Radio morning shows have gotten a bad rap on TV with parodies like Family Guy’s “Weenie & the Butt” and “Crazy Ira & the Douche” on Parks & Recreation. But, the correlation between having a favorite morning show and spending more time with radio means that developing a strong morning show should be a priority for all broadcasters.
If you have a favorite morning show, you’re more likely to come back day after day; you’re more likely to tell your friends about things you hear on the show; and you’re more likely to respond to sponsors you hear about on the show – all really good things for radio.
Overall, terrestrial has lost the battle for consumers’ ears while they’re at home in morning. TV got smart and made radio morning shows with pictures. The producers of those shows are rabid about making sure those shows work well for consumers who “watch” without ever looking at the screen. And, these (mostly) nationally-networked shows have access to promotion and research budgets that dwarf that of local radio.
However, once they’re out the door consumers turn to radio in huge numbers – and most want some sort of human connection while they’re traveling. Even those who are looking primarily for music also want some human connection (and we’d argue that those who don’t will drift away to other portable audio options in the coming months and years).
Among partisans for some formats, however, a majority doesn’t have a favorite morning show: they listen, but they never adopt one show as their home base. Spoken-word formats are most likely get consumers to adopt a morning show as their favorite.
Certainly information is key in some spoken word formats, but many have had their information needs sated (by Internet or TV) before they leave home. For most, it’s about having a laugh and getting in a good mood – or spending time with people they enjoy. Thus, it’s up to us in radio to find likeable talent and then guide that talent to deliver the right content in the right manner in the morning to maximize AQH.