How to Win the Ratings – The Breakfast Show Blueprint – Part 11
Greg Smith is a Director of Radio Today.
In this series of articles I wanted to explore the key ingredients of a top rating breakfast show.
I’ve enlisted the help of prominent programmers & researchers, people much smarter than me, to tell you how to win the ratings in radio’s most important daypart.
You can read part 1 with Jon Coleman, part 2 with Todd Wallace, part 3 with Randy Lane, part 4 with Brad March, part 5 with Rad Messick, part 6 with Dave Charles, part 7 with Mark Ramsey part 8 with Tracy Johnson part 9 with John Parikhal and part 10 with Steve Reynolds.
Today we learn about what makes great Breakfast radio from Tom Watson (pictured).
Tom Watson has over 25 years programming and consulting in such markets as: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Washington D.C., Denver, Honolulu Hawaii, Seattle, Miami, London, Sydney, Melbourne, and other markets. Tom works in developing on air talent, program directors, growing breakfast programs, as well as in the areas of music, promotions & competitions, and station imaging.
Breakfast Show Talent Development & Direction
Make TALENT A Priority.
Daily show meetings are a MUST
Give the Talent the proper tools and support
Teach Proper Show Preparation
Air Check Daily / Review Air checks frequently (if not daily)
Emphasize their strengths and work on their weaknesses
Give the talent a chance to respond to criticism & input
Be a good listener and show sincere interest
Encourage, don’t bully… stimulate their creative process
Be honest… tell them the truth and be direct…. But be diplomatic
“Stroke” when they deserve it. Be firm, and most of all, consistent with your critique style.
THE "IMAGE PYRAMID"
(#1) Community Reflection
(#2) Personality / “Station-ality”
(#3) Contests & Promotions
(#4) News & Information
How People Listen To a Breakfast Show
20 to 30 minutes at a time
They listen at the same time everyday
Horizontal vs. Vertical promos
“Lifestyle” Dictates how and when they listen
What People Don’t “LIKE” About “TALK”
Length, regardless of content
Too long to get to the punch line
Idle chatter (give me something!)
Too many voices / people talking at once
Too many thoughts / ideas being addressed at once
Remember, when they say you “talk too much” what they are really telling you is that what you have to say isn’t:
Makes them go “wow. I didn’t know that! “
Format Clock Considerations for Breakfast Shows
Intro the show. At the beginning of every hour. Don’t “assume” they know who you are or what you do. In other words, don’t be guilty of having “Over-Estimation of Product Knowledge” on the part of the listener.
Set up and intro themes, bits, and features
Horizontally promote “TOMORROW ‘S BITs & FEATURES” at the same time each day as you end each bit or feature.
Repeating of bits / features within a show each day
Remember…. You are performing Six (6) 30-minute shows each day not just ONE four hour program.
14 Available Breakfast Show Images
Outrageous / “I can’t believe they did that!”
Off The Wall
Go To the Edge
Talk Too Much
Friends… “They seem to like each other”
Gets me going in the morning
Remember the time they, or, did you hear what they said this morning”
Tom Watson consults top breakfast shows in the United States as well as in Australia. He is a full-service consultant with input into music, marketing, imaging, talent development, contest and promotions, sales promotions, and overall station promotions. You can reach Tom in the USA on: 310-498-5990 or email: [email protected]