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Randy Lane

Is Your Morning Show Working Too Hard?

by Randy Lane

Those morning show guys get paid twice as much money as anyone in the Sales Dept. and theyre only working 25 hours a week!!! We frequently run across managers in radio who are frustrated by the apparent lack of commitment on the part of their morning shows to work a full 8 hour day or anything even close to that. Sales people, business managers, marketing directors, human resource directors and managers all live in a world of 8am to 5pm (if not 6am to 7pm).

In their minds their jobs are done better when they put in more hours making spreadsheets balance, writing impressive proposals and attending even more meetings planning the future. Morning shows that stay in the office from 5am to 3pm may appear to be working harder, but are they doing what morning shows should be doing? Is spending time in meetings, surfing the web, writing parodies more productive than living a life? Or are you better off with a host that lives for the moment and experiences all that life has to offer to tell about it the next morning?

Listeners overwhelmingly find good stories about life their favorite, most memorable and relatable parts of a morning radio show. Many of these same listeners are the managers, comptrollers, lawyers, resource directors, etc. working 10 hours a day in our crazy we have to be the most productive country on the planet world. For many of us, a large part of the enjoyment and awareness of life comes from the stories of others who experience things we dont have the time to experience.

If you have a morning show host that shows up at 5:55 for a 6am show and leaves at 10:05, you may be luckier than you think. If your morning show host comes in with great stories of how she took her family out for a night on the town, or a host that saw the latest movie your target audience is talking about, or a show that spent the afternoon behind the scenes at opening day, you may have the best show you could and not realize it.

Great morning show stories rarely develop on a computer screen or in a planning meeting. Great stories develop more in the backroom of a casino, in a backyard, or backstage than in an office.

    If you have a morning show host that is in at 5:55 and out at 10:05 who leaves for home, smokes pot, watches porn and sleeps, get rid of them tomorrow. 
    If you have morning show hosts that are in at 4am and never leave before 5pm you have a show that needs to be redirected.  Try giving them this clichd advice, get a life and learn how to share that life with listeners. 
    If you have a morning show host that lives life to the fullest and always has a story about that life to share, consider yourself very lucky even if they arent really working as hard as you or your C.O.O.

Get Out And Have Some Fun as a Group!
The principle players on a show need to get out of the office two or three times a month and do something fun. Go play golf, tennis or anything that is fun and not radio related.  There are a few reasons for this:
1.    Its a chance to stay connected on a level other than work. Its easy to forget why you like each other during the pressure of putting together a show.  Getting away from work makes you see each other in a different light.  This is especially good for shows where there is tension among some of the players.
2.    Some of the best radio ideas come when you are not trying.  When you have to create a bit, it sometimes feels like pulling teeth. When you are not in the station you think differently.  It is inevitable that as radio people you are going to talk shop and that is good because its under a different context.  You will think of ideas that you would not have thought of sitting in your office.

3.     There is a third added benefit of doing things together.  A show outing in and of itself can be show prep.  Funny or dysfunctional things happen whenever radio people get together. Living life leads to experiences that can be used on the air.  If the show as a whole has a common experience there can be a good discussion about the odd or interesting things that happened, plus there will always be different versions of the story. That can lead to humor or conflict, which is always good.

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