, and it has helped me be comfortable with my thoughts and not be swayed by the mob mentality.

Angela Yee
The Breakfast Club

One lady wrote to tell me about being held at gunpoint while her store was being robbed. She said, 'I just closed my eyes and concentrated on your voice – you were my friend – there with me, keeping me calm in the most terrifying moment of my life.'

Blair Garner
The Blair Garner Show

Our show is 100% live and you better believe we mess up all the time! It’s how you handle mistakes and turn them into entertaining chatter that matters. Some of the best radio I have ever heard is simply recovering from a live mistake.

Tim ``Romeo`` Herbster
Most Request Live

Keep your sphere of influence relatively small. If you have too many people telling you what to do, you’ll never do what you know you should. Pick one or two people to give you feedback. Don’t sweat the naysayers so much.

Lia Knight
The Lia Show

Syndication is one of the toughest, scrappiest businesses we are in. But we do get to control our destiny because we’re self-syndicated. We made our own rules, which you can do when you’re self-syndicated and control the show.

Dave Ramsey
The Dave Ramsey Show

Don’t become obsessed with how you’re doing in syndication. Know that syndication is a bumpy ride; you’ll have success in some places and not in others and it will ebb and flow. Your job is to worry about the quality of the content you provide to the listener.

Clark Howard
The Clark Howard Radio Show

Inside: Advice from the CEOs of every major syndication company:

Beck, Delilah, Rush were local jocks and their passion and persistence translated into hugely successful programs that have altered the business as we know it...proving listeners don't care where a person sits; they care about great radio.

Eileen Thorgusen
Premiere Networks

Talent. You hear it and you know it. As for coming to us with a built-in audience, the more the better; but I have signed a show on with no affiliates, which equates to zero AQH. It goes back to my belief in the talent and the brand.

Stefan Jones
United Stations Radio Networks

A syndicated show is different from local programming in that it needs to work across multiple markets and demographics to be successful. Creating a product that will stick with a mass audience means there needs to be some kind of unifying appeal.

Masa Patterson
Benztown

I would say the biggest mistake a producer makes is not knowing the audience you have to reach. Not steering the show in the right direction is a critical mistake. That direction comes from solid communication with the talent and diligent work.

Max Krasny
Westwood One

I have always tried to give practical advice based on my experience. If the show is just a concept or an idea, with no demo, no stations, no track record of success, stop right there. Start it, get it on somewhere and start building a story. Then we can talk.

Rich O'Brien
Sun Broadcast Group

To be successful in syndication you need to succeed at three things; it’s a triangle, with all three parts equally important: 1. Getting listeners, 2. Getting affiliates, 3. Getting advertisers. You cannot succeed without succeeding at all three of these things.

David Kantor
Reach Media

Our most successful partnerships are where each party brings the best of what they do to the relationship. Coming to the table with a highly produced demo, photos and assets that can be developed into sales materials can jump start the whole process.

Eric Faison
Superadio

I may pursue a Country program because I know a station group is seeking a syndicated solution in evenings. Or, I may seek an Urban talent because ad agencies need more urban influencers. The objectives can shift as the marketplace evolves.

Steve Jones
Skyview Networks

Inside: Advice from programming VPs of major radio companies:

It's about brand fit, ratings and revenue. Failure to check even one of those boxes makes it a nonstarter for us. We are not subscribers to 'local beats syndicated every time,' however. Local is terrific. But great is what matters most by far.

Rick Cummings
Emmis

Only start down the path if you truly have the passion, talent, and stamina to see it through. The failed syndicated shows outnumber the success by many folds. YOU have to be your biggest believer; sometimes that will be the only person with you.

Mark Medina
Z100 - New York

The more flexible you can be with your show, the better chance a station may be able to find a place for it. Flexibility can be key, so it’s best if you can design your show to be run whenever/wherever the program director would like to place it.

Steve Smith
Cox Media Group

One thing that always turns me off on a demo is too much production. Nothing is worse than listening to a demo or an aircheck with a long period of time with a big voice guy and sound effects. It’s a waste of time, just get to the content.

Justin Chase
Beasley Media Group

'I’m the next…' I’m not looking for the next Wendy Williams or Frankie Crocker. I’m looking for YOU! What makes you great? Talent has to cut through the clutter and bring a style that fits the station, yet presents an original way of executing our format.

Skip Dillard
WBLS - New York

Many times, they don’t even know my core demo or the profile of my listeners. The demographic appeal in lifestyles are different so the approach that might work in St. Louis, wouldn’t in Vegas and vice versa. It is key to know the market before you pitch to a market.

Cat Thomas
Entercom

A lot of times I’ve heard programs where there is a lot of braggadocio, a lot of hype and a lot of, 'We’re big and we’re great because we’re on in 50 cities.' Being on in 50 cities doesn’t mean that your show’s good, it just means that you’ve sold it well.

Phil Becker
Alpha Media

There are many shows that have interview segments with celebrities, and most of those suck. Stern is the best there is and anyone who thinks they can do an interview should listen to Howard. He is the gold standard to which I judge everyone else.

Jim Ryan
WNEW - New York

There are various devices and hardware that you can use to read an eBook. These include: e-readers—including Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK, Kobo, Sony Reader. Tablets—including iPad or the numerous tablets that run the Android operating system. Smart phones—including iPhone and Android devices. PCs and laptops.

In most cases, yes. This does depend on which operating system your hand held device is running however, as different eBook formats are compatible with different operating systems.

Yes! Both hardcover and paperback editions of GO SYNDICATE YOURSELF will be available in July 2020. We may even drop an audio book if we get the demand...let us know if this interests you.

Randy ``R Dub!`` Williams

Award-winning radio personality, program director, syndicator and entrepreneur, Randy “R Dub!” Williams has been in the radio game since the age of 15. His over 25 years in the business include successful stops in Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego, both on the air and in the programming chair. His 2009 syndication book, Coast to Coast helped pave the way for many up-and-coming syndicated talents while his 2011 radio documentary, “A.M. Mayhem” has received numerous awards. Today, his Slow Jams empire includes four different radio shows heard on over 200 stations in 17 countries.

A Quick Peak Into GO SYNDICATE YOURSELF!

The book starts with a brilliant foreword from Benztown president Dave "Chachi" Denes, recalling his days at Clear Channel Los Angeles, living the Hollywood lifestyle as PD of one of the most successful radio stations in America before everything came crashing down on him...and how--with the help of his friend R Dub!--he'd begin his own syndication empire. Chapter 1 gives you some serious "R Dub!" and Sunday Night Slow Jams syndication history. Chapter 2 sets the stage with a realistic, 30,000-foot view of the radio syndication landscape today; while Chapter 3 lays out those six crucial steps to building a syndication-worthy show - but that's just the beginning. In Chapter 4, R Dub! explains the various syndication models, how different partnerships function, what to look for in a deal, and how the money shakes out for everyone involved. Chapter 5 deals with the ins and outs of radio station affiliate sales...spoiler alert: It'll be up to you to bring in stations, and this chapter digs deep into how to build your affiliate list. Chapter 6 is entitled "Special Ops" and is probably the best-kept secret in the business, so you'll have to buy the book to learn more about this special sauce...while Chapter 7 belts out loads of promotion and marketing ideas and unique strategies. Chapter 8 is the meatiest: priceless words of advice from the people running the game. Read the stories and secrets from dozens of successfully syndicated stars dominating in every format, from Country to CHR to Urban to Oldies and of course the Talkers. But that's just the beginning...then we hear from the heads of every major syndication company on what they're specifically looking for when signing new shows on; and finally we hear from the gatekeepers: the programming VPs from every major broadcast company who outline what they want to see from talent like you, and most importantly, what they don't want to see. Chapter 9 is titled "R Dub!'s Tool Box" and contains oodles of valuable industry contacts and even a list of recommended studio equipment and broadcast supply vendors. The book closes with Chapter 10: "50 Rules to Remember."

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll learn. By the end of this book you will know exactly what it takes become syndicated - with no questions unanswered and no stone unturned. This manual is filled with cold, hard facts - written by a syndicated host and major-market program director, with input from scores of other industry bosses. Some of what you read will be enlightening and insightful, some will be lighthearted and humorous, but ALL OF IT will be BRUTALLY HONEST.

  • Chapter 3

    If You Build it, They Will Come…Maybe

    We’re going to begin with the integral steps to becoming syndicated. Get your highlighter out, because this will be the most important part of the book, and a place you’ll probably be returning to often. Using the word “steps” might make it sound really easy, like putting together a piece of Ikea furniture, so don’t be fooled by the term. Some of these steps are pretty major; but when done in order, have a reasonable probability working. Not only are these the steps I’ve taken—the steps that have gotten me to over 200 radio stations and over a million dollars in net revenue—but these are the steps that almost every successful syndicated personality of our class (the local jock) have taken and succeeded with. Don’t forget, we’ll be talking to many of them later in the book.

  • Chapter 4

    The Art of the Syndication Deal

    Keep in mind, you won’t see the money overnight, even if you’re already bringing substantial AQH to the table, upfront. In most deals, you are paid upon collection of monies. Meaning you don’t get paid until your syndicator gets paid, so checks are anything but steady. I’ve received $400 one month and $24,000 the next. For example, you could run $10,000 worth of spots for McDonald’s on your show in January, but by the time McDonald’s pays their bill to their individual ad agency, the ad agency pays their bill to the radio ad rep firm, the ad rep firm pays their bill to the syndicator, and your syndicator divvies up the funds, you might not see payment from those commercials for six months! So after signing you first deal, don’t expect to see the checks roll in for some time. When they do finally start to come in, they will probably be small, but once things ramp up and become steady, and stations and audience are continuously added, the checks could end up looking pretty good. I can still remember how excited I was when I received my first check in the mail for over a grand. “A grand!” I thought. “Over one thousand dollars just for doing the weekend show that I’d gladly do for free? I’m getting paid now!” It was a beautiful thing. Still is. I still get butterflies in my stomach each time I find a check from my syndicator in the mailbox. It’s like Christmas every quarter!

  • Chapter 5

    World Domination (Getting More Stations)

    The best analogy I can give you is that of an artist and their record label. Think of you and your show as a brand-new artist that just got inked to a major-label record deal. (If you’ve ever been a PD, this example will be especially clear.) The truth is, for every big artist that a record label represents, there are probably 20 or 30 artists that are complete and utter duds. Many never even see the light of day. These record labels will throw a whole bunch of sh*t at the wall (dozens of artists), and then see which ones stick. The popular, easy-to-sell and massive money-making artists will soon be pushed to the front of the marketing line, while the slower-moving products take a back seat. Some of the artists signed will end up not even being promoted at all, like the TV pilot that never made it to a timeslot. The goal of these record labels is to sign a ton of good artists, in hopes that even one will become their next breakout superstar. Then, almost all of the company’s attention, focus and budget will be centered around those one or two big artists only. Take the label Def Jam, for example: Justin Bieber and Kanye West are the label’s headliners today. So much money and energy are spent promoting just those two to radio stations, even when some of their singles may be indeed be stiffs. But have you even heard of some of the other Def Jam artists, like 070 Shake, Amir Obé or Bibi Bourelly? Me neither. (I’m not making these names up, by the way). When it comes to promotion and marketing, Def Jam knows that it’s people like Kanye and Bieber that are going affect their balance sheets at the end of the day.

  • Chapter 6

    Special Ops

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    —Albert Einstein

    That may be one of the most overused quotes in motivational speeches and business mantras ever, but there may be no better use for it than right here. I’m going to tell you about the one giant change I made that would push Sunday Night Slow Jams past the tipping point and set the show on a trajectory that would overtake all other programs in its class, take it to the 100-, then 200-affiliate mark, and even place it major markets that I’d never dreamed of having the show in. I’ve waited until almost the very end of this book, biting my tongue the entire way, to drop this huge success-bomb on you. If there was a miracle drug to help drum up lots of affiliates, fast, this is it. And just as I laid out some history about my show before diving into those first six action steps in the beginning of the book, I’ll need to set the scene here, too.

    It was 2011 and I’d been syndicated for about eight years. While I was having the time of my life and making some great money, my affiliate count was stuck at around 40 stations for what seemed like the longest time. I’d grab a station here and there, but it seemed like every time we added a new affiliate, the next week we’d lose one. I could feel my wheels just spinning, as I’d bob up and down around the 40-affiliate mark, with no noticeable increases in stations or AQH for over two years. I thought maybe this just might be “it.” Maybe I’d reached my ceiling.

Chapter 3

If You Build it, They Will Come…Maybe

We’re going to begin with the integral steps to becoming syndicated. Get your highlighter out, because this will be the most important part of the book, and a place you’ll probably be returning to often. Using the word “steps” might make it sound really easy, like putting together a piece of Ikea furniture, so don’t be fooled by the term. Some of these steps are pretty major; but when done in order, have a reasonable probability working. Not only are these the steps I’ve taken—the steps that have gotten me to over 200 radio stations and over a million dollars in net revenue—but these are the steps that almost every successful syndicated personality of our class (the local jock) have taken and succeeded with. Don’t forget, we’ll be talking to many of them later in the book.

Chapter 4

The Art of the Syndication Deal

Keep in mind, you won’t see the money overnight, even if you’re already bringing substantial AQH to the table, upfront. In most deals, you are paid upon collection of monies. Meaning you don’t get paid until your syndicator gets paid, so checks are anything but steady. I’ve received $400 one month and $24,000 the next. For example, you could run $10,000 worth of spots for McDonald’s on your show in January, but by the time McDonald’s pays their bill to their individual ad agency, the ad agency pays their bill to the radio ad rep firm, the ad rep firm pays their bill to the syndicator, and your syndicator divvies up the funds, you might not see payment from those commercials for six months! So after signing you first deal, don’t expect to see the checks roll in for some time. When they do finally start to come in, they will probably be small, but once things ramp up and become steady, and stations and audience are continuously added, the checks could end up looking pretty good. I can still remember how excited I was when I received my first check in the mail for over a grand. “A grand!” I thought. “Over one thousand dollars just for doing the weekend show that I’d gladly do for free? I’m getting paid now!” It was a beautiful thing. Still is. I still get butterflies in my stomach each time I find a check from my syndicator in the mailbox. It’s like Christmas every quarter!

Chapter 5

World Domination (Getting More Stations)

The best analogy I can give you is that of an artist and their record label. Think of you and your show as a brand-new artist that just got inked to a major-label record deal. (If you’ve ever been a PD, this example will be especially clear.) The truth is, for every big artist that a record label represents, there are probably 20 or 30 artists that are complete and utter duds. Many never even see the light of day. These record labels will throw a whole bunch of sh*t at the wall (dozens of artists), and then see which ones stick. The popular, easy-to-sell and massive money-making artists will soon be pushed to the front of the marketing line, while the slower-moving products take a back seat. Some of the artists signed will end up not even being promoted at all, like the TV pilot that never made it to a timeslot. The goal of these record labels is to sign a ton of good artists, in hopes that even one will become their next breakout superstar. Then, almost all of the company’s attention, focus and budget will be centered around those one or two big artists only. Take the label Def Jam, for example: Justin Bieber and Kanye West are the label’s headliners today. So much money and energy are spent promoting just those two to radio stations, even when some of their singles may be indeed be stiffs. But have you even heard of some of the other Def Jam artists, like 070 Shake, Amir Obé or Bibi Bourelly? Me neither. (I’m not making these names up, by the way). When it comes to promotion and marketing, Def Jam knows that it’s people like Kanye and Bieber that are going affect their balance sheets at the end of the day.

Chapter 6

Special Ops

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
—Albert Einstein

That may be one of the most overused quotes in motivational speeches and business mantras ever, but there may be no better use for it than right here. I’m going to tell you about the one giant change I made that would push Sunday Night Slow Jams past the tipping point and set the show on a trajectory that would overtake all other programs in its class, take it to the 100-, then 200-affiliate mark, and even place it major markets that I’d never dreamed of having the show in. I’ve waited until almost the very end of this book, biting my tongue the entire way, to drop this huge success-bomb on you. If there was a miracle drug to help drum up lots of affiliates, fast, this is it. And just as I laid out some history about my show before diving into those first six action steps in the beginning of the book, I’ll need to set the scene here, too.

It was 2011 and I’d been syndicated for about eight years. While I was having the time of my life and making some great money, my affiliate count was stuck at around 40 stations for what seemed like the longest time. I’d grab a station here and there, but it seemed like every time we added a new affiliate, the next week we’d lose one. I could feel my wheels just spinning, as I’d bob up and down around the 40-affiliate mark, with no noticeable increases in stations or AQH for over two years. I thought maybe this just might be “it.” Maybe I’d reached my ceiling.