I just spent a rewarding hour tuned to a very entertaining morning team on an extremely-well-programmed station.
Things happened so naturally and spontaneously that the basics were integrated seamlessly.
1. Contests were designed to achieve a clear objective: promote TSL (9-2-5) or to promote cume (Country Cruiser, free coffee and donuts at remote location all morning until 9).
2. Clear, simple music image positioning was constantly reinforced with passion and relatability (Today's Country).
3. Everybody has a (fun, character values-oriented) nickname. No nicknames for newspeople.
4. Quick news headlines of only three to five interesting topics on the hour and half hour, branded as (calls) Morning Update). Lots of service elements - staff meteorologist, traffic reporter. Fresh story selection, avoiding the sense that "the same stories are repeated all morning." A good news teaser that SAYS this clearly: "coming up, fresh stories you haven't heard yet (headline)..."
5. They did use a prep/comedy service ideas, but LOCALIZED everything.
6. Benchmark name for the show (Breakfast Flakes). Name all elements (Highway Patrol Traffic, Radar weather).
7. Plenty of production. Morning show jingles, beat beds behind everything. Lots of music and sound effects, to keep momentum moving. They don't limit length of anything, but keep it high energy and limit to one fully developed punch line per set. Produced intros (short and a BIG variety of them) on everything. Production inside news: intro, punctuators before spot, weather and traffic sounders.
8. Involvement. Many listeners on the phone. At least one storytelling phone bit per quarter hour to provide continuity and community.
9. At the start of each hour (5:59 and 6:59), they immediately promote to 6:20 and 7:20 am with a specific reason to listen an extra quarter hour.
10. Lots of useful info, time checks and quick weather references all integrated with their web site.
It was all presented with a sense of clarity and urgency. No mixed messages, cynical attitude, dirty stuff. Funny, bright, warm, friendly attitude. They made it seem easy. Because it was .. easy to listen, for a long period of time!
Is there a station you particularly love to listen to? What are they doing?
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4 months ago