What Every Radio Program Director Can Learn From Captain Kirk

It was exactly 50 years ago today that Star Trek premiered on NBC. With that in mind, the big-brained radio consultants at Jacobs Media have come up with a dozen things all radio programmers can learn from Captain Kirk.

Unless you’re Kurt Hanson, you might not have  it marked on your calendar, but today is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the seminal TV series that first debuted on NBC in 1966. Created by the innovative Gene Roddenberry, the show took one of the most circuitous paths to success ever. It was cancelled three years after it began its run on prime time TV, but was resurrected through syndicated reruns where it went on to build a huge cult following that is still going strong today.

Far from a Trekkie, I was a fan of what is now known as “The Original Series.”  At the center of “Star Trek” was always  Captain James T. Kirk and his first officer, Mr. Spock.  As a team alongside an able crew, they steered their starship Enterprise through amazing adventures that resonated with 20th century TV viewers.  One of my mentors – Tom Bender – used to refer to programming a radio station as analogous to captaining a starship. Both jobs require knowledge, style, finesse, leadership skills, a great crew, and a complete tool kit.

In thinking about the Kirk philosophy, there are some wonderful parables that hold true for what’s required of programmers in radio today. So in honor of “Star Trek’s” anniversary, here’s my list of 12 Captain Kirk-isms that apply to every radio P.D. (with a little help from some of the other crew members on the Enterprise).

Read the whole thing here.

If I could add one thing, though, it would be “Keep a phaser on stun under your desk for those difficult morning show meetings. You’ll use it more than you’ll expect.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.