What's Missing From "The Jam"?


WCIU-TV knows syndicated programs. In fact, that's the brand identity of Channel 26 (The U). Marketing experts would call it their "core competency" or something they do that no one else does better. Unfortunately, the station lacks the same success producing their own program like "The Jam".

Feels More Like "The Spam" 

I've  supported "The Jam" because the hosting trio really tries to reach Millennials and Gen Xers. However, I don't think they are going about it the right way. If the executive producers understood the lifestyles of today's young adults, they wouldn't have created a cheesy morning talk show to sell commercial spots. Instead, they would've created a voice for folks in my age demographic.

According to a recent study, almost 50% of Millennials don't watch the news or use traditional TV platforms. Most of them receive their news from apps; for those who still have TVs, they use those devices for background noise. If "The Jam" wants to reach their audience, they must allow their audience to reach them in person.

If "The Jam" doesn't have space for a studio audience, they can partner with nearby UIC and have live remotes at the Chicago Circle Center. The show is too close to a major university to not use those students for mutual gain. UIC students would be able to promote what's going on (financial aid concerns, student safety, race relations) and "The Jam" would improve its ratings. It's a win/win situation. But there's just one more problem: how will the students find out about it?

"The Jam"'s social media strategy is pitiful. They don't use a lot of hashtags and they don't retweet other publications. If you want to build your social media presence, you have to link up with like-minded individuals and entities.  In addition to that, they need to post more tweets about their YouTube channel. YouTube could be the key to the show going viral. They've already had success with the Mo'Nique and Jay Pharoah interviews. If controversy and comedy brings views, they need to be the outlet for the controversial and comedic people of Chicago and beyond.

Final Thoughts

Hosts of "The Jam" should have no trouble getting attention: the female hosts are smart, friendly, and beautiful; the male host is almost 7 feet tall. It's a waste of their talent if nobody sees it. That's why "The Jam" needs to get out of its own jam and start bringing the eyeballs to Channel 26. The only way that can happen is if they understood WHO the audience is and WHAT their audience wants.

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