Why 6-8AM Sucks for Most AC Morning Shows

 In Blog

Most AC morning shows get the bulk of their audience in the 8 and 9am hours.

Yet management often bases talent bonuses on the 6 and 7am hours, challenging the show to match performance of, or out-perform, the 8 and 9am hours!

The logic is that shows naturally benefit from at work listening in the latter half of the morning show.

Here’s the rub. The powerhouse at work mid-day day part gets lots of long 3,Lady-at-work.jpg 4 and 5 hour TSL diary entries or panelists listening from listeners who have the radio on while working.

There is a built in advantage since much of morning-drive listening is logged during 20 minute commutes where listeners can punch out easily. It takes a lot of 20 minute per day cume to equal one 5 hour in office diary or panelist listen.

The second natural advantage is that a considerable percentage of the audience starts their daily radio listening when they land in the office.

So what’s a morning show to do to take advantage of this at work cume in the 8 and 9am hours? Give them a great reason to listen early.

Use that big “at work” cume that you get in the 8am and 9am hours to your advantage. Create a strong set of teases designed to get them to “set their alarm clock tomorrow morning” for some killer content or contest you have planned for the next day in the 6 or 7am hour. For example:

  • “You can talk to Adam Levine tomorrow morning at 7:10! Set your radio alarm clock to Mix 101-5 and call Bill and Lynda to talk with Adam.”


  • “$5,000 can be yours tomorrow morning at 6:40. Wake up to Nat and Drew and be the 97th person to call to win $5,000! Just be listening at this time around 6:40 tomorrow morning on Virgin 95-3.”

These examples are just tease starters since Alarm Clock Radio teasing is more like horizontal teasing. It can’t be done as often as the more common vertical “don’t turn off the radio because here’s what’s happening next” tease that is typically done into every stopset. Horizontal and Alarm Clock Radio teasing require a more dedicated effort (more time) since you are asking the audience to remember an event, a station, and a time of day.

You won’t get anywhere near a majority to take action, but even 5-10% can be enough to move the needle. An Alarm Clock tease about your daily entertainment feature isn’t big enough to modify listener behavior. The task is to come up with sticky (memorable) content that moves the at work listener to wake up to your show and change their morning routine.

Listeners have to feel like they are going to miss something if they don’t  listen at home. Too many morning shows warm up with mediocre content in the 6am hour. Hit the ground running with killer content out of the gate, and devise enticing Alarm Clock teases to take advantage of your 8-10 at work cume. It can be done.

-written by Stan Main


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