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Well, that ruffed a few feathers

Thanks for the feedback on last weeks update. Plenty of PD's and Station Managers agreeing. Equally, some harsh words from a few breakfast presenters. Fair enough.

In case you missed it... I've included it again in the body of this weeks update to reference some points as I focus on something far more controversial. I've actually decided that in the main... morning TV... like Sunrise in Australia, Sky News in the UK and the Today program in the US is a far better bet than most breakfast/morning radio.


Mainly because most radio stations breakfast shows/breakfast talent is lazy. (here's the list from last week to see how your show stacks up)

  • Do they arrive a minimum of 45 minutes prior to the show starting??
  • Do they have one major planning session each two weeks?
  • Do they have a set of team rules?
  • Do they complete a planning sheet for the next days show?
  • Do they get well prepped listeners on the air every day?
  • Do they prepare (really prepare) at least 2 great stories about their own lives for EVERY show?
  • Could they do a show without relying on the daily paper or prep services?
  • Do they respect the music??? (do they cut songs)
  • Do they do a planned hook and tease going into every break? (ie do they really care if listeners hang around?)
  • Do they spend time on finding out all about their audience?

But what's really forced me to write this weeks update is that I have been listening to an unbelievably hyped new breakfast show in Australia... it's one of those double headers with the obligatory ex/fading sporting star thrown in for good measure.

The guy
a standard run of the mill DJ who (to be fair) could cut it in afternoon drive perhaps.

The girl
someone who's on a first name basis with all the stars. Someone who "stuff happens to" (Plus of course the faded/ex sporting guy).

The idea is that if you listen you get all the star/celeb goss/the inside word and a look at life through the on air team.

"Aspirational" and "me to" are the audience responses the station is after... "I wish that were me" or "hell... that is me".

The only problem is that this team can't talk. Seriously, they cannot string together a sentence.

Surely "words" are the craft of every media, radio in particular. So why does radio and this station in particular fail so dismally to train its people how to use them.

Why doesn't radio require it's on air people to prepare their words in advance?

This morning show (and many others) - three people talking crap - or if we are lucky something ripped directly from the daily paper& or the interstate affiliate... and this is interesting????

As Roy H Williams says "Newspapers and magazines are covered with words crafted and edited by professional writers". So where are the writers of radio?? We need them given the number of stupid breakfast/morning presenters.

The reason that most breakfast shows suck - and hence why TV is a good option is that they are allowed to go on believing that they are interesting, that they need no preparation, no writing, no script and no knowledge of who they are talking to - sorry wrong!

The great shows have a few things in common (mainly linked to the list above) but I'll give you a few specific examples;

A producer who really produces and impacts on what happens on the air, not just a coffee boy or someone who signals a "get out" point. Want to hear the impact great producers can make, listen to KLOS in LA, WPLJ in NY.

Nightly breakfast team conferences calls driven by the producer & .they don t have to happen every night and they only take 5-10 minutes.

Teasing White boards
hite boards in the studio, again driven by the producer, highlighting the hook and tease for the next and every break in the entire show. KIIS in LA do this so well. Ever heard how TV Breakfast Shows go into an add break - What's up in the next 45 minutes and what's directly next after the break. They never miss. Listen for yourself.

The Cage in Australia demands that its talent bring 4 slices of their own life to the show - written out - daily. They may not use them all but think of it this way, 2 team members, 4 great stories each - that's 8 killer pieces in the show every day. Does your show really deliver 8 great pieces daily????

Prepped listeners.
The great stations used prepped and prerecorded "insurance calls" daily. Kyle and Jackie in Australia do this better than anyone. Heart do it well in London too. By the way, if you want to hear the great host/listener relationship, you can't go past Real Radio in Scotland or WTMZ in Chicago.

A breakfast show should never attempt an un-prepped break, never. They of course will answer with "but we want to be spontaneous& ..and not scripted. "We don't want scripted". We want pre-planned spontaneity.

Want a few great breakfast/morning shows to sample;

  • 964 The Eagle in Surrey, UK
  • Nova 969 Sydney, Australia
  • KIIS Dallas
  • KIIS, LA
  • Heart in London
  • WROR Boston
  • LBC London
  • WPLJ, New York
  • Real Radio, Scotland
  • KLOS, LA
  • Kaya FM, South Africa
  • 98fm Dublin
  • 2Day Sydney Australia
  • WTMX, Chicago

Want or need any more info on any of the above? email us and we will be happy to assist.

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