Things Your Morning Show Wishes You Knew

While looking for something else in my computer files, I stumbled across a handout I prepared for a panel I moderated at The Conclave (a radio and record industry convention) in 2000.  Interestingly, they’re all still pretty relevant (for those PDs fortunate enough to have their own local morning show …)  The session was entitled “Programming The Unconventional Morning Show” and featured Jeff & Jer from San Diego, JB & Sandy from Austin, Ace & TJ from Charlotte, and Dave Ryan from Minneapolis.  The handout for after the end of my session was subtitled “Things Your Morning Show Wishes You Knew” and was geared towards program directors in the audience.

Contributions to the list were published anonymously, but I can tell you they all came from Top 50 market morning shows.   Leave a comment if you agree or disagree with any of them.

  • “Don’t send your morning show to some lame-ass unpaid public service event every week.  It kills us to show up to a small crowd where hardly anyone there has any idea who we are or what we’re doing there.”
  • “We do tape every show; so, when you ask for a copy of the bit that generated five complaint calls … we’re lying to your face when we say we didn’t run tape.”
  • “We are very fragile and our own toughest critics.  Remember that during critiques.  If we messed up, we already know what we did wrong so don’t belittle us like we destroyed the entire radio station with a weak 6:20 bit.”
  • “Let talented people do what they are talented at doing, don’t force them to do things they’re not good at doing.”
  • “We really start the show 15-20 minutes later than we’re supposed to start.”
  • “10am is the worst time in the world to ask us for an idea.”
  • “Never say you’re morning show takes naps in the afternoon, they are not naps – it’s sleep, just like what you do at night.”
  • “Be positive!  If you want a happy show then you should lead by example.  Remind us that we’re going to win more books if we don’t beat ourselves with a bad attitude.”
  • “We lost respect for you when you stopped programming from your gut and listened only to the out-of-area consultant that was unfamiliar with the market and the history of our show.”
  • “Don’t nitpick about what we should do and not do.  If you want to make the show better, become a part of the morning show staff.  Instead of changing it, contribute to it … that’s being a team player.”
  • “You are either going to be our biggest ally or our biggest enemy – there’s no middle ground.”
  • “We’re going to drink at station events no matter what.”
  • “Send us to every conference.  Networking with other programmers and talent provides us with a wealth of ideas and development.”
  • “Treat your show as a team, don’t ask one person something without the other.”
  • “Give us some trade or a small expense account so we can do our own schmoozing of the mayor and news reporters.”
  • “If you don’t know anything about mornings, admit it.  It’s okay, we don’t know anything about music and imaging.  Don’t give us a crazy one hour aircheck session just so you can feel like you’re doing your job … get help evaluating the show.”
  • “Don’t tell us what the syndicated guys are doing and wonder why we’re not doing the same.  Listen to your own station with a fresh perspective.”
  • “I do what I think is right, because it’s my ass on the line as Morning Show Host.  Sometimes, I have to ignore you for your own good.  I’ll bet you do the same for me.”
  • “We’re not on the air for only the 15 minutes a day that you listen.  We’re here four hours and every other thing we did today didn’t suck.”
  • “Marrying the market is something that jocks really care about and so should the PD.  Moving up is great when it happens, but taking this job just to land a bigger gig within the company kills morale.  Focus on the situation at hand.”
  • “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you doing mornings … making huge dough, getting comp’ed all over town, and being a semi-celebrity?  Like us?”
  • “Our best PD was like having another producer for the show.  It’s the most valuable thing a PD can be for the morning show.”
  • “Show your morning talent some trust in building their own show.”
  • “We really need to hear once in awhile how much you love our show.  A little praise goes a long way and is even more effective at keeping our morale up than bonus money … even though we love that, too.”
  • “Show up at our remotes and have some fun!”
  • “Everything we talk about on the show isn’t always the truth, but may just be a bit.  We actually steal some great ideas from services like BitBoard!”  (*the session was sponsored by MJI/Bitboard, a radio show prep service)
  • “There’s really nothing we want more than a good relationship with our PD.”

2 Responses to “Things Your Morning Show Wishes You Knew”

  1. Having never worked ever in radio, but finding myself nodding in agreement on more than one of these posts, I have to say, it sounds like the bottom line is engagement. Nothing gets people as excited as when the people they’re looking for (entertainment, employment, etc) “get it” and care like they do. A PD can lead by example- if they care about the product they’re putting out, and not in the ‘hitting the numbers’ sort of way, it’s infectious. I see it a lot in the field I work in- there are some people that are in it to hit the numbers, but I see lots of people who do it because they want to have the best quality possible, and it shows in how people respond to them. I like your blog, thanks for your insight.


  1. Radio Wars Indianapolis | SANDS MEDIA llc - November 22, 2011

    […] Things Your Morning Show Wishes You Knew ( […]

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