Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is The Ross Brittain Report?
A: A topical radio show prep sheet. It is not a joke sheet, although it is written with an attitude. There may be an occasional off-color reference or two, but they are always flagged. And we freely admit it, sometimes we put items in we know won't get on the air just to keep you informed or as a funny line to get you in a good mood.

Q: Why don't you write it like a news service?
A: Because nobody talks that way. We write for radio --so there's a clear subject or thought right at the beginning of each story to grab your listener. It's written in everyday language so you can rip-and-read, and often as a "set-up" so it'll draw you toward some sort of conclusion or set up somebody else on your show for a line. Other times we'll write it as a story so you can "tell it" to your listeners.

Q: Who are your writers?
A: Because nobody can churn out as many pages as we do without contributors, we have several writers on staff. We also have other occasional contributors, and if you have something of interest, we encourage you to submit it.

Q: I don't do mornings. Can I still get the Report?
A: Of course. Although it's written to include everything that you might want to comment on in the 18-hour period before your show, many of the topical and tabloid items will last through the day and appear on shows like "Entertainment Tonight" and "Extra."

Q: Why is it a different number of pages each day?
A: Some days there's just more happening than other days. Mondays and Fridays we tend to add a page to deal with weekend stuff. And if it's a slow news day, we're not going to fill with BS to make us look good.

Q: I don't use all your categories.
A: Who does? We don't suggest every item can be used for your show --you know what you like best and what will work best for you or your staff. You can select the categories you want to exclude by choosing "preferences" from the main menu, and customizing the RBR just for you. Or you can select "View Full Report" or "Print Full Report" which will give you everything. If you're scanning through the RBR, you'll find the names bold-faced and capitalized the first time they appear in each story for your convenience.

Q: I'm having trouble printing the Report. Can you help?
Problems with getting the two-column format to fit on a page? On your drop-down printer menu... set all your margins to .5 inches and enable "shrink-to-fit" by checking it.

Q: What time do you feed the Report?
A: The final version of the RBR should be available by 4:30 am (Eastern), latest; often times an early edition will be available after midnight (Eastern). We try to add the final items as late as possible, since several gossip columns, daily newspapers and Hollywood tabloids are posted between 3 and 4 am. Yes, we could feed earlier, but then you wouldn't get the topical material that makes you sound way ahead of your competition.

Q: You made a mistake. What's the process for correcting it?
A: Everybody does sometimes. If it's a big enough mistake that you'll look bad by using it, we'll e-mail a correction out. Usually the news director(s) we keep on staff will catch it, but you're more than welcome to give us a call or drop us a line and bust our chops for being stupid. Hopefully, if it's really stupid, you'll be able to turn it into a bit or catch it yourself if it's out of context.

Q: What's your criteria for inclusion?
A: We look at a story and evaluate it in terms of:
  • whether it's important to the 18-49 age group
  • whether a personality will sound hip by knowing it --or might need to know it.
  • whether it's important to hear from a fan's (or listener's) point of view.
  • whether it can be distilled down and told in a couple of sentences, leaving you plenty of time for your own comments.
  • and many more, based on my 30-plus years as an air personality and comedy writer. Sometimes we include stuff we think is weird, or funny, or poignant that won't strike you the same way. So don't use it. You're paying us to be an editor, but you know what's right for you.
Q: How can I use the Report to my best advantage?
  • To drive your phones: Some of the categories, like the lists and surveys, are designed to help you set up listener-based phone calls, or can be used for contest questions.
  • To produce ahead: The birthdays are furnished at least a day ahead so after your show, you can walk into the music director's office and get a song by the birthday artist added to your show, pick a "mystery movie" from the video store, or use a birthday as a trivia question.
  • To assign tasks: to the rest of your morning show: TV listings, for instance, can serve as a reminder to split up viewing among members of your show if important shows conflict.
  • To use for bits: items are grouped into categories so you can design features around them or have a character do particular items. We also have special updates on things like the Iditarod or Tour de France and the Running of the Bulls.
Q: Where do you get your items?
A: We treat the Report as a glorified clipping service. The benefit is that the items are re-written briefly so you can use them on the air. You'll find we always try to quote or find the original source for any particular story. While you may not like the way this sounds on the radio, it's journalistically correct and fair. You'll find we write so the credit is usually in the first part of the second paragraph.
  • It's simple to edit it out while you're reading if you must.
  • Or you can highlight your copy and omit the reference.
  • But by citing sources this way, you don't get blind-sided if we use a tabloid story from one of the London tabloids, or a supermarket tabloid like Star magazine, the Weekly World News or the National Enquirer. And it's not a bad thing to be considered a sensitive male for reading out of your copy of Glamour magazine, for example.
Questions? Simply e-mail or call me. --Ross