In Mark Ramsey's excellent NAB presentation on Seducing PPM one of his conclusions focuses on tune out around the 'open mic' vs tune out during music. Of course the data is not favorable for the jocks. For most stations it's at least twice as likely that the audience will tune out.
While some of this may be jocks that have nothing to say, are un-prepared, or really don't know anything about the audience and can't relate to them. We all know there are personalities that have huge followings and DO connect with the audience. But, there could also be another factor at work here - OUR FORMATICS.
When do you hear from the jocks? In most clocks you hear from them 4-5 times an hour. 2-3 of those exposures are just BEFORE THE SPOTS. So what has your personality become? A SET UP MAN/WOMAN FOR THE SPOTS. The jocks clue in the audience that - COMMERCIALS IN 20 SECONDS. So what do they do? Start hunting for more entertainment and avoid the spots.
If we somehow re-worked the clocks so the personalities were doing more between the songs and perhaps we started going from a sweeper into spots perhaps our personality assets wouldn't end up in the audience trash bag as much.
Mark's presentation is great reading and he also has a video on it on his web site check it out here.