There is a shift underway in many areas of Indonesia from local, ethnic languages like Javanese, to the national language, Indonesian. Few studies have explored the complexities faced by radio stations targeting the audiences undergoing this shift. This article explores the attitudes influencing the design of radio language at three local radio stations in East Java. Semi-structured interviews, based on extracts of radio language, are conducted with program directors and announcers at these stations. These data are used to outline how radio stations approach the design of radio talk amidst language shift. This paper explains this shift using two overlapping frames of media and language: audience design and mental scripts. Analysis shows both frames to be useful for understanding the design of radio language in East Java. A concluding discussion shows how a multi-dimensional understanding of radio language can provide important information on speech communities in-flux.