05:16:44 pm on
Monday 22 Jul 2024

Early Tom Baroni
Streeter Click

Radio words are different than other words. What works on radio, doesn't work on the printed page. On radio, you'd say, "Radio words are different," and let your voice imply, "than other words." On the printed page, clarity demands the implied usually be spelled out.

Tom Baroni deftly uses radio words to weave mutli-dimensional advertising images in the mind of the listener. Whereas most radio commercial writers rely on "production magic," a fancy term for technology supplanting creativity, Baroni sticks to words. He isn't wordy. He's terse. Baroni uses just enough words to create an image that motivates listeners to act. Baroni understands fewer words often carry more meaning.

Here's a promo reel of radio spots, c. 1972, created by Tom Baroni. The writing and the conceptualizations wear well with time.

The spots are from CKLW -- "The Big 8" -- in Windsor, Ontario. "In 1970," says media maven, Warren Cosford, CKLW came calling. "Huey Turnbull, the production manager, called [me in] Winnipeg to offer me a job at "The Big 8." I said, "What's that"? He said, "CKLW, Windsor: #1 in Detroit, Toledo and Cleveland; number 2 in Windsor. The signal is not very good in Cincinnati [and] they have their own powerhouse, WLW-AM."

A writer had to be great to last at CKLW, never mind soar. Baroni was that much better than great, as you'll hear.

Click here to Listen! to a sample of Baroni radio spots.

Streeter Click is editor of GrubStreet.ca.

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